On 27th June 2019 Lord Blunkett asked the Government “what is their estimate of the likely reduction in spend by higher education institutions in England on student teaching and contact time were the recommendations of the independent panel report to the Review into Post-18 Education and Funding implemented.” The Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, asked a follow up question:
The Lord Bishop of Chichester: My Lords, any reduction in higher education funding is likely to have a particular impact not merely on teaching and student contact time but on the very future of smaller institutions, such as the Cathedrals Group universities. Does the Minister agree that, as the Government consider reforms, they need to take into account, first, the effect of those reforms on the diversity of the sector and, secondly, their impact on particular localities? Chichester, for example, is the only university in West Sussex. A threat to its funding would seriously damage its contribution to the regeneration of the disadvantaged coastal areas that it serves.
Viscount Younger of Leckie: The right reverend Prelate is right, in that we want to reach out to all areas of the country, including Chichester, and both small and big providers. The Augar report comes, of course, on the back of the Higher Education and Research Act, through which we seek to encourage high-quality provision and greater competition, to ensure that students and the taxpayer receive value for money and that students receive a good experience from the courses they undertake.