Sadiq Khan accuses Gavin Williamson of “calming London” by cutting the teaching scholarship for higher education
The mayor claims the education secretary’s decision reveals the truth behind the government’s rhetoric to upgrade the level
Sadiq Khan has urged Education Secretary Gavin Williamson to reconsider his recent decision to drastically cut government support for higher education in London “Front for Leveling London”.
In an astute letter, Mayor Williamson said he was disappointed that the minister had decided to remove the London weighting element from the higher education teaching grant, which is part of the government’s contribution to the finances of universities and other higher education institutions
“Let me remind you that moving up is an important challenge in London, as it is in all of England,” writes Khan. “The decision to cut these funds will inevitably affect the ability of universities to provide services to their students. The capital’s universities have more resident students than any other region in the country. Many students come from disadvantaged and low-income backgrounds. “
Williamson notified college regulators last month of the scholarship changes – sometimes known as a “T-scholarship” – that he was planning to make. While recognizing that “London providers face higher costs,” he argued that “these reflect the overall weighting of the UK economy versus London and it is not clear that they can be justified with excellent university services across the country can “.
He continued, “The level-up agenda is key to this government and we think it is incompatible with investing extra money in London providers.” He instructs the OfS to “remove the weighting for London providers from the total T grant” and claims that “reducing the London weighting will allow the OfS to invest in other priorities such as costly theme funding that the providers as a whole regions of England supporting the leveling agenda are offered ”.
Khan says the removal of the London weight will mean a £ 64 million loss that will be difficult for the higher education sector to absorb and that everything from “research-intensive institutions to small, specialized art and music colleges will be hit hard by removing these funds ”. He cites a 2019 KPMG report for Williamson’s division that found that taking a college course in London costs 14% more than the rest of the country.
“Put simply, the removal of these funds means a flattening out of London’s higher education providers and learners,” says the Mayor. He added: “I am alarmed that this attack on the London weighting is the thin end of the wedge and heralds further attacks on investments in the city. Rather than trying to remove other London weights, the government should look at what else can be done to support the high cost of living for public sector workers in London. “
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