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New universities minister for the UK’s higher education sector

New universities minister for the UK’s higher education sector

Following a reshuffle of the UK government Cabinet, Jo Johnson has been away from his universities brief and has been replaced by Sam Gyimah, the MP for East Surrey. Johnson’s promotion to transport minister and minister for London left the vacancy for Gyimah to fill.

The position of universities minister is a slightly unusual one given that it spans between the Department for Education and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. However, that is not to give the impression that it is a somehow less serious role. The person in charge of higher education has a significant influence on the nation’s young people and, therefore, its future.

Johnson managed to carry out many reforms to the sector during his time in office, such as the Teaching Excellence Framework and the Higher Education and Research Act which created a new regulatory body for higher education, among other things. Whilst it was an achievement passing the first new higher education legislation since 2010, Johnson’s success was debatable, with the president of the Cambridge University Student Union, Daisy Eyre, commenting: “Over his tenure, Jo Johnson has pursued an agenda that has brought universities to the forefront of national politics and media attention, but not necessarily one that has put students’ needs first.”

Sam Gyimah is an unknown quantity in the world of higher education at the moment. He has a background in student politics – having served as president of the Oxford Union whilst studying PPE – but is mostly experience in the world of investment banking having worked for Goldman Sachs before seeking election in East Surrey in 2010. He worked in the Department for Education as an undersecretary between 2015 and 2016. However, despite his inexperience in the higher education sector, a spokesperson for Cambridge Defend Education declared that the change of minister “is good news for students”.

How this will affect those looking to invest in student accommodation is unclear, but it is unlikely that the sector will be affected too much. It is not as if Gyimah has a track record of strong opinions on higher education or has expressed a desire to enact radical change.

The student investment industry has been characterised for many years by its stability and reliability, as well as the impressive growth that we are seeing year after year. Whether Jo Johnson or Sam Gyimah is in charge, investors can rest assured that the sector is growing and that this is a good time to invest.

For more information on what investment opportunities are available, please get in touch with the team at StudentPodShop today.