Opportunity through high-quality education

Our universities will transform the lives of more people from the UK and around the world through high-quality education.

They will adapt to the changing world, responding to what students need from their university and to what the world needs from them.

Universities UK will:

Make sure people from all backgrounds have equal opportunity to benefit from a university education and experience that’s right for them.

Ensure that the regulation, systems and processes underpinning the high-quality education our universities deliver are fit for purpose, allowing our universities to expertly navigate the technological and digital revolution whilst providing the highest quality education possible.

Increase the trust and confidence of students, politicians and the wider public in the quality and lifelong value of the education our universities provide.

Make it possible for more students from around the world to study with our universities, securing a stable and welcoming environment for international students in the UK and supporting our universities to widen access to high-quality transnational education.

Increase the opportunities for students at our universities to benefit from international experiences.

2030 challenges
and opportunities

Meeting changing needs

Rapidly changing skills needs call for new modes of delivery. There is evidence of rising demand for alternative higher education pathways alongside a policy shift towards flexible, lifelong learning. Coupled with the inevitable changes brought by AI and other digital innovations, our universities need to provide an education that meets the needs of the students of today and tomorrow.


applicants interested in undergraduate degrees who are also interested in an apprenticeship


mature learners starting a course at a UUK member each year

Securing opportunity in a period of growing demand

The number of 18-year-olds in the UK is set to grow steadily to 2030, before falling. With growing participation rates putting pressure on the system, we need to make sure that people from all backgrounds have equal opportunity to access the benefits of a higher education as the people that came before. More and more people from backgrounds that historically would not have accessed higher education have been entering our universities in recent years, and we must continue to build on this progress.

Students from around the world are increasingly drawn to studying with our world-renowned institutions, and there is a projected 60% growth in international demand. We must ensure that these students are able to benefit from our high quality education, and that our universities, students, and communities continue to benefit culturally, socially, and economically from them.


more 18-year-olds in the UK by 2030


10 year increase in the most disadvantaged UK 18 years olds entering university

With thanks to Anglia Ruskin University, Brunel University London, The Courtauld Institute of Art, Coventry University, Guildhall School of Music & Drama, Nottingham Trent University and the Royal College of Art for supplying images.

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