Universities UK is an advocacy organisation for universities in the United Kingdom. It began life as the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals of the Universities of the United Kingdom (CVCP) in the nineteenth century when there were informal meetings involving vice-chancellors of a number of universities and principals of university colleges. The current president is Dame Julia Goodfellow, vice-chancellor of the University of Kent. The current Chief Executive is Nicola Dandridge CBE.〔(2015 Birthday Honours List )〕
In 1918 the first consultative meeting of all vice-chancellors was held. At that time, the committee consisted of just twenty-two universities and university colleges. In 1930, under the chairmanship of Sir Charles Grant Robertson, vice-chancellors secured a mandate from their respective universities that "it is desirable in the common interests of the United Kingdom to constitute a Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals for purposes of mutual consultation".
In the early 80s, they commissioned the Jarratt report, published in 1985, and which framed universities as businesses delivering a product to student-consumers.
Over the succeeding years the number of universities increased as a result of new universities being created and the change in legislation in 1992, which recognised the former polytechnics as universities thus doubling and diversifying the membership.
On 1 December 2000, CVCP’s name, logo and identity were changed to ''Universities UK'' in order to reflect changes which had taken place in the organisation in recent years.〔(BBC News ''University chiefs shed 'grey' image'' 1 December 2000 )〕
Universities UK's task is to support the work of universities and promote their interests. It works to deliver its mission by speaking out for a thriving and diverse higher education sector which creates benefits for all; providing and disseminating essential information; bringing people together to share knowledge and good practice.
There is also an additional group, Universities Scotland, whose membership comprises the Universities UK members in Scotland. ''Universities Scotland'' promotes and supports the work of Universities UK.〔(Links ). Universities Scotland (2013-07-01). Retrieved on 2013-07-17.〕
== Admissions and social mobility ==
The "Access for All"〔(Universities UK ''Universities UK publishes Access for All'', 8 July 2013 )〕 report UK Universities published support work to widening access by promoting fair access and developing an evidence to help them to learn from each other, and through sharing good practice. The percentage of state educated school students at the prestigious Russell Group universities has been falling. State educated secondary school pupils eligible for free school meals are very much less likely to go to Oxbridge than privately educated pupils. Overall more young people are entering university than previously and it is hoped this will improve social mobility.〔BBC (London) January 2015 (Social mobility and university entry: Is access fair? )〕 Cutbacks in government funding for students may deter poorer potential students from going to university according to the education charity, Sutton Trust.〔BBC (London) 30 July 2015 (Higher debts may deter poor students from university, says report )〕
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