Independent Higher Education (IHE) is the UK membership organisation and national representative body for independent providers of higher education, professional training and pathways.

This is our manifesto for higher education. This is our blueprint for change.

Education is the key to unlocking a fairer and more prosperous society, and a more resilient and agile economy – helping to achieve the long-term sustainable growth from which everyone benefits.

Today’s interconnected world comes with interconnected risks, from the climate crisis to rising barriers against international trade. Widening access to education helps people everywhere to tackle these challenges together – driving innovation, harnessing technology, and responding to global problems with solutions both global and local.

The fundamentals of the UK are strong, but a renewed national mission can build on these strengths with significant productivity gains to realise an even more optimistic vision of the future. A vision made possible only by education – the best investment in its people that a Government can buy.

Realising the returns on this investment will require a strategic approach to conceive of a coherent but flexible system of not just higher but tertiary education. One designed not just to prepare young people for valuable careers but to support them throughout their lives with opportunities to acquire new skills and retrain in different roles as economic changes demand.

A modern and diverse tertiary system which promotes innovation, excellence and flexibility is already within grasp. The Lifelong Learning Entitlement offers a foothold, and the next Government should take this step with confidence.

Independent higher education providers are ready to support a new vision for the UK of transformation, growth and prosperity.

The prize is a system supporting both economic and social goals with a range of pathways for learners wherever they are; a system that is agile enough to meet long-term and emerging skills needs, and to respond to rapid labour market shifts; a system that creates strong links with employers and industry; and a system that offers multiple opportunities for adults to access education and training throughout their careers.

In this Manifesto we will show how Independent Higher Education, and the very special institutions in our membership, can play a pivotal part in delivering this system with its manifold benefits. We have a track record of doing just that.

Independent higher education providers work inside industries to promote excellence and opportunity; they collaborate with employers and partners to innovate and create; and they serve their local communities and students with dedication and care.

Independent higher education providers are ready to support a new vision for the UK of transformation, growth and prosperity.

Independent higher education providers are ready.