Robert Halfon MP has said that “a mass conveyor belt of people going to university” is wrong and the Government should be investing in skills.
A report by the Education Select Committee, of which Mr Halfon is Chair, said that Government should expand degree-level apprenticeships and improve access for those from disadvantaged backgrounds.
Mr Halfon told talkRADIO’s Julia Hartley-Brewer: “This idea that you just have a mass conveyor belt of people going to university was the wrong one.
“What we should have done is said that we need ‘skills, skills, skills’ not ‘university, university, university’.
“I would like to see many more people doing apprenticeships whether it is degree-level or lower than going to university.
“Going to university can be a wonderful thing so it is quality over quantity.”
'You want to get a job at the end of it'
The MP for Harlow also said that universities should make their websites “very transparent”.
“In terms of what universities people should go to, what we need to do is make sure universities are very transparent on their website,” he said.
“That should be particularly about employment and outcomes because yes, people go to university for academic study but actually, if you are going to take on a whopping loan then you want to get a job at the end of it.
“You want to feel secure in your life, and know that the huge investment is worth paying for.”
The report recommends that “every higher education institution should publish a breakdown of how tuition fees are spent on their website.”
It adds: “This should take place by the end of 2018, and we recommend that the Office for Students intervenes if this deadline is not met.”