Science and Technology Framework

Barry Sheerman Excerpts
Tuesday 7th March 2023

(1 year, 3 months ago)

Commons Chamber
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Michelle Donelan Portrait Michelle Donelan
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I commend my hon. Friend for all the great work that he does and has done consistently over the years. I know that he held a meeting here to dive deep into this issue again and to raise its profile. Of course the work is important geopolitically, but it is also important to addressing net zero. We work closely with partners. Our approach is global, not just internal, which is key to the framework.

Barry Sheerman Portrait Mr Barry Sheerman (Huddersfield) (Lab/Co-op)
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I should declare an interest, in that I have a long-standing experience and love of the higher education system. I also co-chair the Higher Education Commission with Lord Norton.

I like a lot of the stuff that the Secretary of State has said today, particularly what she has said about having a much more focused Department, but I should warn her that my hon. Friend the Member for Cambridge (Daniel Zeichner) is right: morale is low in the higher education sector and we need to put that right. We also need the resources of good management in universities. We must make them open to dialogue and partnership with local businesses, small businesses and big businesses. I ask the Secretary of State please to look closely at that innovation and enterprise.

Michelle Donelan Portrait Michelle Donelan
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This is at the heart of the Nurse review, which talks of the diversification of the research sector and how we can open up the opportunities that the hon. Gentleman has described. As a former higher education Minister, I know only too well the challenges that universities can face in this regard. My policy is always an open-door policy, and I work closely and in collaboration with the universities to break down some of those barriers and create those opportunities.