The Government has unveiled a new framework for higher education, Higher Ambitions, The Future of Universities in a Knowledge Economy. Key measures set out in the framework include: giving greater priority to programmes that meet the need for high level skills; Business to be more engaged in the funding and design of programmes, sponsorship of students, and work placements; Creating more part-time, work-based and foundation degrees to make it easier for adults to go to university, with routes from apprenticeships through to Foundation Degrees and other vocational programmes; Sustaining our world class research base by continuing to focus on excellence, concentrating research funding where needed to secure critical mass and impact; and Encouraging collaboration between universities on world class research, especially in high cost science.
http://www.bis.gov.uk/mandelson-outlines-future-of-higher-education