Neil Carberry, CBI Managing Director for People and Infrastructure, said:
"The UK’s universities are a key national asset, making a substantial contribution to prosperity through research, innovation and teaching. Our Post-18 Further Education sector also plays a critical role in the industrial strategy.
“Universities’ contribution is underpinned by a fee system which effectively balances the cost of university between graduates and taxpayers, who may not benefit from university education themselves. Should the government be minded to change the system, the priority should be on boosting part-time learning and maintenance grants for the poorest students.
“Closing the gap in provision that has traditionally existed between further education and higher education has long been a business goal. But it would be wrong to pit higher education against further education and any reforms should encourage co-operation between the two.”