New “Minister for Higher Education”: IOP thanks Jo Johnson and notes absence of word “science” in new job title

10 January 2018

Sam Gyimah was yesterday appointed as “joint Minister for Higher Education at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) and the Department for Education” in a Government reshuffle – succeeding Jo Johnson, former Minister for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, who moves to Transport.

New “Minister for Higher Education”: IOP thanks Jo Johnson and notes absence of word “science” in new job title

Sam Gyimah is former Prisons Minister and no stranger to the DfE, having served as a Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State in the department between 2015 and 2016.

Professor Paul Hardaker, the IOP’s Chief Executive Officer, said: “I would first like to welcome Sam Gyimah – on behalf of the UK physics community -– to his new role in BEIS and the DfE. The next few years promise significant changes and challenges for higher education and science in the UK.

“We look forward to working with Sam to help achieve the Government’s stated aim of the UK being the best place in the world to do science – and to ensure that the UK remains open to all who work in our science community, whatever their nationality.

“Brexit, the new Industrial Strategy and the creation of UKRI and the OFS mark the most significant changes to science we have seen for some time, and Sam’s leadership through these changes will be important for the future strength of science in the UK.

“But it is disappointing to note – given the high priority this Government places on science and the significant new funding it has provided – that the Minister's job title as currently announced does not include the words ‘Science’ or ‘Innovation’.

“UK science – both inside and outside higher education – is world leading and brings significant benefits to the UK economy and regional employment. So I hope his new job title might reflect that.

“I also want to place on record my thanks to Jo Johnson for all his work supporting UK science. Under his watch, Government investment in science has increased significantly and his engagement with the science community was always an important part of his tenure.”

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