As Lord Leitch set out in his independent report on the UK's long-term skills needs, a highly skilled workforce drives innovation, leadership and management, enabling business to compete in the global economy.
He found that improving the skills profile of the UK workforce over time has contributed to economic growth.
By 2011, funding for higher education will have increased by over 30 per cent. in real terms since 1997. In addition, since 1997, funding for the ringfenced science budget has increased from £1.3 billion to £3.4 billion.