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Chris Skidmore leaves role of Science Minister

20 Feb 2020

We reflect on Chris Skidmore’s time as Universities and Science Minister.

It is unusual to not only reflect on a ministerial reshuffle but also a change in portfolios within that reshuffle, which is the position we currently find ourselves in. Chris Skidmore, outgoing Universities and Science Minister has seen his old brief chopped in half, with a new Universities Minister, Michelle Donelan, and Science Minister, Amanda Solloway, respectively. You can read our reflections on what this change in ministerial briefs could have on the sector here, as well as our response to the new ministerial appointments. 

Skidmore held the role of Universities and Science Minister twice, first from December 2018 to July 2019 then again from September 2019 until his departure last week. His first stint included a number of visits around the country, championing the Government’s agenda to increase the UK’s research intensity to 2.4% of GDP. He made a concerted push to highlight the importance of QR funding for universities, and in July announced a real-terms uplift in QR for the first time in over a decade. He was also in post when the Government commissioned the Smith Review looking at potential future alternatives for international collaboration in research and was back in post when the report was published.

Only a day in to his second term as Minister, the Government announced the reintroduction of the post-study work visa for international students. He also oversaw the introduction of the new and expanded Global Talent visa, seeking to lower bureaucracy for those in the academic research community looking to gain a visa. Not only during this time, but across his entire time as Minister, he spoke passionately about the need to ensure the research and innovation sector was welcoming and inclusive.

We wish Chris Skidmore all the best for the future in representing his constituents in South Gloucestershire.