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Secretary of State for Education, UK

The secretary of state for education in the United Kingdom has overall responsibility for higher education as part of their wider responsibilities for education policy. It might seem obvious that universities should fall under this department of state but often responsibility for universities has been allocated elsewhere. This is partly because of the different history of public funding of universities and partly because of the high levels of autonomy enjoyed by universities in the United Kingdom, especially in England, which gives them a very different relationship to ministers than schools.

Substantial state funding of schools can be dated back to Forster’s Education Act of 1870. The Board of Education was created in 1899 but universities were not within its responsibilities. Substantial public grants for universities began ...

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