Ministerial role

Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation


The minister is responsible for:

  • industrial strategy
  • universities and higher education reform (including implementation of the Higher Education and Research Act and teaching excellence framework and quality)
  • higher education student finance (including the Student Loans Company)
  • widening participation and social mobility
  • education exports (including international students, international research)
  • science and research, including the creation and governance of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI)
  • agri-tech
  • space
  • innovation
  • intellectual property

Current role holder: Jo Johnson MP

Jo Johnson was appointed Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation in July 2016. He was elected Conservative MP for Orpington in May 2010 and re-elected in May 2015.


Jo began his schooling in Brussels, at the European School in Uccle, before attending Ashdown House School in East Sussex, and then Eton College. In 1991, he went to Balliol College, Oxford to study Modern History.

A French speaker, Jo did his postgraduate studies in Europe and has degrees from 2 further European universities.

Political career

He was head of the Downing Street Policy Unit and served as Minister of State at the Cabinet Office from July 2014 until May 2015. He served as an Assistant Government Whip from September 2012 until July 2014. He also served as Parliamentary Secretary at the Cabinet Office from April 2013 until July 2014.

Career outside politics

Jo joined the Financial Times in 1997, after working as an investment banker at Deutsche Bank. He had 2 foreign postings with them: firstly as Paris correspondent (2001 to 2005), and then as South Asia Bureau Chief based in New Delhi (2005 to 2008). In 2008 he became an Associate Editor of the Financial Times and Head of the Lex Column.


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