Ministerial role

Minister of State for Universities and Science


The minister is responsible for:

Higher education

  • widening participation for students and providers
  • student finance
  • education exports strategy
  • preventing violent extremism
  • international students and migration
  • student experience

Science and research

  • research funding
  • postgraduates
  • public engagement in science
  • STEM (science technology, engineering and mathematics) skills
  • open access / research data
  • relationship with Government Office for Science on science in policy
  • Newton Fund
  • Agri-Tech industrial strategy

Innovation and commerce

Note that, until May 2015, this ministerial role also included responsibility for cities policy and local and regional growth.

Current role holder: Jo Johnson MP

Jo Johnson is the Minister of State for Universities and Science. He was elected the Member of Parliament 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 appointed Minister of State on 15 July 2014. He was appointed as an Assistant Government Whip in September 2012. He also served as Parliamentary Secretary.

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.

Previous holders of this role

  1. The Rt Hon Greg Clark MP

    • 2014 to 2015
  2. The Rt Hon David Willetts

    • 2010 to 2014


  1. Research and development
  2. Access to higher education
  3. Higher education participation
  4. Public understanding of science and engineering


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