Minister of State for Universities and Science

The Rt Hon David Willetts MP

Biography

David Willetts was appointed Minister for Universities and Science in May 2010. He is the Conservative MP for Havant in Hampshire.

Education

David was educated at King Edward’s School, Birmingham and Christ Church, Oxford, where he studied philosophy, politics and economics.

Career in politics

David began his career in Parliament as the MP for Havant in 1992. He served as Paymaster General and then in the Shadow Cabinet in a range of roles, including Shadow Secretary of State for Trade and Industry, Shadow Secretary for Education and Skills, and Shadow Secretary for Innovation, Universities and Skills. He has also worked at HM Treasury and in the Number 10 Policy Unit.

Career outside politics

David was a visiting fellow at Nuffield College, Oxford, is a governor of the Ditchley Foundation and a member of the Council of the Institute for Fiscal Studies. He has written widely on economic and social policy. In 2011 he published a book, ‘The Pinch: How the baby boomers took their children’s future – and why they should give it back’.

Personal life

David is married to the artist Sarah Butterfield, with whom he has 2 children.

Minister of State for Universities and Science

The minister is responsible for universities and science in the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Responsibilities include:

  • higher education (including the Higher Education Funding Council for England and Student Loans Company)
  • science and research (including research councils)
  • life sciences
  • innovation
  • technology and the arts - National Endowment for Science, Technology and the Arts (NESTA)
  • UK Space Agency

Policies

under the responsibility of The Rt Hon David Willetts MP as Minister of State for Universities and Science

  1. Engaging the public in science and engineering

    • 12 March 2014
  2. Investing in research, development and innovation

    • 5 March 2013
  3. Widening participation in higher education

    • 12 December 2012
  4. Making the higher education system more efficient and diverse

    • 12 December 2012

Announcements

by The Rt Hon David Willetts MP

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  1. £375m fund to promote development though science and innovation announced

    • 9 April 2014
    • News story
  2. New award scheme to boost cyber security for UK businesses

    • 7 April 2014
    • News story
  3. Higher education: student support: changes to Disabled Students' Allowances (DSA)

    • 7 April 2014
    • Statement to Parliament
  4. Contribution of UK universities to national and local economic growth

    • 4 April 2014
    • Speech
  5. New loans to help Muslim students go to university

    • 3 April 2014
    • Press release
  6. £4 million for agricultural innovation

    • 28 March 2014
    • Press release
  7. Reappointment of Chief Executive of the Medical Research Council

    • 24 March 2014
    • Press release
  8. Plans for world class research centre in the UK

    • 19 March 2014
    • News story
  9. Higher Education student support for 2015 to 2016

    • 14 March 2014
    • Statement to Parliament
  10. British astronaut needs your help

    • 14 March 2014
    • Press release

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