Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation

Jo Johnson MP


Jo Johnson was appointed Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation in July 2016. 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 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.

Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation

The minister is responsible for:

  • industrial strategy
  • universities and higher education reform (including the Higher Education Bill and teaching excellence framework and quality)
  • higher education student finance (including the Student Loans Company)
  • widening participation and social mobility
  • all education exports (including international students, international research)
  • science and research
    • agri-tech industrial strategy
    • space
  • innovation
  • intellectual property

Previous roles in government

  1. Minister of State for Universities and Science

    • 2015 to 2016
  2. Minister of State for Cabinet Office

    • 2014 to 2015
  3. Parliamentary Secretary (Minister for Constitutional Reform)

    • 2013 to 2014


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  1. First Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund engagement begins

    • Press release
  2. Higher Education and Research Bill to be debated in the Lords

    • News story
  3. £52 million for UK universities to lead pioneering research projects in engineering and the social sciences

    • News story
  4. £100 million partnership to upgrade Antarctic research facilities

    • News story
  5. New director and hub chosen for the UK’s new £250 million Dementia Research Institute

    • News story
  6. UK space sector continues to grow, outlook bright

    • News story
  7. UK commits to European collaboration on science and exploration, satellite technology and services

    • Press release
  8. New standards announced for government grants

    • Press release
  9. Speech from Science Minister Jo Johnson at the ESA Ministerial

    • Speech
  10. EU nationals remain eligible for postgraduate support from UK’s Research Councils

    • Press release