When Labour tripled university tuition fees in the 2004 Education Act, it was one of Tony Blair's bolder reforms. But, although he changed the funding structure of our universities, he missed the chance to make the sector more accountable to its students.
Too many students remain surprised by the limited contact hours, feedback and access to the top lecturers. Most are unclear how they can push for a better overall student experience.
Our university sector rightly has a world-class reputation. But the prestige of individual institutions is largely based on their research output. We believe high-quality teaching is just as important.
So the principal objective of today's higher education white paper, entitled Students at the heart of the system, is to avoid repeating Tony Blair's mistake.
Our reforms build on the changes to student support announced last year by putting students in the driving seat. We have three key priorities.
1. Better informed students and more accountable institutions: In future, there will be much more information available about different courses at different institutions. There will be a standard set of comparable data available for every course in the country, covering issues such as contact hours and feedback, accommodation costs and bursaries and employment rates and average graduate salaries.