Higher Education & Research: a brave new world?

The new regulatory framework for higher education was unveiled on 28 February 2018 under provisions in the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. The changes being brought in have been described by the Government Minister Sam Gyimah MP as “the biggest shake up to Higher Education for 25 years”. He recognises that “we are a global superpower in HE, second to the US” but that while these changes “may feel like a revolt [it] is more like a revolution – a revolution pushing the sector towards greater responsibility and accountability to students.”

The Office for Students has been created as a new regulator for the sector which will have a range of statutory powers at its disposal, including monetary penalties and suspending or removing an institution from the register of English higher education “providers”. The primary aim of the OfS “is to ensure that English higher education is delivering positive outcomes for students – past, present and future” and it will seek to ensure that “students, from all backgrounds (particularly the most disadvantaged), can access, succeed in, and progress from higher education.”

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