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The Higher Education and Research Bill received Royal Assent on 27 April 2017.
The Bill has been described as "the most important legislation in the sector for 25 years" (Viscount Younger concluding his remarks in the House of Lords).
Key features of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 include provisions for the establishment of:
The House of Lords had passed amendments to the legislation to:
These amendments were not accepted by the Government in the final 'wash up' stage of the proceedings before the dissolution of Parliament ahead of the general election. However, various amendments and statements were made 'in lieu'. The Government confirmed that it welcomed international students and that it would refresh its international engagement strategy.
It was confirmed that there would be an independent review of the Teaching Excellence Framework and that the link to the fee increases would be delayed for a year so that differentiated fees as a result of a TEF rating would not apply earlier than the 2020/21 academic year. This year's TEF outcomes will be published after the general election on 8 June 2017 and comprise Gold, Silver and Bronze ratings for each higher education institution which submitted itself for assessment.
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