A new, fit-for-purpose regulatory framework

Introduction and key proposals

This chapter sets out proposals for a new regulatory framework for higher education. It says how we will cut back red tape that is no longer justified, while focusing regulators’ attention on what really matters.

Download the White Paper.

Our key proposals:

  • We will consult on our proposals for a single, transparent regulatory framework that covers all institutions that want to be part of the English higher education system.
  • We will legislate to allow HEFCE the power to attach conditions to the receipt of grant and access to student loan funding. HEFCE will, as now, monitor institutions to ensure financial stability, and intervene if necessary.
  • As part of HEFCE’s revised remit as the sector regulator, it will be given an explicit remit to protect the interest of students, including by promoting competition where appropriate in the higher education sector.
  • In addition to deregulatory policies such as freeing up student number controls, introducing a risk based approach to quality assurance and reviewing the process and criteria for granting degree-awarding powers, university title and university college title (described above), we will:

- ask the Higher Education Better Regulation Group (HEBRG) to look across the complex legislative landscape to identify areas for deregulation whilst safeguarding students’ and the taxpayer. We are particularly keen to ease the burden of data collection on academic staff;

- explore how to reduce the costs to institutions currently incurred in completing corporation tax returns; and

- exempt higher education institutions from the “accommodation offset” provisions in the National Minimum Wage rules for full-time students.

  • We will invite HEFCE, the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) and HEBRG, in collaboration with the Information Standards Board for Education to reduce the number of data requests

We will be running a detailed consultation on this over the summer but we also seek your comments on these proposals more generally and the impact that they will have on students and the higher education sector. You can comment via the comment box to the right or by emailing HE.consultation@bis.gsi.gov.uk

11 944 WP Students at Heart

One Response to A new, fit-for-purpose regulatory framework

  1. 1. It is right that HEIs should be accountable to their students. This applies across the HE landscape, in all institutions and all departments. In demanding accountability, policy must not constrain HEIs or their staff from being innovative to deliver high quality student support.

    2. Accountability and reporting requirements must be reasonable, and the White paper recognises the potential bureaucracy of reporting requirements and legislation. AMOSSHE welcomes the White Paper commitment to exempting HEIs form the accommodation offset provisions in the National Minimum Wage rules for full time students; this is in keeping with our response to the consultation earlier this year. We further welcome the streamlining of many reporting requirements and the recognition that UK higher education is data rich. The next step is for this data to be used intelligently by policy makers and practitioners alike, which the value and impact approach facilitates.