Consultations for the Higher Education and Research Act 2017

Posted by Matthew Smith on
Back in May, I wrote a piece for Lexis PSL on the new Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA 2017) setting out its parameters and impact on universities and research bodies.

Now, a number of consultations have been launched in relation to HERA 2017. These are:

Securing student success: risk-based regulation for teaching excellence, social mobility and informed choice in higher education

This consultation covers the regulatory framework and related issues on behalf of the Office for Students, the new market regulator for higher education. The consultation aims to set the context for the creation of the Office for Students and the proposed regulatory approach.  It is accompanied by guidance on the initial and on-going conditions of registration of education institutions with the Office for Students and guidance on the approach to transition for providers.

Simplifying access to the market: degree awarding powers and university title

This consultation seeks views on the proposed new detailed criteria and processes for degree awarding powers and the use of the "university" title. This follows the reforms in these areas set out in the "Success as a Knowledge Economy" White Paper in 2016 and the Higher Education and Research Act 2017.

Office for Students: registration fees (stage 2)

This consultation considers the fees payable by providers to the Office of Students.

Designation of a body to perform the assessment functions for higher education in England

This consultation sets out the role of the Designated Quality Body and its essential functions.  It seeks the views of those responding to the consultation on the suitability of the existing Quality Assurance Agency to fulfil that role.

Designation of a body for English higher education information

This consultation sets out the role and functions of the Designated Data Body and seeks views on the suitability of Higher Education Statistics Authority to fulfil that role.

An additional consultation on the Office for Students' power in relation to monetary penalties for providers is due around December this year.

The consultations mark an important next step in the reforms implemented by the Higher Education and Research Act and provide more detail about the changed landscape in which higher education providers will be operating. Many will wish to take the opportunity to comment on this in their response to the consultations.

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Matthew heads the firm's Education Sector and also has extensive experience of both contentious and non-contentious employment work, in particular Employment Tribunal cases.

Matthew Smith
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