Higher Education Bill amended

Category: Research news

21 November 2016

The Higher Education Bill has received amendments following its first and second readings in the House of Commons.

The eleven pages of amendments include clarification on representation of different groups at official levels within new structures, and on how ministers may influence university curricula.

The Higher Education Bill has received amendments following its first and second readings in the House of Commons. The eleven pages of amendments include clarification on representation of different groups at official levels within new structures, and on how ministers may influence university curricula.

Key amendments are:

  • a student representative will sit on the board of the new Office for Students (OfS)
  • a seat on the board of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) will be allocated to a representative of the UK devolved regions
  • it has been made clear that universities will not be instructed by ministers on what should be included in their curricula.

Some controversy exists around the bill, however, as influential peers remain concerned over the amount of control Government will gain over universities and their status and autonomy. The impact of bringing the Research Councils, Innovate UK, and the research arm of HEFCE into UKRI, with a single representative reporting to Government, remains to be seen, but it is hoped that research will benefit from this joined-up approach.

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