Quality Doesn't Grow On Fees

The Higher Education and Research Bill passing into law marked the end of nearly two years of work from the student movement; lobbying, engaging and challenging the government at every stage.

At NUS, we believe that properly funding our institutions is what drives quality - not raising tuition fees and pitting providers against each other chasing income. We believe in enabling our instititutions to collaborate, rather than needlessly compete.

That's why we launched the Quality Doesn't Grow on Fees campaign, which made the arguments for why these measures will not improve teaching quality.

Together we won some key concessions during the passage of the bill through parliament:

  • There will be a student representative on the board of the Office for Students
  • Universities will be required to publish data on attainment gaps according to ethnicity, gender or background, within their institutions
  • Improved protections for students from risks within the HE system such as course closures
  • Expanded ‘access agreements’ in universities to cover participation and retention, as “Access and Participation Plans”
  • A delay in the controversial link between the proposed Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and tuition fee levels until 2020/21
  • A requirement for universities to facilitate student voter registration
  • A requirement for brand new universities to maintain high levels of quality once they are given the power to award degrees to students, protecting students from shoddy quality
  • An independent evaluation of the TEF, including of the relevance of its metrics. These metrics include the National Student Survey, which has been successfully boycotted by students’ unions across the country because of its link to the TEF