Thursday 14-07-2016 - 13:06
Today's major cabinet reshuffle and restructure has seen Justine Greening appointed to the role of Education Secretary by new Prime Minister Theresa May and the brief for HE moved from BIS to the Department for Education.
The government has also announced the second reading of the Higher Education and Research Bill will take place on Tuesday 19 July.
This is the first opportunity for MPs to debate the main principles of the Bill, which proposes huge shake-ups to the HE sector.
Take action against the huge HE shake-up by contacting your MP
Given that the Bill outlines some of the most significant reforms to Higher Education in over a decade, it is a crucial opportunity to halt such changes especially amidst an uncertain political climate caused by a restructure and Brexit negotiations.
Make sure your MP attends and represents you by writing to them using our template letter (you can easily find their email address via www.theyworkforyou.com)
What does the HE Bill set out?
- Different ways to increase market competition in the higher education sector;
- The ability for institutions to raise their tuition fees to different levels, dependent on how they perform against a new Teaching Excellence Framework;
- A new body to oversee and promote competition, called the Office for Students (OfS), which will be responsible for running a register of providers, assessing quality, giving new providers degree awarding powers and withdrawing them;
- New responsibilities for institutions to publish data about their students, introduce access and participation plans as well as student protection plans;
- Introduction of new UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) body to oversee funding and support for HE research.
- It is not in students’ interests to have to pay (more) to access excellent teaching;
- It is not in students’ interests to have a system based on competition, not collaboration;
- It is for students to define their own interests and to have a seat at the decision making tables.
We will update you after the reading, but for now you can read a brief summary of the HE & Research Bill and White Paper and use our campaign guide to plan your next steps.
You can follow the progress of the Bill here.