Reforms to higher education sector announced

Published on Monday, 11 June 2012 14:18
Posted by Scott Buckler

Plans to put students at the heart of the system were announced by Ministers today, as they set out their response to the Higher Education White Paper

Red-tape barring some smaller specialist institutions from being awarded the title of ‘university’ will be ditched. Previously, institutions needed 4,000 students to become a university, but from today this limit will drop to 1,000 - sweeping away an arbitrary piece of regulation which was preventing excellent institutions using the title. The change will come into effect immediately.

There will also be a review into how existing quality assurance arrangements affect alternative providers, including further education colleges offering higher education.

Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills Vince Cable said:

We rightly have a global reputation for excellent teaching and research in the higher education sector. It’s vital that we preserve this.

“The measures we’ve announced today will do this. They will help ensure every student can be confident of the quality of teaching, wherever they study higher education.

“These reforms will increase competition and flexibility, and deliver on our promise to put students at the heart of the system.”

Commenting on the new proposals Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said:

“By cutting away the red tape, we are freeing higher education providers from central Government controls.

“It is right to remove the red tape stopping good quality, smaller Higher Education providers calling themselves a University.”

Also announced today are plans to bring alternative providers and further education colleges that do not receive Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) funding, into the formal student number control system. We will consult later this year on the process for applying these changes

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