05 July 2012
On 13 June the Secretary of State and the Minister for Universities and Science wrote to HEFCE and the Student Loans Company (SLC) to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to the reforms to higher education set out in the White Paper and BIS technical consultations.
On 13 June the Secretary of State and the Minister for Universities and Science wrote to HEFCE and the Student Loans Company (SLC) to reaffirm the Government’s commitment to the reforms to higher education set out in the White Paper and BIS technical consultations. In setting out next steps, the Government has asked HEFCE to take a ‘lead oversight role’, working in the national interest and with the SLC, other agencies and sector bodies to deliver the reforms in a timely and efficient way. The Regulatory Partnership Group provides a vehicle for some of this work.
Our key task now is to develop a new operating framework which reflects the Government’s commitment to create a more responsive higher education system, protect the collective student interest and promote social mobility.
The letter confirms that the Government will not introduce change through primary legislation until the full impact of the new funding regime is better understood. This creates an opportunity for the higher education sector to demonstrate its effectiveness and a capacity to marry the principles of institutional autonomy with the need to maintain proper accountability for the effective use of public funds. The sector needs to act responsibly, particularly in relation to the student number control.
The RPG will therefore play a key role in delivering the change programme. The focus will be on practical actions delivered in partnership with the sector. Both HEFCE and the RPG will – at Ministers’ request – keep the situation under review, and advise the Government if they identify issues that they are unable to resolve within the existing legislative framework, or which require clearer direction from Government.
The 13 June letter also endorses key aspects of HEFCE’s work. HEFCE will continue to support activity which safeguards the public and student interest, such as widening participation, strategically important and vulnerable subjects, specialist and postgraduate provision, and high quality research. We remain committed to protecting the collective student interest, ensuring quality improvement, the effective stewardship of public funding and better regulation which respects institutional autonomy. These principles, and our commitment to fairness, objectivity and professionalism in all we do, will continue to inform and guide our work.
Page last updated 16 July 2012