28 Feb 2018
MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has commented on the Regulatory Framework for Higher Education, published today (28 February) by the Office for Students, welcoming the scrapping of “basic” registration and reaffirming the importance of maintaining the reputation of the sector.
Dr Greg Walker, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:
“The registration conditions announced today are clearly of great importance to all higher education providers, especially universities. The UK’s HE sector is world leading - historically delivering high quality education to students of all ages and backgrounds. It is this reputation for excellent provision that makes the UK sector highly attractive to international students, with tens of thousands studying at our universities each year, more than a third of them at a modern university. It is clearly in the interest of all that this reputation is maintained.
“It is important that the notion of co-regulation between universities and public agencies continues on matters relating to academic standards and approaches to quality assurance. In this regard, the role of the Quality Assurance Agency and the UK Standing Committee on Quality Assessment continues to be central. This co-regulatory approach was affirmed by the government during the passage of the HE and Research Bill and should be maintained in letter and spirit by the Office for Students (OfS).
“We welcome confirmation that the basic level of registration with the OfS has been scrapped. This lower level of scrutiny and oversight would arguably not be sufficient to protect the interests of students. At the same time, we would be concerned for students if many alternative providers chose to opt out of all registration arrangements preferring to remain, in effect, unregulated. Such a scenario would call into question whether one of the overarching purposes of the 2017 Act had been achieved. Also welcome is the framework’s fresh emphasis on student engagement as a key requirement on providers. Proper student engagement should not be an optional element of being a regulated HE provider.”
Notes to editors