13 Sep 2023
MillionPlus welcomes House of Lords Committee report on the work of the Office for Students
MillionPlus, the Association for Modern Universities, has welcomed today (12 September) the House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee report ‘Must do better: the Office for Students and the looming crisis facing higher education'.
Rachel Hewitt, Chief Executive of MillionPlus, said:
“MillionPlus welcomed the opportunity to provide evidence, both written and in person, into this timely and important review of the Office for Students since its inception in January 2018.
“It is right that the Committee sets out its findings within the context of the challenges facing the higher education sector, such as long-term financial sustainability and increasing bureaucracy within the system.
“MillionPlus and its members are keen to support the Government and Office for Students in taking forward the important recommendations outlined within the report, which are fundamental to rebuilding a strong relationship between universities and the regulator. We particularly welcome the call to review how the regulator measures the value of higher education, which the report notes is currently ‘very narrow’ in its approach and does not take into account the broad value offered from higher education to students, particularly those from disadvantaged backgrounds, as well as universities’ role in delivering the future skills needs of the country.
“MillionPlus also supports the recommendations to realign the OfS’s regulatory framework for quality with international standards; reinstate an independent Designated Quality Body; and ensure its actions are clearly aligned within its regulatory duties. This should be reflected in its communications with providers, especially those focused on any potential investigations, and they should be clear and transparent from the outset while taking into account institutional autonomy.
“The recommendation to reconvene the Higher Education Data Reduction Taskforce to reduce unnecessary burdens on providers is a no brainer especially where there is cross-over with several regulators who all request the same information but in different ways.”
Notes to editors