Higher Education and Research Bill
A summary of the Government’s responses to the Lords amendments, as published on 25 April 2017.
Amendment 1 (definition of a university):
Struck down in favour of guidance to be issued by the Secretary of State following consultation with interested parties (to be inserted in clauses 51 and 52: Use of university title, etc.).
Amendments 12 (prohibiting ranking), 209 and 210 (Schedule 2, i.e. fee
limit, subjecting the prescription of by the Secretary of State to
Struck down. The effect of the various insertions proposed instead is difficult to decipher, but the insertion at p. 67, l. 12 appears to exempt the power of the Secretary of State to award above-inflation rises in the fee limit at the top end from the strong form of parliamentary control (i.e. by affirmative procedure).
Amendment 15 (registration of students on the electoral roll):
Struck down in favour of “such steps as the OfS considers appropriate for facilitating cooperation between the provider and one or more electoral registration officers”, etc.
Amendment 23 (quality assurance subject to independent evaluation):
Struck down in favour of deleting sub-sections 5 and 6 in Clause 25 (referring to “standards”) and inserting a new clause (at p. 16, l. 23) requiring the Secretary of State to appoint a person independent of the OfS, and with suitable experience, who would “command the confidence of registered higher education providers”, and who would produce a thorough report on the assessment and rating procedures (i.e. the TEF), including the descriptors used for rating purposes and the impact of the process on the “providers” concerned, “after the initial period” (i.e. the first year after section 25 becomes operative); and that the report be laid before Parliament.
Amendment 71 (conditions of registration):
Struck down, removing the requirement that a new provider demonstrate satisfactory validation arrangements for 4 years before authorisation. Some re-drafting is also proposed in this area.
Amendments 78 and 106 (the Judge amendments):
Struck down in favour of allowing the tribunal concerned to take into account “evidence that was not available to the OfS” and making explicit the range of options open to the tribunal.
Amendment 156 (international students):
Struck down in favour of requiring (in clause 59: publication of information) the consideration of information that would be useful to international students and institutions that provide for them, including information about numbers of international students.
Page references are to The Bill as introduced to the Lords (HL Bill 76).
The consolidated list of Lords amendments referred to (posted 6.4.17).