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Government Reform of Higher Education

HC 885, Twelfth Report of Session 2010-12 - Report, Together with Formal Minutes, Oral and Written Evidence

House of Commons - Business, Innovation and Skills Committee
TSO (The Stationery Office)

'Government Reform of Higher Education (HC 885)' concludes that the Government's communications strategy on tuition fees could have been more effectively realised. It urges the government to 'reconsider funding widening participation in higher education through a programme similar to the "pupil premium".'

The Committee also concluded that 'focusing financial support on providing money for living costs to students while they are studying would be a more effective means of support than fee-waivers. It would also be more consistent with the message that students should not be dissuaded from applying to university because of the cost' and recommends that the National Scholarship Programme be refocused accordingly.

Furthermore reforms are not yet complete with a number of consultation exercises currently out for responses, including:

  • early repayment penalties for loans;

  • the future of student number controls;

  • loans for students studying at alternative providers;

  • "off quota" students; and

  • a new regulatory framework for new and alternative providers.

The detail to be required in the Key Information Sets has yet to be finalised. There will also need to be changes to both Office for Fair Access (OFFA) and Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) to reflect their changing responsibilities in higher education.

The Committee highlights the fact that the new fee regime is to start at the beginning of the next academic year and there is concern that the necessary coherent package of reforms be delivered to that timetable.

The report also stresses that the reforms should be implemented as a package and not in a piecemeal way.

Additional written evidence is contained in Volume II, available on the Committee website at www.parliament.uk/BIS.

Extent 375 pages ISBN 9780215038555
Size A4 Price £29.50
Format Paperback Published 10 Nov 2011
Availability Colour copy: 3 - 5 days Availability help (opens in new window) Delivery Delivery options and charges
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