The higher education regulation landscape is complex and ever changing, with increasingly divergent policies and expectations between the four nations of the UK.

Recognition and respect for institutional autonomy is one of Universities UK’s fundamental values. Institutional autonomy means institutions being to a large degree in charge of and responsible for what they do. However, institutions also need to be held accountable, not only because they receive public funds but also because they have a wider public responsibility as one of the foundations of a democratic and civil society.

UUK engages with government departments, parliament, funding agencies, representative bodies (such as the National Union of Students) and many other stakeholders to ensure that universities are meeting the needs of students and society. And we seek to ensure that the need for proper accountability is achieved without creating excessive, expensive and unnecessary regulation.

UUK is engaged in work on simplifying demands for data, increasing the openness of data, and the future of quality assurance, while monitoring the regulation implications of other higher education policy areas. We also work to explore how the future of higher education regulation should look to best meet the needs of students and to enhance the international reputation of UK higher education.

The Higher Education Better Regulation Group (HEBRG) concluded on 31 July 2014. However, this does not mean that its influence will fade. HEBRG has been involved with the Universities UK task group focused on new higher education regulation, chaired by Professor Simon Gaskell, principal of Queen Mary, University of London.

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