Peers voted in favour of an opposition amendment which dealt with institutional autonomy and the definition of a university.
Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK, said: “We agree with the government that we do need a bill, but we have concerns about it in its current form. In particular, there are concerns about risks to the independence and autonomy of universities and the potential for the secretary of state to intervene in areas such as academic standards and course funding. “This first amendment to the bill in the Lords shows the strength of feeling on this issue. We hope the government listens to these concerns and amends the bill appropriately. “There is, however, still a long way to go in the process, with more than 500 amendments tabled. We hope the House of Lords is able to amend and improve the bill over the coming months to transform it into the legislation our world-class higher education sector needs.”