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Response to the Higher Education Green Paper

Consultations and responses
15 January 2016

Report cover​Universities UK has submitted a response to the government green paper 'Fulfilling our potential: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice'.


The response welcomes the government’s commitment to supporting excellence in teaching and research in the sector, but makes the case that the UK sector is an international success story and that any reforms should support and not undermine an integrated UK wide sector working across the full range of teaching, research and knowledge exchange.
 
The response commits to working with the government to develop an effective Teaching Excellence Framework. It recommends that the second proposed iteration of the TEF be a pilot that gathers evidence on implementing teaching excellence and then evaluates how this information can be usefully presented to students. It disagrees with proposals for linking fee caps to multiple levels of TEF but proposes that inflationary uplift in fees should be linked to a single baseline requirement for quality assurance, access and student protection.
 
The response proposes that the Office for Students should be called the Office for Students and Higher Education to reflect a broader mandate covering teaching funding, overview of research and third-stream activities. Degree awarding powers should be based on four year track record and there should be a public interest test for granting university title. The response also raises concerns about moving QR into Research UK and asks for a clear commitment to protect dual support and the distinctiveness of the funding councils and Innovate UK.

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