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Regulation of higher education

Effective regulation is essential to provide accountability for public funds, protect the interests of students and safeguard the reputation of UK higher education.

We are working closely with government, the national regulators and funding bodies and the Quality Assurance Agency to make sure regulation and quality assurance continues to be effective now and into the future and that there is a consistent approach across the UK.

We aim to ensure that:

  • there is consistency and comparability of arrangements across the whole of the UK
  • external quality assessment is proportionate, risk based and founded on effective institutional assurance arrangements
  • the sector maintains a shared and robust baseline of quality
  • regulation protects students against transient, negligent and poor quality providers

UK higher education is a global success story. It generates £27.9 billion in revenue, employs over 262,700 staff and has over two million students. There are nearly 200 universities with degree awarding powers, most of which are members of Universities UK. These universities range from small specialists to large multi-faculty institutions, each with their own distinctive strengths and missions. The success of UK higher education is founded on the diversity and autonomy of its universities. 

Copyright Negotiating and Advisory Committee

We also co-convene, with GuildHE, a group responsible for negotiating copyright licences on behalf of the higher education sector.

degree classification report cover image

Degree classification: statement of intent

20 May 2019
A statement of intent on degree classifications in UK higher education

Degree classification: transparent, consistent and fair academic standards

Report
28 November 2018
A wide range of factors behind the increase in the number of graduates receiving first and upper-second class degrees.

Understanding degree algorithms report front cover

Understanding degree algorithms

18 October 2017
The findings of a joint Universities UK-GuildHE project looking at the configuration of degree algorithms – the sets of rules institutions follow to determine a student's final degree classification.

Review of the Teaching Excellence Framework Year 2

Review of the Teaching Excellence Framework Year 2

31 August 2017
A review of the results, impact and cost of making submissions to the Teaching Excellence Framework in its first ‘test’ year.

Education, consumer rights and maintaining trust: what students want from their university

Education, consumer rights and maintaining trust: what students want from their university

Report
21 June 2017
An assessment of how student perspectives of the student–university relationship are evolving in the context of a growing emphasis on market competition and consumer rights in higher education.

Briefing: Implementation of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017

Briefing
9 June 2017
The legislation is primarily concerned with the creation of two new bodies to regulate and fund higher education providers: the Office for Students (OfS) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).

Progress update on Bell Review recommendation on new higher education sector agency

19 May 2017
Statement from Universities UK, GuildHE, the Equality Challenge Unit (ECU), the Higher Education Academy (HEA), and the Leadership Foundation for Higher Education (LFHE) on the implementation of the recommendations of the Bell Review.

Universities UK response to the Office for Students consultation on registration fees and other fees

14 March 2017
A fee-based approach to OfS funding will be an opportunity to strengthen accountability to the sector. However, as the costs of the OfS will also indirectly fall on students, fees and funding should be value for money, sustainable and proportionate.

UUK-GuildHE letter to peers on Higher Education and Research Bill ahead of Report stage

2 March 2017
The president of UUK and chair of GuildHE have written to members of the House of Lords during Committee stage of the Higher Education and Research Bill.

Events

Blogs

General election 2019: what the parties say on higher education

27 November 2019
UUK's Karmjit Kaur takes a look at the policy commitments on higher education in party manifestos ahead of the general election.

City with blue sky

General election 2019: skills, jobs and opportunity

11 November 2019
UUK's Karmjit Kaur on the policies that all parties should commit to, to ensure UK universities remain a global success story.

News

Universities take action to better explain to students how their fee income is spent

22 October 2019
A new guide published today will help universities better explain to students how fee income, and other sources of income, are spent.

President's speech to UUK annual conference

13 September 2019
This year's Universities UK annual conference has taken place at the University of Birmingham.

The team

Samuel Roseveare

Samuel Roseveare

Policy Manager
Universities UK