Higher Education and Research Bill

Part of the debate – in the House of Commons at 3:45 pm on 26th April 2017.

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Photo of Paul Blomfield Paul Blomfield Shadow Minister (Exiting the European Union) 3:45 pm, 26th April 2017

I thank the Minister for his comments on the work that we have done on this issue. The Cabinet Office has been extremely helpful from the very start in supporting the initiative with the University of Sheffield. Nevertheless, does the Minister recognise that the critical game-changer is the seamless integration of electoral registration and student enrolment? When other universities—not only Sheffield—have taken that up, they have seen levels of registration that the simple promotion of the voter registration portal, or giving direction towards it, have not succeeded in achieving. In monitoring the effectiveness of the Government’s proposals, will the Minister look at effective outputs? If universities’ outputs through methods of co-operation with electoral registration officers do not deliver the sort of 70% mark that integrated systems have delivered, will he expect them to be pushed in that direction by the Office for Students?