Only a few days to go: We’re raising £25,000 to keep TheyWorkForYou running and make sure people across the UK can hold their elected representatives to account.

Donate to our crowdfunder

Higher Education and Research Bill - Committee (6th Day)

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:15 pm on 25th January 2017.

Alert me about debates like this

Photo of Baroness Wolf of Dulwich Baroness Wolf of Dulwich Crossbench 5:15 pm, 25th January 2017

My Lords, I want to repeat what has been said by a large number of people in the Committee this afternoon about the issue of fees paid and how this is looked at and moderated. It seems fundamental to the future of the relationship between the regulator and the sector. An awful lot of what one gets from reading the Bill is the sense that they will be at odds—that the regulator is there to punish, to force, to fine and to search. Ultimately, that is completely destructive. The most destructive thing of all will be if people are fighting constantly over the nature of fees, what is legitimate and what is not.

Therefore, rather than repeating comments that I made in connection with an earlier amendment, I simply say how fundamentally important this issue is and how very much I hope that the Government will look carefully at the structures that are being set up. Fees and payments go to the heart of everything. As a policy researcher, “follow the money” is always what I say to myself. It would be very helpful if the Minister were able to assure us that, following this House’s deliberations on the Bill, that is one of the things that the Government will look at in terms of other legislation and statutory requirements, and that they will look at how, going forward, the OfS will interact with the sector in a way that is mutually beneficial rather than being made up of constant arguments and turf wars.