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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 5:30 pm on 25th January 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Brown of Cambridge Baroness Brown of Cambridge Crossbench 5:30 pm, 25th January 2017

My Lords, Amendment 429 is in my name and that of the noble Baroness, Lady Wolf. This is a probing amendment to investigate the relationship between the two higher education regulators—the Office for Students and the Competition and Markets Authority. The perception of overlap between the two regulators, the potential for conflicting advice and requirements, and the perception of the difficulty of collaboration under Competition and Markets Authority regulation are all issues causing concern in the sector. As an aside, this is part of the reason behind our desire for the OfS to promote both competition and collaboration.

I ask the Minister: would it not be possible for the sector to work with a single regulator, the OfS? If this cannot be the case, will she explain how the two regulators will work together with the sector to ensure they support,

“those they regulate to comply and grow”,

as the Regulators’ Code says? I beg to move.