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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 6:00 pm on 25th January 2017.

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Photo of Lord Adonis Lord Adonis Labour 6:00 pm, 25th January 2017

I observe that a whole section of Schedule 1 relating to the Office for Students concerns committees. Paragraph 8(1) states:

“The OfS may establish committees, and any committee so established may establish sub-committees”.

This appears to be a power without limitation. The noble Baroness not only can have her committee on new providers; she can have a range of sub-committees as well. We could spawn a whole bureaucracy around the provision of new providers. One hopes that, at the end of it, we will actually get some new providers and not just committees. In one of the many letters she is sending us, I wonder if the Minister could confirm that, under that power, it would be perfectly possible for the OfS to establish a committee for the purposes that the noble Baroness and the noble Viscount have in mind.