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

Part of the debate – in the House of Lords at 9:45 pm on 25th January 2017.

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Photo of Baroness Brown of Cambridge Baroness Brown of Cambridge Crossbench 9:45 pm, 25th January 2017

My Lords, noble Lords will be glad to hear that I will move Amendment 470 in my name and that of my noble friend Lady Wolf as quickly as possible. This is a probing amendment with a simple purpose. We have many distinguished research institutions with long track records of PhD students receiving excellent support. However, some of these institutions are not able to award their own research degrees but have to do this through university collaborators. Examples, I believe, include the John Innes Centre and Rothamsted Research for plant sciences, and Pirbright Institute and the Moredun Institute for animal diseases.

The purpose of the amendment is to ask the Minister to think about whether there is an appropriate route to offer these institutions a path to research-degree awarding powers, should they wish to obtain them. There is a very strong focus in the Bill, understandably, on what is required for new institutions to get taught-degree awarding powers. These institutions come into a very different category. They are typically smaller and with smaller numbers of research students. Will the Minister be happy to think about whether there is an appropriate route to research-degree awarding powers for these institutions? I look forward to hearing the Minister’s thoughts. I beg to move.