Amendment 26

Part of Higher Education (Freedom of Speech) Bill - Report – in the House of Lords at 7:45 pm on 7 December 2022.

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Photo of Baroness Barran Baroness Barran The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Education 7:45, 7 December 2022

My Lords, I will address this group of amendments relating to overseas funding and the application of the reporting requirements to the regulator. Amendment 26, tabled in the name of the noble Lord, Lord Collins of Highbury, seeks to ensure that it is the governing body of a constituent institution rather than their registered provider that must report information required under Clause 9 to the Office for Students. This is rather complex, in that the duty of the OfS in Clause 9 is to be exercised via the existing regulatory regime for registered higher education providers. The OfS already has the power to obtain information from providers.

New subsection (4), which is the subject of this amendment, refers to Section 8(1)(b) of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. This requires that there is a condition of registration under which the governing body of a provider must supply the OfS with information for the purposes of the performance of the OfS’s functions as the OfS may require. This is achieved by registration condition F3, as described in the OfS’s regulatory framework, which applies to providers and not to constituent institutions.

The approach in proposed new Section 69D of the 2017 Act is that the OfS may require the governing body of a provider to supply information about relevant funding received by the provider or “a connected person”. A connected person is defined in subsection (6) as including

“a constituent institution of the provider”.

The noble Baroness, Lady Royall, asked for clarification and I hope that that is clear. If it is not now, it may appear clearer in Hansard.