Office for Students: Standards

Department for Education written question – answered on 28th April 2021.

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Photo of Lord Moylan Lord Moylan Conservative

To ask Her Majesty's Government what steps the Office for Students (OfS) has taken since the Secretary of State for Education wrote to it on 8 February stating that “the OfS should not hesitate to use the full range of its powers and sanctions where quality of provision is not high enough”.

Photo of Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord Parkinson of Whitley Bay Lord in Waiting (HM Household) (Whip)

We want all higher education students, regardless of their background, to benefit from high quality, world-leading higher education. The letter of 8 February from my right hon. Friend, the Secretary of State for Education, sets out guidance to the Office for Students as the regulator for higher education, and strategic priorities for the next year and beyond. One of our highest priorities and an important manifesto commitment is to drive up quality and standards in higher education, which is a fundamental part of the levelling up agenda.

The letter of 8 February supports the Office for Students’s consultation on regulating quality and standards, which aims to introduce a more rigorous and effective quality regime and to raise the bar on quality and standards in higher education. The Office for Students has concluded the first stage of its consultation. The Office for Students will shortly consult on the detail of how the quality and standards framework will work, including on how it will identify and take action against poor quality provision.

The government has made it clear that we expect the Office for Students to make rapid progress to ensure that an enhanced regulatory regime is in place, supported by effective and meaningful enforcement action, as soon as possible.

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