OFFICE for STUDENTS
The Higher Education and Research Act (HERA) 2017, received Royal Assent on 27th April 2017 and this legislation brought about the establishment of the Office for Students (OfS). The OfS was formally established on the 1st January 2018 and is the new regulator for higher education in England. The registration for all degree courses will fall within its remit and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will no longer exist. All of the Institute degree courses are required to be registered with the OfS by the 23rd April 2018. The OfS will have validating powers, degree awarding powers and the award of university title will move from the Privy Council to the OfS. The OfS will also manage the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).
The OfS will focus on delivering the four primary regulatory objectives set out below: All students from all backgrounds and with the ability and desire to undertake higher education:
1) Are supported to access, succeed in, and progress from, higher education.
2) Receive a high quality academic experience, and their interests are protected while they study or in the event of provider, campus or course closure.
3) Are able to progress into employment or further study, and their qualifications hold their value over time.
4) Receive value for money.
The OfS’s approach to regulation is to encourage informed student choice and institutional autonomy. It sees the dynamics of providers responding to informed choice as the best mechanism for driving quality and improvement.
The Secretary of State on the advice of the OfS has designated the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education to carry out the quality and standards assessment functions set out in HERA. The Institute welcomes the changes described above and seeks to be fully compliant with the new legislation.