News: Higher Education Bill update

Category: Research news

3 May 2017

After its long and sometimes turbulant journey through Parliament, the Higher Education Bill has finally been approved by both Houses, with its requisite amendments, and will soon become law.

The impact of the Bill will not be seen for some time, but will establish the Office for Students (OfS), UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), and the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

The OfS will gain powers to determine university status for a given institution - defining which bodies may award degrees. The TEF will be a counterpoint to the Research Excellence Framework (REF), intended to provide information on the quality of teaching available at an institution.

Of most relevance to this blog is the creation of UKRI, changing the funding landscape of the UK significantly. This body will become the organisation responsible for dividing the UK's research budget. The existing Research Councils will each be part of UKRI, as will Innovate UK and HEFCE. A single chief executive (Sir Mark Walport) will lead UKRI initially, and establish its position in research and innovation funding.


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