Office for Students

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Group.png Office for Students   WebsiteRdf-icon.png
Predecessor• HEFCE
• Universities Funding Council
• Polytechnics and Colleges Funding Council
• (1988–92)
TypeNon-departmental public body

The Office for Students (OfS) will be the government-approved regulatory and competition authority for the higher education sector in England from 1 April 2018.[1]

Evolution

The OfS was initially established by the Higher Education and Research Act 2017. It will merge the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and the Office for Fair Access (OFFA), and will formally inherit their responsibilities while putting 'the student interest at its heart'[2] and having 'a wider remit ... taking charge of the granting of degree awarding powers and university title.'[3] The OfS will inherit HEFCE's funding responsibilities (aside from those for research which will pass to United Kingdom Research and Innovation (UKRI), and OFFA's responsibility for promoting fair access to higher education. Its other functions will include the administration of the Teaching Excellence Framework and the Register of Higher Education Providers. It will be responsible both for administering the Prevent duty and for ensuring that universities allow freedom of speech for controversial guest speakers.[4]

Leadership

Michael Barber was appointed as Chair in February 2017.[5] In July 2017, it was announced that Universities UK Chief Executive Nicola Dandridge would take up the role of Chief Executive. They both will serve on the OfS board. The board, as of January 2018, consists additionally of:[6]

  • Simon Levine, CEO of DLA Piper
  • Toby Young, journalist (resigned 9 January 2018)
  • Elizabeth Fagan, managing director of Boots
  • Katja Hall, formerly of HSBC
  • Monisha Shah, chair of Rose Bruford College
  • Ruth Carlson, student
  • Martin Coleman (deputy chair), formerly Norton Rose Fulbright
  • Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation, formerly HEFCE
  • Gurpreet Dehal, formerly Credit Suisse
  • Kate Lander, Eukleia Training
  • Carl Lygo, former vice-chancellor of private university BPP University - Part of the Apollo Global Education Network
  • David Palfreyman, Director of the Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies
  • Steve West, vice-chancellor of University of the West of England, Bristol (UWE)

Controversy

Toby Young's appointment in particular, announced on 1 January 2018, generated controversy over his suitability for the post.[7] On 9 January 2018, he resigned from the OfS board after more than 200,000 people signed a petition calling for him to go.[8]


References

  1. "Direct funding: Guidance for applying for entry in 2018-19". 11 May 2017. Retrieved 22 November 2017.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
  2. "Nicola Dandridge named as first Chief Executive designate of the Office for Students". HEFCE. Retrieved 5 July 2017.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
  3. "Higher education bill seeks powerful Office for Students"
  4. Thomson, Alice; Sylvester, Rachel; Woolcock, Nicola (19 October 2017), Universities told to guarantee free speech, The Times, retrieved 24 October 2017Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
  5. "Preferred candidate for Chair of Office for Students announced". 7 February 2017. Retrieved 8 July 2017.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
  6. "New universities regulator comes into force - GOV.UK". www.gov.uk. Retrieved 2018-01-02.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
  7. "Doubts cast on DfE claims of Toby Young's qualifications for watchdog job". 3 January 2018. Retrieved 3 January 2018.Page Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css must have content model "Sanitized CSS" for TemplateStyles (current model is "plain text").
  8. "Toby Young's past has caught up with him"
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