Higher Education mission groups call for inquiry into the Office for Students

16 January 2023

Alongside the Russell Group, HE mission groups including University Alliance, MillionPlus and GuildHE have joined forces to call for a parliamentary inquiry into the Office for Students. 

The four mission groups have written to Robin Walker MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee, urging him to launch an inquiry that will assess whether the regulator has succeeded in the role parliament has envisaged for it in the Higher Education Research Act (2017); whether it has the confidence of the sector in the way it carries out its regulator duties, how it has supported students and how it performs relative to standards set out in the Regulators' Code. 

Dr Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said:

"No one in the higher education sector disputes the need for, and importance of proportionate, evidence based regulation. However, as a sector we are becoming increasingly concerned at the levels of bureaucracy associated with the Office for Students and whether it is operating – or being allowed to operate - in a genuinely independent way.

“It has been five years since the OfS was established and the Government is preparing to give it new wide-ranging powers regarding freedom of speech, which have the potential to create huge amounts of unnecessary bureaucracy if not done right. 

“We believe it is the right time for an independent review of the organisation to give the sector and students confidence that it is working effectively and efficiently. We hope the Education Select Committee will consider this request as it prepares its priorities for the year ahead."

Read the letter in full below. 

Letter to Robin Walker MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee

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