Russell Group response to new regulatory condition announced by the Office for Students

03 July 2020

In response to the new regulatory condition announced by the Office for Students (OfS) today, Dr. Tim Bradshaw, Chief Executive of the Russell Group, said:

"The OfS has responded to concerns raised by us and others over the new regulatory condition placed on providers, including the need for a narrower scope, time-limited application and clarification on how it would be applied. The specific exclusion of measures used to help disadvantaged students such as contextual offers is welcome and important to our work on improving access.

"Despite this, we remain disappointed that the voluntary agreement on student intakes proposed by the sector itself has been taken forward as a broader student number control policy, and that the new OfS condition will be extended beyond this year to cover the 2020-21 admissions cycle.

"As the OfS itself notes, since the moratorium on unconditional offers the regulator has not seen any significant conduct from providers that would fall within the scope of the new condition. Ultimately we would not expect any substantive enforcement of the voluntary agreement to be needed by either the DfE or the OfS."

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