Office for Students

Labour would end free market in higher education, says Rayner | Education

A Labour government would end the “failed free-market experiment in higher education”, taking a tougher line on vice-chancellors’ pay and improving academic diversity, the shadow education secretary is set to announce. Angela Rayner will outline a series of major policy steps that would allow regulators to intervene in how universities in England are run, including how they recruit and reward staff. Speaking to the University and College Union (UCU) conference on Saturday, Rayner will say: “The Tories’ obsession with free-market…

Read More

English university given £900k emergency loan by regulator | Education

A university received a £900,000 emergency loan from the higher education regulator in England this year, it has been revealed, in a move that calls into question claims by the regulator that it would not bail out struggling institutions. The unnamed university, described only as a “small, modern institution”, was reported by the BBC to have received the emergency loan from the Office for Students (OfS), which this year took over responsibility for regulating England’s higher education sector. “Over the…

Read More

Reading University in crisis amid questions over £121m land sales | Education

A major British university is in a financial and governance crisis, having reported itself to regulators over a £121m loan. The University of Reading has confirmed to the Guardian that it is investigating whether it improperly benefited from the sale of land belonging to the National Institute for Research in Dairying trust, with the £121m from the sales having been spent by the university and replaced with the equivalent of IOUs in the trust’s accounts. The university said it had…

Read More

Universities could lose league table positions for diversity failures | Education

Universities’ prized league table positions may be under threat if they fail to tackle ethnic disparities among students, and in staff recruitment and research, as part of an initiative announced by the government. The effort to “explain or change” ethnic disparities is the latest official attempt to help underrepresented groups enter and succeed in higher education in England, backed by the Cabinet Office and the Department for Education. The announcement by David Lidington, the Cabinet Office minister, calls for league…

Read More

Universities ‘pressure-selling’ place offers to school-leavers | Education

Universities in England making “indiscriminate” unconditional offers to potential students may fall foul of consumer legislation against “pressure selling”, the sector’s regulator warned as it launched a consultation on admissions. The Office for Students (OfS) said it was particularly concerned at the growth of so-called “conditional unconditional offers” in recent years, which see universities giving students guaranteed places only if they name that university as their first choice. “So-called pressure selling tactics – for example, applying psychological pressure, or creating…

Read More