Regulator outlines significant cuts to bureaucracy

The Office for Students (OfS), the independent regulator for higher education in England, has set out measures to reduce unnecessary burden on universities and other higher education providers.

Plans set out today include a cut to registration fees, while the National Student Survey (NSS) will also be reviewed as part of plans to cut red tape on an ongoing basis.

Commenting, Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the OfS, said:

'The OfS recognises the difficulties facing all universities and colleges during this time. As a result we have decided to review our own efficiency, our objective being a reduction in registration fees paid by higher education providers registered with the OfS by 10 per cent in real terms over the next two years. We will do so in a way which continues to ensure that the interests of students are effectively and robustly protected.

'As part of this review, we expect the Quality Assurance Agency and the Higher Education Statistics Agency, as the two bodies designated under the Higher Education and Research Act, to deliver comparable reductions in the statutory fees they charge.

'We welcome the government’s guidance on other measures to reduce unnecessary burden. The OfS board will carefully consider this guidance and have regard to it when deciding any action to take in response.

'On the NSS, our review will seek to reduce any unnecessary bureaucracy, prevent any unintended consequences and gaming of the survey, whilst ensuring that the NSS stands the test of time as an important indicator of students’ opinions and experiences at every level.

'The OfS remains firmly committed to robust and proportionate regulation, in the interests of every student. Any changes we make to the implementation of our regulatory framework will ensure that maintaining quality and improving access and participation for the most disadvantaged students remain at the core of our mission.'

For more information please contact Richard Foord on 0117 931 7371 or email [email protected]

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