The Office for Students (OfS) has responded to measures on higher education announced today by the Department for Education.
Commenting on the Government’s interim response to the post-18 review of education and funding, Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the Office for Students, said:
‘An increased focus on lifelong learning will help develop the highly skilled graduate workforce needed to support our economy, nationally, regionally and locally. The OfS plans to work with students, the sector and employers to explore how higher education can be made more attractive and responsive to mature learners, and ensure that mature students are aware of the breadth of options available to them, in both further and higher education.
‘The focus on quality, and the need to tackle poor quality provision, is a strategic priority for the OfS as we consult on new proposals to enable us to anticipate and respond to poor quality, while ensuring that our approach is proportionate and targeted where it is needed.’
On DfE’s statutory guidance for the OfS’s approach to funding, she said:
‘Distributing funding is an important part of our regulatory work. Our annual grant funding for universities and colleges plays a critical role in ensuring the availability to students of high quality, cost-effective higher education across the country. We intend to consult on the Government’s proposed changes to how we distribute this funding and have written today to universities outlining our proposals for consultations and a revised schedule for distributing next year’s grant allocations.’
'Students invest a significant amount of time and money in higher education and should expect a high quality academic experience. The Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) plays an important role in driving up the quality of provision in universities and colleges – we welcome the publication of Dame Shirley Pearce’s review and the recommendations she has identified for developing the scheme further.
'We are committed to raising the bar on quality and standards across the English higher education system. As we refine our overall approach to regulation, the TEF will continue to incentivise improvement in areas that students care deeply about: the quality of teaching and learning, and how well their courses set them up for success after their studies.
'We will develop proposals on how best to take forward the independent review recommendations and the government response to these, as well as evidence from our own subject-level pilots. We expect to consult on proposals for the future TEF in the spring, aligned to more detailed proposals on how we regulate quality and standards through conditions of registration.'
- In our letter to universities today we have also outlined the next steps for the TEF. We expect to consult on proposals for the future TEF in the spring, aligned to more detailed proposals on baseline quality regulation.
- We are today publishing the findings of the TEF subject-level pilots, which will also help inform the future approach. See the findings report