The Politicisation of the Regulation of Higher Education in England

25th July 2022 : 14:00 - 15:00

Category: Seminar

Speaker: Charles Clarke, Former Secretary of State for Education and Skills; Paul Ashwin, Lancaster University; CHAIR: Claire Callender, IOE, UCL’s Faculty of Education and Society and Birkbeck

Location: Room 901, IOE, UCL's Faculty of Education and Society, 20 Bedford Way, London, WC1H 0AL

Audience: Public

A drinks reception will follow the seminar.

Note: This is an in-person seminar at IOEUCL’s Faculty of Education and Society. A recording will be made available afterwards on CGHE’s YouTube channel.

The Office for Students (OfS) is officially the independent regulator of higher education in England, which regulates higher education in the interests of all students. However, it has increasingly appeared to be regulating in the interests of the government by following the agenda set by government ministers. This is in stark contrast to the arms-length approach previously taken by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) which the OfS replaced. This new politicised approach to regulation raises questions about the independence of the OfS, the extent to which the OfS is regulating in the interests of students, its expertise to make judgements about educational quality and the impact of its approach on the health of the English higher education system. In this seminar, we will explore these questions from our different perspectives as a former Education Minister (Charles Clarke) and as a higher education researcher (Paul Ashwin).

The event will be followed by a drinks reception.