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Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships, and Higher Education to give evidence to Lords Office for Students inquiry

Friday 12 May 2023

The House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee will hear from Robert Halfon MP, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships, and Higher Education, as it concludes its inquiry into the Office for Students (OfS), the regulator of the higher education sector in England.

The session will run from 10.30am until 12 noon on Tuesday 16 May and can be followed live on Parliament TV or in person in Committee Room 3, Palace of Westminster.

Giving evidence will be:

  • Robert Halfon MP, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships, and Higher Education
  • Anne Spinali,Director of Higher Education Reform and Funding, Department for Education

Possible questions include:

  • What is the main purpose of the Office for Students? Did the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA) give the OfS a clear job to do?
  • To what extent do political priorities drive the OfS’ work, and will the Department confine itself to providing high-level strategic guidance in future, rather than directing the OfS’ operations in granular detail?
  • Is there a need for the OfS to rebuild trust with the sector?
  • To what extent is the OfS’ work driven by the input and priorities of students?
  • The OfS has proposed to increase its fees by 13% for the next academic year, increasing costs for providers. Does the Government accept that any fee increase will frustrate a sector whose main source of income has been frozen?
  • Is there a growing crisis in the finances of the higher education sector, and will the Government be taking action to address these concerns?
  • What has the Government done to provide clarity on its overall policy or strategy for the higher education sector?

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