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University changes: Higher Education White Paper published

Draft higher education legislation has been set out in parliament on 16 May 2016.

The white paper, Success as a Knowledge Economy: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility & Student Choice, sets out Government policy for higher education and is expected to have a significant impact in the sector.

Key proposals are intended to:

  • Raise teaching standards (via the Teaching Excellence Framework).
  • Widen participation for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.
  • Make it easier to establish a new university through faster access to degree awarding powers and university title.
  • Ensure better value for money and employment prospects for students (via a new Office for Students).
  • Provide greater focus on graduate employability.
  • Reduce the regulatory burden on the sector.

Get an overview of the paper from the Government press release

Read the White Paper on GOV.UK

Next steps

Further news on this is expected in the Queen’s speech on Wednesday 18 May.

This week is also expected to see a technical consultation open on the planned teaching excellence framework.

The University will review the requirements and implications of the white paper in conjunction with key sector bodies.

Sector commentary

A number of sector bodies and publications have already provided commentary and analysis on the white paper:

Follow the latest commentary on Twitter


This white paper follows on from the green paper published in November 2015. The University invited feedback on the green paper from staff and students through an online consultation, as well as working with the Students’ Union, heads of department and Senate and its committees to inform our response.

Read our response to the green paper