Submission to Higher Education Reform consultation

The Academy submitted evidence to the Green Paper on Higher Education reform, launched by the Minister for Universities and Science.

Status: Ongoing

In January 2016, the Academy submitted evidence to the Minister for Universities and Science, to inform his consultation on Higher Education reform. This consultation sought input on the proposals set out within the Green Paper, ‘Fulfilling our potential: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice’, and on the recent Nurse Review of the Research Councils.

These proposals set out substantial changes to the current research funding landscape, notably the uncoupling of HEFCE funding functions and the movement of Research Councils, and possible other funding bodies, under a new Research UK umbrella.

Our submission drew on the expertise of our Fellowship and set out our concerns that these major structural changes could introduce major disruption to a highly successful sector, and the need for ongoing consultation during this period of change to minimise any damage. We recognise the potential for fostering greater inter-disciplinary coordination and administrative savings through a new structure, but believe the balance of authority within any new umbrella organisation will need to protect the autonomy of the Research Councils.

The Academy will continue to engage across government and the wider sector as these proposals develop, with further clarification expected by summer 2016.

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