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Government launch HE green paper consultation

06 Nov 2015

Read CaSE’s initial response to the publication of the Higher Education Green paper, out today

The green paper on reforms to the higher education system proposes closing the Higher Education Funding Council for England, which administers the Research Excellence Framework (REF) and allocates Quality-Related research funding to English universities. The consultation also asks for views on how the REF could be improved. 

Included in the Higher Education reforms proposed in the paper is a new Teaching Excellence Framework. This will aim to measure the quality of teaching in universities through a range of proxy measures, such as graduate employment outcomes, and link fee increases to successfully demonstrating excellent teaching.

Responding to the announcement, CaSE Acting Director, Naomi Weir, said:

“The loss of HEFCE is a big change for the UK’s funding system, it has played a vital role in shaping our higher education sector. The Government must proceed with caution and continue to engage constructively with the research community. There is a high-risk of costly disruption and potentially-irrevocable damage to the science base from any rushed reorganisation of funding structures.

I’m pleased to see the Government underline its commitment to dual funding and the Haldane Principle, recognising these are key components of our research funding system that is rightly envied around the world.

High quality teaching is a non-negotiable if we’re to see science and engineering graduates, from all backgrounds, equipped for their future careers. The success of the Teaching Excellence Framework will rest on the quality of the proxy measures it uses. If done thoughtfully, it could be a means to drive improvements and give clearer information to students, but the devil is in the detail. We will look at the proposals carefully and respond to the consultation.”

The consultation on the proposals in the green paper closes on the 15th January 2016. CaSE will be responding.