Narrow oversight

May 17, 2012

In its consultation on the development of a "risk-based" approach to quality assurance, the Higher Education Funding Council for England asserts that the Further and Higher Education Act 1992 "requires" it "to make provision for the assessment of the quality of provision which we fund". This is not what the relevant part (section 70) actually says.

What it says is that Hefce and the other funding councils are legally obliged to "secure that provision is made for assessing the quality of education (my emphasis) provided in institutions for whose activities they provide, or are considering providing, financial support".

Under the Act, Hefce must assess the quality of education in any institution to which it gives financial support. But in the consultation paper, this legal obligation has apparently been narrowed to the assessment only of taxpayer-funded "provision". Can we assume, therefore, that Hefce now agrees that where it does not actually fund "provision", it is not obliged to assess its quality, even though the "provision" may be offered within the portals of a Hefce-funded establishment?

Geoffrey Alderman, University of Buckingham.

You've reached your article limit.

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 3 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Most Commented

James Fryer illustration (27 July 2017)

It is not Luddism to be cautious about destroying an academic publishing industry that has served us well, says Marilyn Deegan

Jeffrey Beall, associate professor and librarian at the University of Colorado Denver

Creator of controversial predatory journals blacklist says some peers are failing to warn of dangers of disreputable publishers

Hand squeezing stress ball
Working 55 hours per week, the loss of research periods, slashed pensions, increased bureaucracy, tiny budgets and declining standards have finally forced Michael Edwards out
Kayaker and jet skiiers

Nazima Kadir’s social circle reveals a range of alternative careers for would-be scholars, and often with better rewards than academia

hole in ground

‘Drastic action’ required to fix multibillion-pound shortfall in Universities Superannuation Scheme, expert warns