MPs have made learning and teaching quality the main thrust of a Commons inquiry into higher education.
The education select committee has identified nine areas of major interest for their inquiry, which starts early in the new year.
The starting point is the quality of the student experience after ten years of progress in developing a mass higher education system. But members are keen that the inquiry does not turn into another Dearing investigation.
They will attempt to define quality in teaching and learning, investigate the work of the Quality Assurance Agency, look at the effects of increased participation on quality and the balance between teaching and research in universities.
The inquiry will also look at the role of the funding councils, distance and flexible learning, student loans and tuition fees, and the accountability of universities.
Written evidence is invited by January 17. Oral evidence will also be taken and a programme of sessions will be announced in the new year.