Councils' responsibilities

July 30, 1999

It is not the case that the higher education funding councils "have a statutory responsibility to safeguard standards in higher education" ("Councils near deal", THES, July 23). The funding councils' statutory duty is to secure provision for the assessment of the quality of provision of those institutions they fund or are contemplating funding. This is not just semantics. Under existing legislation only institutions are responsible for safeguarding the standards of their awards: no one else has such a responsibility and no one else can do so.

Roger Brown Principal, Southampton Institute

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