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The week in Westminster

The government has briefed peers on the higher education and research bill ahead of its second reading in the Lords.

More than 50 speakers are lined up to debate the principles underpinning the legislation on 6 December. Expect to hear robust criticism of the government’s plans, particularly from cross-benchers and Labour peers.

Meanwhile Robin Walker, the minister in charge of higher eduction in the Department for Exiting the European Union, told MPs that he has taken evidence from a number of organisations including Universities UK, the royal academies and the Russell Group on the implications of EU withdrawal for universities, in oral answers to questions on 1 December. He also singled out the universities of Reading, Strathclyde, Swansea and Ulster as individual institutions he had met, presumably each acting as representative for its home nation. "The sector strongly supports our ambition to create an environment in which the UK as a whole can continue to be a world leader in research, science and the tertiary education sector," he said.

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