Go back

Legislation and laissez faire

Will higher education feature in the Queen's speech? asks Alison Goddard.

Parliament has returned and the government is drafting the contents of the Queen’s speech, which will outline government policies and the intended legislative programme for the new parliamentary season. The state opening of Parliament is scheduled for 27 May but will the queen announce a higher education bill? There are many voices arguing that she should, but politics is never that simple.

Votes on higher education legislation tend to be fractious and, with a majority of 12, the government may well steer away from it. Particularly since there are many more pressing and potentially divisive concerns, such as the EU referendum and the renewal of Trident. Moreover it need not introduce primary legislation in order to achieve many of the tweaks to higher education that are under consideration, such as freezing the repayment threshold at which graduates start to repay their student loans in England, which would then be eroded by inflation, or tinkering with the interest rates, repayment rates and write-off periods. Despite no higher education bill appearing in the most recent parliament, the wheels appear to have mostly remained attached. It may be that universities face another five years of muddling through.

This article is only available to Research Professional News subscribers or Pivot-RP users.

If you are a Research Professional News subscriber you can log in and view the article via this link

Pivot-RP users can log in and view the article via this link.