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MSPs condemn ‘incompetent’ handling of governance bill

Education minister grilled over proposed amendments.

The Scottish government is “crystal clear” that it will remove the provisions in the higher education governance bill that may risk in reclassification of universities as public sector bodies by the Office for National Statistics, Angela Constance told MSPs today.

Speaking in a parliamentary debate on stage 1 of the higher education governance bill, the education secretary said that the provisions allowing for ministerial control over universities would be removed. She noted that this was in spite of the fact that government analysis suggested there was “no risk” of reclassification, given that the bill did not require universities to ask government for permission to conduct any of their day-to-day business.

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