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Educated risk

Now is the time to introduce a higher education bill to protect both students and standards, writes Roger King.

The recent election of a Conservative government means the introduction of a much-delayed higher education bill, supposedly vetoed by the Liberal Democrats, might finally happen.

It certainly should. By introducing market reforms in England without the necessary enhanced regulation underpinned by legislation, the coalition government has left a potentially hazardous situation for universities and their governance. A recent report from the Competition and Markets Authority pointed to the mismatch between the newly competitive and diverse higher education landscape and a lagging, not-fit-for-purpose regulatory framework. The report also highlighted inadequate arrangements for protecting students in the event of a course or institution closing and raised concerns about the lack of a regulatory level playing field for the different types of institutions.

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