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Scotland’s universities fear loss of research autonomy through education bill

Universities in Scotland are protesting against their government’s plans to award itself powers to intervene in their management—with some warning the proposals could have dire consequences for research.

The plans have been set out in the Post-16 Education (Scotland) Bill, which is making its way through the Scottish Parliament. The bill introduces powers for ministers to ensure that institutions comply with rules on governance, management and widening access. “The Scottish ministers may…impose a condition that the [Scottish Funding Council] must…require the institution to comply with any principles of governance or management which appear to the Scottish ministers to constitute good practice,” reads one clause.

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