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‘Big is not best’: Peers take government to task over bill

The UK government’s higher education and research bill met sustained resistance during last night’s eight-hour debate in the House of Lords.

From 3.30pm to 11pm, a total of 68 peers, almost all with a connection to universities, took to the microphone to voice concerns. Most of these were centred on plans to separate teaching and research as well as concerns on the design of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) and the close alignment between knowledge and innovation.

The risks to university autonomy from the government’s plans, however, formed an over-arching theme mentioned by peers across all parties.

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