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Scottish government pledges to amend university governance bill

The Scottish government has outlined plans to minimise the risk of universities losing their charitable status ahead of a parliamentary debate on 14 January.

The plan was set out in the government’s response to the Scottish parliament’s Education and Culture Committee’s report on the higher education (governance) bill.

In the response, published on 11 January, the government said that its aim is not to increase ministerial control over universities, reiterating that it is aware that universities are autonomous bodies. The government said it would reduce some of the proposed ministerial regulation-making powers, which should go some way to addressing university leaders’ concerns. They had previously said that the bill could lead to the Office for National Statistics reclassifying universities as public entities, which would put their philanthropic donations at risk.

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