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New regulator for higher education comes into force

Checklist 2 146x219A new regulator for higher education, The Office for Students (OfS), has legally come into force from the beginning of this month.

The Department for Education said the OfS was “designed to champion the interests of students, promote choice and help to ensure that students are receiving a good deal for their investment”. It will also hold universities to account over issues such as vice chancellor pay and free speech, the DfE added.

Education Secretary Justine Greening also announced the final six appointments to the OfS’ 15-strong Board. These are intended to ensure the interests of employers and students are represented by the new body.

The OfS replaces the Higher Education Funding Council for England as the main regulator of higher education. This follows implementation of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017.

Education Secretary Justine Greening said: “The higher education sector is one of our nation’s greatest assets, and the OfS will play a vital role in ensuring our universities retain their world-class reputation for years to come.

“I welcome the new OfS board members to their important new roles. Their experience and skill will be key in ensuring the OfS achieves its ambitions.”

Minister for Universities Jo Johnson said: “The OfS will introduce a truly modern approach to regulation – one that will further enhance the reputation of our university sector.

“I welcome today’s appointments, and I am confident that the OfS has a board that will champion choice and competition, and put the interests of students at the heart of regulation.”

Newly appointed board members to take up their posts in January 2018 include:

  • Simon Levine: Managing Partner and Co-Global Chief Executive Officer of global law firm DLA Piper.
  • Toby Young: Co-founder of the West London Free School, and a director the New Schools Network.
  • Elizabeth Fagan: Senior Vice President, Managing Director of Boots.
  • Katja Hall: Partner at Chairman Mentors International, previously she was Group Head of External Affairs and Sustainability at HSBC.
  • Monisha Shah: Chair of Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance. She is also a member of the Committee on Standards in Public Life.
  • Ruth Carlson: a current student at Surrey University, where she is a Student Ambassador for civil engineering.

These six board members will join those that have already been announced to form the full OfS Board of 15 members.

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