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Union calls on peers to 'stand up for quality' by amending higher education bill

6 March 2017

In its latest briefing to peers, the union said that, while some of the amendments tabled by government in recent days were welcome, they did not address the most significant concerns raised by higher education staff. It said peers must intervene to ensure the UK's international reputation for excellence is not damaged by the government's zeal for reform.

UCU general secretary, Sally Hunt, said: 'We remain deeply concerned about plans to make it easier for new providers to enter the sector. History tells us that poorly regulated expansion leads to a worse deal for students, staff and the taxpayer.

'The government's plans for the Teaching Excellence Framework also miss their mark and won't provide a meaningful measure of quality. With international recruitment already faltering, it's vital that we don't let the government's reforming zeal damage the sector's international reputation. Peers have a clear opportunity to improve this bill and stand up for quality in our higher education system.'

UCU has called on peers to support amendments aimed at ensuring new providers have a successful track record of delivering higher education before awarding their own degrees. The union also wants to see changes to how information about teaching quality would be used, and a commitment to the collection of better data on how teaching staff are employed.