The Higher Education Commission have released a report calling for greater regulation in higher education, similiar to that exhibited in the banking sector and soon, the press.
The report by the commission, a cross-party group of MPs and representatives from business and academia, has warned that without proper regulation there is little to protect students from disreputable or ‘fly-by-night’ institutions. The report states “we are concerned that there is a growing unregulated sector of higher education that may be offering insufficient provision to students,”.
Lord Norton, a professor at Hull University and co-chair of the report, said: “We need to move now to protect higher education because we have this global reputation and if something goes wrong it becomes extraordinarily difficult to regain that reputation.”
The report calls for an insurance scheme to protect students from failing institutions, similar to the insurance scheme run by the Civil Aviation Authority. Current regulation has been called “piece-meal”, dictated by rules such as health and safety.
The commission also endorses a “lead” regulator, the ‘Council for Higher Education’, incorporating the Office for Student Loans and Office for Competition and Institutional Diversity.