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New inquiry launched looking at diversity in provision of higher education

New inquiry launched looking at diversity in provision of higher education

5th December 2016

New inquiry led by the Higher Education Commission will examine whether ‘challenger institutions’ offer a genuine choice to students

The Higher Education Commission launches its fifth inquiry, which aims to investigate innovation in alternative models of delivering Higher Education. This follows the highly prestigious From Bricks to Clicks inquiry report which investigated the potential of data analytics in HE and how providers could use data to better deliver education.

The six-month inquiry is chaired by Lord Norton of Louth and Professor Joy Carter, Vice Chancellor of the University of Winchester. The inquiry’s final report will be launched in June 2017 and will make a series of key recommendations designed to promote good practice within the sector. The Higher Education and Research Bill is currently making its way through the House of Lords and aims to introduce a new regulatory architecture which will relax regulations to allow high quality entrants to enter the market.

The Commission wants to investigate a broad spectrum of higher education institutions providing alternative models of provision which differ from the campus-based three year undergraduate course.

With the Higher Education and Research Bill set to instigate huge regulatory changes, it is important to consider whether the newer so-called ‘challenger institutions’ – who may offer alternative models of provision – are genuinely expanding the choice for students in the market. The inquiry will examine whether these institutions offer a distinct alternative and offer recommendations for cross-sector learning.

The Higher Education Commission will issue a call for evidence in the New Year, calling for insights from sector bodies, employers, and universities on the innovation taking place in institutions providing an alternative model of provision. We invite anyone who wishes to give evidence, please contact Pooja Kumari, Senior Researcher at Policy Connect on or 0207 202 8583.