Priorities, Objectives and Duties
In his first public address as the incoming Chair of the Office for Students (OfS), Sir Michael Barber, offered some early indications of the expected focus and operation of the new organisation.
The five priorities identified were:
- stewardship of the landscape - the regulatory framework
- engines of opportunity - access, success and progression
- inspiring teaching - the teaching excellence framework
- twenty-first century economic growth - employability and the industrial strategy
- seamless transition - setting up the new regulator
You can view the link to Sir Michael Barber's speech here.
Objectives and Duties
- Duties to promote choice and opportunities for students, encourage competition as a means of promoting the student interest, promoting value for money in the provision of higher education and driving equality of opportunity in connection to access and participation in higher education.
- The OfS will have powers to operate a single entry gateway supported by a risk-based regulatory framework for all providers that imposes and monitors regulatory requirements as a condition of registration, including quality assurance and teaching excellence, widening participation, data and information, and the financial sustainability, management and governance of providers.
- It will have powers to impose compliance measures on providers not meeting regulatory requirements. This would include powers to increase monitoring, issue notices and take proportionate action to support improvement, and ultimately, if required, impose monetary penalties or de-register providers. This will provide the OfS with effective measures to regulate the whole sector, replacing the current piecemeal regulation tied to government grant and designation.
- The OfS will also have responsibility for determining the allocation of teaching grant funding to eligible providers in accordance with ministerial priorities and the power to make grant payments. This would include the funding of activities that support widening participation, alongside those delivered through access and participation plans.
Department of Education, Office for Students Board