Higher education

This page highlights some of the current parliamentary material available on higher education. This includes select committee reports, briefing papers on current legislation and other subjects produced by the parliamentary research services, and the latest Early Day Motions put down by MPs.

Commons Briefing Papers

DateDescription
19.05.2016Higher Education White Paper Success as a Knowledge Economy
In November 2015 the government published a Green Paper Fulfilling our Potential: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice which outlined proposals to reshape the HE landscape, raise standards and increase competition in the sector. The White Paper echoes the proposals in the Green Paper and proposes creating: a single route into the HE sector, the Teaching and Excellence Framework, the Office for Students and UK Research and Innovation.
10.05.2016Initial teacher training in England
This note outlines the current arrangements for the initial training of school teachers in England. It covers degree- and school-based training routes, and provides background on recent policy developments. It also outlines the qualification requirements for teachers in different types of schools, and proposals to replace the current QTS status with a new teacher accreditation.
03.05.2016Reform of support for healthcare students in England
This note explains the proposed changes to funding for students on NHS funded courses in England, that lead to professional registration as nurses, midwives, or other allied health professionals as announced in the Spending Review and Autumn Statement 2015. From September 2017 NHS bursaries which provide tuition fee funding, grants and living cost support, will be replaced by funding through the standard student support package of loans. The paper provides background to the proposals, data on nursing and midwifery students and gives reaction to the proposals.
13.04.2016Higher education finance statistics
How has the balance and make-up of university income and expenditure changed over time, particularly since 2012?
10.03.2016Special Educational Needs: support in England
This House of Commons Library briefing sets out the system of support for children and young people in England aged 0-25 with special educational needs (SEN). The briefing provides an overview of the new system introduced in 2014, the transitional arrangements, and how the new system differs from that which preceded it. It also includes a brief history of the movement towards reform that preceded the 2014 changes
09.03.2016Careers guidance in schools, colleges and universities (England)
This House of Commons Library briefing paper looks at the requirements on schools, colleges and universities in England to provide careers guidance, the quality of the advice provided, and also the organisations working to provide careers advice.
22.02.2016Applicants and entrants to higher education: Social Indicators page
Brief snapshot of changes in applications and entrants to HE via UCAS
12.02.2016EU referendum: impact of an EU exit in key UK policy areas
This paper looks at the current situation in a range of policy areas and considers how it might change if the UK left the EU: would UK citizens benefit? This would depend on how the Government filled any policy gaps left by withdrawal.
01.02.2016Education expenditure: Social Indicators page
Trends in spending since the late 1970s and international comparisons. Updated to include spending figures published in Public Expenditure Statistical Analysis 2014 and Education at a Glance 2014
29.01.2016HE in England from 2012: Funding and finance
The Government raised the cap on tuition fees for new student to 9,000 in 2012/13 and cut most ongoing direct public funding for tuition in England. This shifted the balance of higher education funding further away from the state and further towards the individual who benefits. Students can take out publicly subsided student loans to pay these higher fees. There is uncertainty about the final size of this subsidy and the Government's estimate of it has increased considerably since the reforms were first announced. This also affects the size of any saving in public expenditure and the extent of the shift in costs from the state to the individual beneficiary.

Lords Library Notes

DateDescription
12.05.2016Queen's Speech 2016 Day 1: Business, Culture, Education, Health and Welfare
The House of Lords is due to debate the Queen's Speech over four days between 19 and 25 May 2016. This briefing is one of four prepared by the House of Lords Library to cover the themes of each day of debate.
23.11.2015Freedom of Speech in Higher Education Institutions
This Library Note has been prepared to support the debate in the House of Lords on the protection of freedom of speech in universities on 26 November 2015.
16.07.2015Debate on the Budget Statement
This Library Note provides background information on the Budget Statement which was delivered by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, on 8 July 2015. The Note provides a brief overview of some of the key Budget measures, before outlining the immediate reaction to the statement as expressed by members of the House of Commons and by a selection of organisations and commentators. It has been written to support the debate in the House of Lords on this subject scheduled to take place on 21 July 2015.
09.06.2011Education Bill (HL Bill 67 of 2010-12)
This Library Note provides information for the second reading of the Education Bill in the House of Lords.

POSTnotes

DateDescription
19.10.2015Trends in ICT
This note looks at developments in information and communication technology (ICT) and their relevance for UK policy in the next five years. It examines the capability, use and economic impact of ICT; technical barriers; and implications for cybersecurity, privacy and internet governance.
08.03.2013STEM education for 14-19 year olds
This POSTnote reviews the current state of STEM education for 14-19 year olds in the UK, highlighting key challenges and ongoing policy reforms.
01.01.2007Strategic science, January 2007
Strategic science, January 2007. POSTnote 07/277.

Select Committee Reports

DateDescription
13.03.2012Modernisation of higher education in Europe.
European Union Select Committee (HL) report [Lords]
20.10.2011Student visas follow-up report.
Government response. Home Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
18.07.2011Student visas follow-up report.
Government response. Home Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]
11.05.2011Regulating financial sustainability in higher education.
Public Accounts Committee report [Commons]
15.03.2011Student visas.
Home Affairs Select Committee report [Commons]

Early Day Motions

DateDescription
15.12.2011MASTERS DEGREE IN SIGN LANGUAGE
That this House congratulates Heriot-Watt University on becoming the first in Scotland to offer a full-time MA in British Sign Language (BSL); notes with concern that there are only ...
30.11.2011STEVE ROBERTSON MBE
That this House expresses sadness at the death of Scottish comedy star Steve Robertson MBE; believes that he will be remembered with great affection as one-third of the Scotland The ...
28.11.2011EDWARD BAUER, THE RIGHT TO PROTEST AND FREEDOM OF SPEECH
That this House notes the Birmingham University Guild of Students is running disciplinary proceedings against Edward Bauer, the elected Sabbatical Vice President (Education) of the ...
10.10.2011PROPOSED MERGER OF SCOTTISH UNIVERSITIES
That this House condemns proposals put forward by the Scottish Government in Holyrood to force Scottish universities to merge and in so doing undermining their academic and administrative ...
27.06.2011FOR-PROFIT UNIVERSITIES
That this House is concerned by the possible expansion of for-profit providers in the higher education sector; is further concerned that the world-class teaching and research of the ...

Glossary

  • Commons Briefing Papers (CBP) Papers providing in-depth and impartial analysis on every major piece of primary legislation and on other topics of public and parliamentary concern. Regular statistics papers are also published.
  • Early Day Motions (EDMs) - formal motions submitted by MPs in the House of Commons
  • POSTnotes (POST PN) - proactive four-page policy briefings from the Parliamentary Office of Science and Technology based on reviews of the research literature, interviews with stakeholders and peer review, commissioned by the POST Board
  • Lords Library Notes (LLN) - authored publications by the research section of the House of Lords Library that provide analysis of Bills, subjects for debate in the House and other issues of interest to Members.
  • Select Committee Reports - papers produced by all select committees of both Houses