Competition and regulation in higher education in England

The CMA has published recommendations to improve the regulatory framework for the undergraduate higher education (HE) sector in England.


Date Action
23 March 2015 Report on regulation in HE published
20 May 2014 Case opened

Letter from Alex Chisholm to Sajid Javid

16 June 2015: CMA Chief Executive, Alex Chisholm sent a letter to Sajid Javid, the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills about the CMA’s views on HE regulation.

Report on regulation in higher education

23 March 2015: The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) has published recommendations to the government. These recommendations aim to protect students whilst allowing the regulatory regime to support an increasingly diverse HE sector.

Case opened

20 May 2014: Following the Office of Fair Trading’s call for information on HE in England, the CMA has taken the recommendation made to ‘work with, and through, stakeholders to inform the design of a regulatory regime which can better contribute to maximising the potential benefits of choice and competition’.

Work has started to engage with the relevant stakeholders in the sector. The CMA will be holding a roundtable in October 2014 with a group comprising a sample of HE providers, trade associations and government bodies active in the sector; in order to discuss the regulatory differences applicable to different types of HE providers and their impact. The CMA expects to conclude the work by early 2015.

The CMA has also undertaken a consumer protection review of the HE sector in the UK. It has recently published advice for HE providers to help them comply with their consumer law obligations when dealing with undergraduate students and a guide for undergraduate students on their consumer law rights.


Team leader

Yael Shine (, 020 3738 6320)

Project director

Helen Fleming (, 020 3738 6442)

Senior responsible officer

John Kirkpatrick (, 020 3738 6256)

Published 24 June 2015