News story

Minister welcomes 'accountability revolution' in higher education

Sam Gyimah hails the establishment of the new Office for Students as the biggest shake-up to higher education in a generation.

Sam Gyimah

Universities Minister Sam Gyimah has called on the new universities regulator, the Office for Students (OfS), to put a “laser-like focus on students” at its inaugural conference today (28 February).

Speaking to leading figures from the Higher Education sector at the Queen Elizabeth II Centre, London, the Minister outlined the significant progress that has been made by the Government to establish the OfS.

At a time when the university sector is experiencing unprecedented levels of scrutiny, the Minister set out how the launch of the OfS signified “a new age – the age of the student”. He called on the sector to embrace this new era and made clear that he expects the OfS to put student interests at the centre of everything they do.

The conference marked the publication of the OfS new framework – a blueprint for higher education – and the biggest regulatory change in Higher Education in over a quarter of a century. The truly modern framework will ensure our world-class universities are able to rise to the challenges of the future.

In his speech, the Minister set out his vision for a successful higher education sector, including how universities must fulfil their vital civic duty in society by championing student interests and transforming their lives.

Speaking at the OfS conference today, Universities Minister Sam Gyimah said:

Since taking office I have visited universities around the country to talk to students and listen to their hopes and concerns.

What students have told me is that they value excellent teaching, high quality information and want a system that is responsive to their needs.

The new regulator will have real powers to deliver these goals. By putting students’ interests first, the OfS will play a key role in delivering an accountability revolution.

The Office for Students will replace HEFCE and OFFA as the single regulator for higher education in England. It will take up its regulatory role in April 2018.

The minister’s speech can be read in full here

The Secretary of State’s guidance to the Office for Students is available here

The new Regulatory Framework is available here

Published 28 February 2018