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The HE Bill and the Future of Higher Education

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Cambridge UCU will host two talks and a discussion about the dramatic implications for UK Universities of the Higher Education and Research Bill currently going through the House of Lords.

ANDREW MCGETTIGAN will be talking about how the HE Bill aims to establish a new settlement for undergraduate provision in England. A breakdown of trust between the government (as funder) and universities (as providers) motivates the new emphasis on ‘information’ and ‘standards’ (as opposed to ‘quality’).

ANNE SHEPPARD , ‘The role of the Office for Students as regulator of a market in Higher Education’. Anne will discuss how the HE Bill assigns to the Office for Students roles previously allocated to HEFCE , the QAA and more, thus being given a great deal of power but also a set of potentially conflicting roles.


Andrew McGettigan is the author of The Great University Gamble: money, markets & the future of higher education (Pluto, 2013) and The Accounting and Budgeting of Student Loans (Higher Education Policy Institute, 2015). His writing on higher education has appeared in the Guardian, the Observer, London Review of Books, Times Higher Education, Research Fortnight, and Radical Philosophy. He blogs on higher education financing and policy at He is also the co-founder of the Fine Art Maths Centre at Central Saint Martins and teaches the history and philosophy of mathematics at City Literary Institute. He holds a doctorate from the Centre for Research in Modern European Philosophy (now at Kingston University).

Anne Sheppard is Professor of Ancient Philosophy at Royal Holloway, University of London. She has previously taught at the University of Oxford, the University of Durham and the Open University. She was Head of the Classics Department at Royal Holloway from 1996-99 and again from 2008-2011. From 2011-2015 she was an academic staff representative on the Council of Royal Holloway. She is a member of the Executive Committee of the Council for the Defence of British Universities.

This talk is part of the Cambridge UCU series.

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