Office for Students criticised for lack of independence

A House of Lords committee in the United Kingdom has blasted the Office for Students for a lack of independence from government and for losing trust with “many of its providers”, writes Joshua Stein for FEWeek.

In a damning report, the House of Lords’ industry and regulators committee said the actions of the higher education regulator “often appear driven by the ebb and flow of short-term political priorities and media headlines”.

The Office for Students was set up in 2018 to be an independent body that reports to the Department for Education and parliament, with a brief to work with higher education providers to make sure that students succeed. It regulates more than 400 providers, including 153 colleges. But the committee’s report, published on 13 September following a six-month inquiry, said the regulator “is failing to deliver and does not command the trust or respect of either providers, or students, the very people whose interests it is supposed to defend”.
Full report on the FEWeek site