Numerous conversations about the HERB last week at the British Universities Finance Directors Group conference in Bath. Many predicted that the Bill may have to be tweaked, but what will the impact be of an early election?
Nick Hillman has set out some informed views in THE today.
The basic rationale for the Higher Education and Research Bill remains. A new legal framework is necessary to bring the regulation of higher education in line with the funding arrangements introduced in 2012. That remains true, but the forthcoming general election nonetheless represents the single biggest threat to the bill since it was first introduced. When an election is called, there are discussions between the government and opposition whips on what can be passed quickly and what needs to be junked. I still suspect the bill will pass in some form, but its more controversial aspects, including some of the features of the teaching excellence framework, could turn to dust – at least for now.