During the Consideration of Amendments stage of the Higher Education and Research Bill, Roberta was able to make some final comments on the Bill.
As Parliament dissolves this week, the final stages of the Bill had to be resolved quickly in order to ensure that the Bill was not dropped entirely, so while there was not much time for a full debate to take place, Roberta was still able to challenge the Minister on aspects of the Bill before it concluded.
Roberta was a member of the Public Bill Committee on this Bill, and therefore was actively involved in scrutinising and amending this Bill whilst it progressed through the House of Commons. As she is currently the Chair of the All Party Parliamentary University Group, a former University lecture and also has a leading university within her constituency, she has a real understanding of how this legislation will affect students, staff and universities as a whole, and did what she could to ensure that this bill was not detrimental to our world-leading Higher Education sector.
Roberta took this opportunity to ask the Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation further questions about the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF), particularly regarding how this framework will be reviewed in the future.
Later in the debate, she also pointed out that it would have been more reassuring had the Minister given clear indication that he would act on the outcome of any future review on the TEF, and “not simply ignore it” stating that this “could happen in the future.”
In addition, Roberta also challenged the Government on their replacement amendment on the issue of what defines a university. She called the Government’s proposed amendment “a watering down” of the amendment made in the House of Lords on this issue and suggested that this will need to be monitored in the future so that it “adequately protects university title.”
If you want more information about this debate, you can find a copy of the transcript here.