Westminster Higher Education Forum

Competition and regulation in England's higher education market - quality assurance, new providers and the impact of TEF

Thursday, 9th February 2017

Sixty One Whitehall, London SW1A 2ET


With a number of measures contained within the Higher Education and Research Bill being designed to further open England’s HE market up to new providers this conference will bring together key policymakers and stakeholders from across the HE sector to discuss the future shape of the market.

Delegates will discuss the likely impact of specific measures contained within the Bill such as liberalising access to the ‘university’ title and degree awarding powers as well as the requirement for all providers to submit a ‘student protection plan’ in preparation for a possible market exit.

Sessions will also examine trends in the market such as the growth of FE in HE and satellite campuses converting to independent full university status and also potential changes following the Bill such as a greater number of foreign-based providers entering the market - particularly if the UK were to leave the European single market - or groupings of FE colleges collaborating to assume their own awarding powers. Further topics for discussion will include whether the Teaching Excellence Framework will drive competition and the impact that removing the student number cap has had on the market.

Guest of Honour

Jenny Bradley

Assistant Director, Higher Education Market Reform, Department for Education

Guest of Honour

Jenny Bradley

Assistant Director, Higher Education Market Reform, Department for Education

Keynote Speakers

John Kirkpatrick

Senior Director, Research, Intelligence and Advocacy, Competition and Markets Authority

Ian Kimber

Director of Quality Development, QAA

Jacqui Brasted

Head of RAD Transition, HEFCE


Lord Triesman

Executive Director, Salamanca Group Merchant Bank and former Minister for Higher Education Quality


Sorana Vieru

Vice-President (Higher Education), NUS

John Widdowson

Principal, New College Durham and Past-President, Association of Colleges 2015/16

Mike Boxall

Higher and Further Education Consultant, PA Consulting

Alex Bols

Deputy Chief Executive, GuildHE

David Palfreyman

Bursar, New College and Director, Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies, University of Oxford

Gary Attle

Partner and Head of Education and Governance, Mills & Reeve

Professor Simon Jarvis

Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Regent’s University London