Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills
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Lord Young welcomes report on improving regulation in higher education

Lord Young welcomes report on improving regulation in higher education

DEPARTMENT FOR INNOVATION, UNIVERSITIES AND SKILLS News Release (066/2008) issued by COI News Distribution Service. 24 October 2008

An independent report which makes recommendations to the Government on improving regulation and reducing bureaucracy in England's higher education sector was today welcomed by Lord Tony Young.

The Government has accepted the recommendations from the Higher Education Regulation Review Group (HERRG) which produced the report. The group's work on promoting better regulation within the higher education sector will now be taken forward by the sector itself.

Lord Young, the ministerial champion for better regulation in higher education, said:

"I'm very grateful for the Higher Education Regulation Review Group's efforts and for the significant improvements that its members have brought to cut unnecessary red tape in higher education.

"They have achieved their main objective to deliver systemic improvement to the way higher education in this country is regulated. Despite this success, the Government remains committed to working with our universities and colleges to ensure that regulation in the higher education continues to improve and all unnecessary bureaucracy is removed."

Steve Bundred, the chair of HERRG, said:

"There have now been six years of sustained effort to ease the burden of regulation on universities and concern about excessive or unduly intrusive regulatory requirements within the sector has now greatly diminished. The key bodies that regulate the sector have become signatories to the Higher Education Concordat promoted by HERRG, and appear fully committed to its principles. HERRG is proud of the contribution it has made to these substantial improvements in the regulation of universities and colleges"

"I am pleased HE sector itself is now taking clear ownership of arrangements for identifying and resolving new concerns about regulation that may arise in the future and will soon decide what those arrangements should be."

Steve Bundred has recommended that HERRG should not be reconstituted as it has accomplished what it was set out to do. Further progress will be made by universities and colleges working together under the leadership of Universities UK and Guild HE, working with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE).

Notes to editors

1. The Government's full response to Steve Bundred's report from HERRG, together with the report itself can be viewed at

2. HERRG was established by Ministers from the former Department for Education and Skills (DfES) in summer 2004. Members are drawn from the ranks of senior university managers under the independent chairmanship of Steve Bundred, Chief Executive of the Audit Commission. HERRG originally had a two year lifespan, but was extended for a further two years in 2006 with refreshed membership.

3. The HERRG had a mandate to review policies for their regulatory impact on Higher Education in England regardless of departmental origin, to explore existing areas of bureaucratic demand and to recommend ways of doing things better.

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