Higher Education (Information) Bill (HC Bill 21)

A

BILL

TO

Require information to be made available to prospective undergraduate
students about what is provided to students for the tuition fees charged, how
tuition fee resources are expended and what is expected of students; to
establish transparency in how tuition fees are spent; and for connected
purposes.

Be it enacted by the Queen’s most Excellent Majesty, by and with the advice and
consent of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal, and Commons, in this present
Parliament assembled, and by the authority of the same, as follows:—

1 Provision of information for key information sets

(1) This section applies to any institution that—

(a) has provided a course of higher education at any time in the 12 months
preceding the reference date; and

(b) 5intends to provide a course of higher education at any time in the 12
months following the reference date.

(2) An institution falling under subsection (1) must provide a designated body
with institutional information and course information as specified in the
Schedule—

(a) 10by the reference date, so long as the institution is given at least 60 days’
notice of such date; and

(b) in any format that the designated body reasonably requires.

(3) The Secretary of State may, after public consultation, amend, add to or abolish
requirements for institutional information or course information specified in
15the Schedule by an order made by statutory instrument.

(4) An order under subsection (3) may only be made if laid before each House of
Parliament in draft and approved by resolution by each House.

Higher Education (Information) BillPage 2

2 Provision of guidance about key information sets

(1) The designated body may consult about, prepare and issue guidance as to how
the information in the Schedule should be prepared and provided by an
institution falling under section 1(1).

(2) 5The designated body may amend or substitute guidance issued under
subsection (1).

(3) The designated body may arrange for the publication of any guidance issued
under subsection (1) in such form and manner as it considers appropriate.

3 Designation of a responsible body

(1) 10The Secretary of State shall designate a body responsible for the duties in
sections 1 and 2 in relation to institutions in England.

(2) Welsh Ministers shall designate a body responsible for the duties in sections 1
and 2 in relation to institutions in Wales.

4 Publication by the designated body of key information sets

(1) 15The designated body must publish a key information set for each course of
higher education about which it receives information pursuant to section 1(2).

(2) A key information set published in accordance with subsection (1) must—

(a) contain the information in the Schedule as provided by the institution;

(b) contain any additional information obtained pursuant to subsection (3);

(c) 20be published in such a way that it is easily accessible and allows
comparison of key information sets for different courses of higher
education; and

(d) be updated on at least an annual basis, except where the institution is
no longer required to provide the information in the Schedule.

(3) 25Where an institution falling under section 1(1) is unable to provide information
as required by section 1(2), the designated body must take such steps as are
reasonable and proportionate in the circumstances to obtain that information
from alternative sources and publish it.

(4) Where the designated body has acted as required by subsection (3) it must
30accompany any such publication with a statement of the sources and
methodologies used as the case may be.

5 Definitions

(1) In this Act—

  • “designated body” means an organisation as designated by the Secretary
    35of State pursuant to section 3(1) and an organisation as designated by
    the Welsh Ministers pursuant to section 3(2);

  • “course of higher education” means any first degree course;

  • “reference date” means any date communicated to the governing body of
    an institution by the designated body for the purposes of section
    401(2)(a).

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6 Short title, commencement and extent

(1) This Act may be cited as the Higher Education (Information) Act 2016.

(2) The provisions of this Act shall come into force on such day as the Secretary of
State may appoint by order made by statutory instrument.

(3) 5An order under subsection (2) may appoint different days for different
purposes.

(4) This Act applies to England and Wales.

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Section 1

Schedule Information for inclusion in the key information set

1 “Institutional information” referred to in section 1(2) of this Act is the
following information in relation to all full-time or part-time courses of
5higher education that are intended to be provided by the institution in the 12
months following the reference date—

(a) the proportion of teaching staff who deliver undergraduate courses
who have a teaching qualification awarded by the Higher Education
Academy or equivalent;

(b) 10the amount the institution spends per undergraduate student per
year on academic services (such as library or information technology
services) and student services (such as careers advice or sporting
facilities);

(c) the proportion of additional fee income the institution spends on
15widening access to higher education for undergraduate students;

(d) the average annual cost of renting accommodation owned by the
institution and the number of accommodation units to which
undergraduate students can reasonably expect to have access;

(e) the average annual cost of private rental accommodation in the area
20in which the institution is situated; and

(f) the number of complaints made in the year prior to the reference date
by or on behalf of undergraduate students, prospective
undergraduate students or former undergraduate students and the
proportion of those students who were satisfied with the way the
25institution handled the complaint.

2 “Course information” referred to in section 1(2) of this Act is the following
information in relation to each full-time or part-time course of higher
education that is intended to be provided by the institution in the 12 months
following the reference date—

(a) 30the proportion of students who indicated as part of the National
Student Survey that—

(i) feedback provided as part of the course was prompt;

(ii) feedback provided as part of the course helped them clarify
things that they did not understand;

(b) 35the proportion of students who began the course two years prior to
the reference date who continued to participate in the same course,
or another course at the same institution, in their second year;

(c) the proportion of students who began the course two years prior to
the reference date who continued to participate in higher education
40at another institution in their second year;

(d) the destination of graduates who completed the course in the year
prior to the reference date, measured at the point six months after
completion, including the proportion who were—

(i) employed;

(ii) 45employed in a graduate level job;

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(iii) in further study; and

(iv) unemployed;

(e) average course fees (excluding fee waivers) per student per year;

(f) average additional costs (other than course fees) per student per
5year;

(g) the proportion of students who attended a work placement during
the course in the year prior to the reference date;

(h) the number of students that received a fee waiver or other award (in
cash or kind) in the year prior to the reference date, the average
10amount of that award, and the average household income of the
students who received an award;

(i) details of professional, statutory and regulatory bodies that
recognise the course, including details of the type of recognition;

(j) the average salary, as at December in the year prior to the reference
15date, of students who completed the course in or around July—

(i) one year prior to the reference date;

(ii) four years prior to the reference date; and

(iii) eight years prior to the reference date;

(k) the number of hours of teaching on the course that are delivered to
20small, medium and large groups of students respectively, and the
number of hours of private study time expected each week;

(l) the proportion of the assessment for the course that is comprised
of—

(i) coursework;

(ii) 25written examinations;

(iii) other methods of assessment;

(m) the proportion of teaching on the course that is provided by an
academic member of staff; and

(n) UCAS tariff scores for students studying the course one year prior to
30the reference date.