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In June 2011 the government published the white paper Higher Education: Students at the Heart of the System. The paper made various proposals to change the way higher education institutions were regulated. However the anticipated Higher Education Bill did not occur and since then various changes have been made to the regulation of the higher education sector without primary legislation; this use of administrative procedures to change the regulation of the higher education system has been criticised by some commentators.

On 11 July 2013 David Willetts the Minister for Universities and Science announced a package of eight reforms to HE regulation in a written statement, Higher Education Regulatory Reforms.

This note outlines the current regulatory system, discusses the white paper’s proposals and the ministerial statement and provides comment.

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