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Universities: Industrial Disputes

Question for Department for Education

UIN 21389, tabled on 26 February 2020

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, what assessment his Department has made of the potential effect of the Higher Education (Higher Amount) (England) Regulations 2010 on industrial action at universities in England.

Answered on

5 March 2020

There are currently two industrial disputes affecting higher education in England. The Universities Superannuation Scheme pension dispute relates to the scheme valuation, costs and governance. The second dispute is about pay, gender and racial pay gaps as well as contracts and working conditions. Universities are independent institutions and are responsible for their own decisions on pay, employment contracts and pension provision.

Government has made no specific assessment of the potential effect of the Higher Education (Higher Amount) (England) Regulations 2010 on these disputes. Those regulations prescribed the higher amounts of tuition fees for courses starting on or after 1 September 2012. Following the passage of the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, fee limits for prescribed courses are now provided for in the Higher Education (Fee Limits and Fee Limit Condition) (England) Regulations 2018 and the Higher Education (Fee Limits for Accelerated Courses) (England) Regulations 2019 (in those regulations where the first academic year began on or after 1 August 2019).