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Higher Education

Question for Department for Education

UIN 48210, tabled on 13 September 2021

To ask the Secretary of State for Education, if he will introduce a statutory baseline for the number of hours higher education providers must provide face-to-face tuition in an academic year.

Answered on

21 September 2021

We do not intend to introduce a statutory baseline of contact hours.

English higher education (HE) providers are autonomous institutions, which means that they have the freedom to determine the way their courses are taught, supervised, and assessed. It is a matter for individual providers to ensure that all students have the support they need to succeed and benefit from their HE experience.

However, all registered providers must continue to meet the Office for Students (OfS) registration conditions in relation to the quality of HE. These registration conditions make clear the need to ensure that courses are high-quality, and that students are properly supported to achieve good outcomes.

The government has now lifted the restrictions on in-person teaching and providers are therefore able to shape their courses without restrictions on face-to-face learning. HE providers should therefore not be planning to restrict teaching based on COVID-19 restrictions. We expect all universities to continue to deliver excellent learning, in line with guidance from the OfS, and that they should provide students with a full experience.