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Post-Legislative Scrutiny of the Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015

The National Assembly’s Children, Young People and Education Committee is conducting short and focussed post-legislative scrutiny of the Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015.

The Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015 was intended to:

(a)  “ensure robust and proportionate regulation of institutions in Wales whose courses are supported by Welsh Government backed higher education grants and loans;

(b)  safeguard the contribution made to the public good arising from the Welsh Government’s financial subsidy of higher education;

(c)  maintain a strong focus on fair access to higher education; and

(d)  preserve and protect the institutional autonomy and academic freedom of universities.”

The Committee is mindful that work on the Welsh Government’s proposed Post-compulsory Education, Training and Research (PCETR) reforms are well-advanced.

It is keen therefore to understand how well the 2015 Act is working, and what lessons can be learned from the Act, before any new legislation is introduced.

To do this, the Committee will consider:

  • if the Act is achieving its aims, and if not why;
  • if the costings have been achieved, and if not why;
  • if the Act has achieved overall value for money;
  • how well the Act has been implemented and is working in practice, including any unintended consequences;
  • the outcomes from the Welsh Government’s formal reviews of the Act; and
  • any good practice and lessons learned from both the Act and its preparation (i.e. the process by which the Act was formulated, drafted, consulted on and so forth).

To note, the aim of this inquiry is not to re-open the policy debates that occurred during the passing of the Bill. The broad aim is instead to understand if the Act and its implementation has effectively and efficiently achieved the stated objectives, costings and intended impact.

Business type: Committee Inquiry

Reason considered: Assembly Business;

First published: 07/03/2019

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