Nick Hillman, Director of the Higher Education Policy Institute, said:
‘Today has proved yet again that Jo Johnson is on course to transform our higher education system. We have needed a new legal framework ever since £9,000 fees came in, but this hasn’t stopped some strong opposition against his plans. After the referendum and then again when the legislation reached the House of Lords, a cacophony of voices called for him to withdraw the Bill.
‘Today’s weighty amendments strengthen, clarify and improve the Bill in all sorts of ways. The House of Lords have done their job. But it would be wrong to see the latest changes as a u-turn because the Government’s main objectives, such as a new Office for Students and the Teaching Excellence Framework, were never really in doubt and are now even more secure.
‘Despite the progress being made, the process of reform does need to continue. The new incentives for offering two-year degrees may need to be matched by more new support for part-time study. We still need to legislate for a better regime for recouping student loans from those who move abroad. The red carpet that the Government should be rolling out for International students remains tightly rolled up.’