The Office for Students (OfS) is today launching its strategy for 2022 to 2025.
The strategy confirms two main areas of focus for the OfS’s work: quality and standards, and equality of opportunity.
The OfS’s work on quality and standards aims to ensure that students receive a high quality academic experience which improves their knowledge and skills. Much provision in the English higher education sector is excellent – the focus of the OfS will be on challenging provision that falls short, and taking action as needed.
On access and participation work, the OfS will encourage higher education providers to work in partnership with schools to raise attainment.
These two areas of focus are mutually reinforcing, with effective regulation of quality helping to ensure that students from all backgrounds have the support they need to succeed in and beyond higher education.
Speaking ahead of the launch of the strategy at a Parliamentary event later today [Wednesday], Lord Wharton, Chair of the OfS, said:
‘Our new strategy sets out a clear plan of action to achieve our goal of ensuring all students, regardless of their background, have a quality education and achieve successful outcomes.
‘Over the next three years we will take action to challenge universities and colleges offering students poor academic experiences. Courses that fall below our minimum requirements damage the quality of English higher education and harm the prospects of students from all backgrounds.
‘This new strategy will guide how the OfS will regulate in students’ interests over the next three years. Our focus on quality and equality of opportunity reflects the issues that are important to students, and which have the greatest impact on their experience. The strategy also sets out how we will support providers in their actions to address student mental health and prevent harassment and sexual misconduct.
‘We are committed to engaging with students as we deliver the strategy and will shortly be publishing refreshed student engagement priorities.’