The Third Convention for Higher Education is a key organsing focus for all those opposed to the Government's Higher Education and Reseach Bill. Despite the threats Higher Education faces from Brexit, and opposition from across the sector, the Government appears to be committed to pushing ahead with its disastrous Higher Education and Research Bill.
This can only be explained by the Government’s desire to expand the role of ‘alternative providers’ – i.e. private education companies – into the sector, which is clearly the Bill’s main purpose. To this end, quality assurance bodies and regulations will be abolished and the hurdle for attaining university status drastically lowered, allowing private firms – whether existing ones or new ones backed by venture capital – to receive government-backed fees and loans. Meanwhile, provisions are made for the ‘market exit’ of universities, either because they will be undercut as private firms cherry-pick cheap-to-provide courses and provide second-rate student experiences, or because private ventures will themselves collapse.
The Third Convention for Higher Education seeks to build upon the existing support for a publicly funded university sector to stop the damaging effects that will flow if the Higher Education and Research Bill becomes law.