This briefing supports Amendments 110, 112 and 117 to Clause 9, and Amendments 228 and 223 to Clause 31 of the Higher Education and Research Bill.
In the Commission’s view, the Higher Education and Research Bill does not adequately take account of the existing obligations placed on current higher education institutions (HEIs) by the Public Sector Equality Duty (PSED), imposed by Chapter 1 of Part 11 of the Equality Act 2010, and may undermine some of those obligations. As the body tasked by statute with promoting equality of opportunity and enforcing the PSED, this is of concern to the Commission. In particular:
- Requirements placed on HEIs by this Bill to publish equality data and to have participation plans overlap with, but differ from, obligations under the PSED. This risks creating confusion and duplication for HEI providers and regulators regarding how these requirements interrelate and the extent to which compliance with one does or does not constitute compliance with the other.
- While the Bill’s proposed requirements overlap significantly, their narrower and more specific focus is weaker than obligations under the PSED. This risks undermining compliance with the PSED.
Last updated: 10 Jan 2017