The Higher Education and Research Bill has been passed as an act of parliament.
Described as the “most significant legislative reform of the sector for 25 years” by the Universities Minister, Jo Johnson, the legislation is designed to increase competition and choice in higher education and provide stability with a new regulatory framework.
A new Office for Students will be introduced as the regulator for English higher education.
The Act also contains major changes to the structure of the UK-wide research system aiming to raise standards in research and innovation.
Plans in the original Bill to link university fees to the quality of teaching (the Teaching Excellence Framework) have been delayed to 2020 at the earliest.