§ Helen Jones
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Employment what plans he has to ensure that higher education establishments review their arrangements for handling complaints from students.
§ Dr. Howells
Universities and colleges of higher education are independent, autonomous bodies responsible for their own academic and administrative affairs, including arrangements for handling complaints from students. The Government have no powers to intervene directly. However, the Department is discussing with higher education representative bodies the recommendation from the National Committee of Inquiry into Higher Education (the Dearing Committee) that institutions should, over the next two years, review and, if necessary, amend their arrangements. I understand also that the Committee of Vice-Chancellors and Principals have been reviewing appeal arrangements for students and they expect to publish their final report and recommendations shortly.