Consultations – opportunities to influence

Opportunities to influence

The EPC responds to a variety of consultations from Government, the funding councils and other stakeholders, representing the views and interests of all the membership.

The EPC will follow one of four pathways to prepare its consultation response:

  • Full consultation
  • Representative consultation
  • Executive consultation
  • No collective response

The EPC Executive will decide which pathway to use depending on the timing and scope of the consultation. You can read EPC Protocol for Consultations here.

Where possible, the EPC seeks to offer a single, authoritative, HE engineering voice in our responses to consultations. Sometimes, it is even more effective to collaborate with other education sectors in the engineering space. To this end, we sometimes work with Engineering for Education, an engineering education and skills policy body, to produce  collaborative responses.

Open consultations

Augar response

Widely considered the response to Augar, the UK Government is consulting on reforms 1) to the post-18 education landscape and 2) the promised the Lifelong Loan Entitlement (LLE). Proposals include: changes to student funding arrangements; funding for more routes across HE and technical education; the introduction of minimum eligibility requirements; the re-introduction of and student number controls; and plans for lifelong access to loans.

The deadline is 6th May. The Board is currently preparing a full EPC consultation.

Jisc: Design of the UK’s future research assessment system

Every few years, the research assessment system (which is currently REF) is reviewed before a new exercise round is started. This consultation is the start of that process. Jisc is running the review on behalf of Research England, Scottish Funding Council, Higher Education Funding Council for Wales, Department for the Economy, Northern Ireland).

The scope of the consultation includes:
• The purposes of a future exercise
• The principles that should guide its development
• The assessment criteria and processes

Responses to this consultation will be one of the key inputs that shape the future exercise. 

The deadline is 6th May. The EPC RIKT committee is currently preparing a representative EPC response.

Levelling up

The much-anticipated “Levelling-up” white paper was published in February – setting
out how the government is planning to tackle the issue of regional inequality in opportunity
across the UK, through a mixture of new policies and previously announced ones. This paper
presents a mission-oriented approach in which 12 missions are presented as targets to be
achieved by 2030. Access the levelling up white paper here to see details on all 12 missions. Of
particular importance to us are the missions relating to research and development.

Universities are barely discussed in this paper, only referred to as anchor institutions and
partners. There appears to be no central role for universities in this levelling-up proposal and no
commitments outlined regarding access to HE as a means to levelling-up

This is not a consultation as such, but the EPC Board is currently considering an EPC response.

Pending consultations

We are aware of several promised consultations in the coming months and will update this list as things change. We’re looking forward to a busy time digesting it all, gathering your thoughts and representing them. 

  • Personal statements (UCAS)
  • Access and participation (OfS)
  • Academic experience (OfS)
  • Levelling up: education and skills missions (DfE) 

Most recently submitted consultations

Delivering a UK Science & Technology Strategy

The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee called for evidence on what the UK science and technology strategy should look like and how the UK’s research and innovation system can deliver it. The Committee is taking oral evidence from February 2022.

In the interests of brevity in such a wide reaching inquiry, the EPC response highlighted the role of engineering education in levelling up, sustainability, post-pandemic recovery, and the differences between science research and engineering research. We also highlighted the EPC’s work around industry/academia collaboration.

We raised specific concerns around Horizon funding, skills shortages in STEM and  funding the engineering skills pipeline. We also highlighted opportunities around innovation and entrepreneurship and making the UK attractive to international engineering talent.

The House of Commons Education Select Committee: careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG)

The Education Committee recently held an inquiry on the effectiveness of the careers advice given to students – as part of a review of how well the current system for careers education, information, advice and guidance (CEIAG) is working. The EPC supported a joint response led by EngineeringUK to provide evidence for this inquiry, which closed on the 17th March. This response urges the government to consider recommendations including publishing a new careers strategy for England; rapidly expanding careers hubs to cover all secondary schools and ensuring there is a dedicated STEM leader at each; and embedding careers into STEM curriculum content. See more details of these recommendations and the evidence behind them in the full response here. You can also read a blog by the EPC’s CEO, Johnny Rich on what CEIAG is, and what the key points in his own submission to the Select Committee were – see this blog here.

OfS: Quality and Standards

The EPC EEES Committee has responded to the Office for Students’ (OfS) three latest consultations on  their approach to regulating quality and standards in higher education.

These include the promised consultation on the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) as well as B3 baseline information in a new approach to regulating student outcomes, including its  approach to constructing student outcomes and experience indicators.

These are detailed and involved proposals, to which which the EPC has given extensive consideration. More information… Full responses are below.

Date  Consultation Response Outcomes
March 2022 The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee Call for evidence: Delivering a UK Science & Technology Strategy


March 2022 House of Commons Education Select Committee Call for evidence: Careers Education, Information, Advice and Guidance (CEIAG)

EPC supported joint response led by Engineering UK 


March 2022

Office for Students consultation on a new approach to regulating student outcomes (changes to B3 baseline)

March 2022 Office for Students consultation on the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) pdf_icon  
January 2022 House of Commons Education Select Committee: Inquiry into the future of post-16 qualifications pdf_icon Published on 1 March 2022. 
January 2022 Office for Students Strategy for 2022-25 pdf_icon  
December 2021 The Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW) consultation on revision of external quality assurance review requirements pdf_icon  
December 2021 APPG Youth Employment call for evidence pdf_icon Launch of report APPG for Youth Employment Report: The Impact of Vocational Qualifications on Young People’s Employability and Labour Market Outcomes – Youth Employment UK on 15 March 2022.
September 2021 Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education Degree Apprenticeships Consultation pdf_icon  
September 2021 OfS Consultation on quality and standards conditions pdf_icon  
June 2021 HE Commission Public Call for Evidence: University Research and Regional Levelling Up Inquiry pdf_icon Empowering Innovation: The role of universities in boosting regional economies launched on 10 March 2022.
June 2021 Compensation and Condonement: Feedback to proposed accreditation regulations pdf_icon  
May 2021 DfE proposed changes: Post-qualifications admissions in Higher Education pdf_iconpdf_icon The Government announced that it has dropped plans for a PQA system (Feb 2022). This is in line with the EPC’s position. 
May 2021 OfS Consultation on Recurrent Funding for 2021-22 pdf_icon  
January 2021 OfS Consultation on Regulating Quality and Standards in HE pdf_icon EPC feedback published in OfS Digital Teaching and Learning Review
October 2020 OfS Consultation on Digital teaching and learning in English higher education during the coronavirus pandemic: Call for evidence pdf_icon  
May 2020 OfS Consultation on the integrity and stability of the English higher education sector pdf_icon  
May 2020 REF 2021 timetable pdf_icon  
November 2019 Migration Advisory Committee’s call for evidence on a salary threshold and points-based system pdf_icon  
October 2019 Compensation and Condonement: Response to proposed accreditation regulations pdf_icon Engineering Council response
September 2019 Improving Higher Technical Education: Department for Education pdf_iconpdf_icon  
August 2019 Engineering Council Standards Review pdf_icon  
May 2019 Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy Future frameworks for international collaboration on research and innovation: call for evidence pdf_icon  
April 2019 OFSTED consultation on the education inspection framework 2019 pdf_icon  
March 2019 UKRI consultation on the Knowledge Exchange Framework pdf_icon  
March 2019 Independent review of TEF: call for views pdf_icon  
February 2019 UKSCQA degree classification consultation pdf_icon  
January 2019 APPG on Diversity and Inclusion in STEM pdf_icon Successful influence on APPG lines of inquiry for 2019.
October 2018 REF 2021 pdf_icon  
July 2018 Home Affairs Committee Post-Brexit migration policy inquiry pdf_icon Ordered to be published on 10 July 2018. Available here.
June 2018 Engineering Council Review of UKSPEC pdf_icon  
May 2018 Women into Engineering pdf_icon  
May 2018 The Department for Education consultation on the subject-level Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) pdf_icon  
May 2018 The Department of Education call for evidence to support a Review of Post-18 Education and Funding pdf_icon  
Feb 2018 Department for Education consultation on Accelerated degrees: widening student choice in higher education pdf_icon
Jan 2018 HEFCE Knowledge Exchange Framework Metrics Technical Advisory Group – initial call for evidence on KEF metrics  pdf_icon  
Jan 2018 Migration Advisory Committee Science budget and Industrial Strategy inquiry call for evidence on International students: economic and social impacts pdf_icon  
Dec 2017 Securing student success: risk-based regulation for teaching excellence, social mobility and informed choice in higher education pdf_icon  
Oct 2017 Education Select Committee, Value for Money in HE pdf_icon The House of Commons Education Committee released the written evidence it has received for its inquiry into the value for money of universities, including the EPC’s submission.
Apr 2017 BEIS, Building our Industrial Strategy Green Paper pdf_icon  
Apr 2017 HESA, NewDLHE: The future of graduate outcomes data pdf_icon  
Mar 2017 HEFCE – Consultation on the second Research Excellence Framework pdf_icon  
Nov 2016 Education Committee – The impact of exiting the European Union on higher education inquiry pdf_icon EPC President, Professor Stephanie Haywood, gave evidence to the House of Commons Education Committee on the 11th of January 2017


The EPC received a number of mentions in the final report of the Committee.

Sep 2016 Business, Innovation and Skills Committee (BIS) – Inquiry on industrial strategy pdf_icon  
 Aug 2016 House of Commons Science and Technology Committee – Leaving the EU: Further call for evidence pdf_icon  
Jul 2016 Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – Accelerated courses and switching university or degree pdf_icon  
Jul 2016 Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – Teaching Excellence Framework. Technical consultation for year 2 pdf_icon  
Mar 2016 Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – Review of the Research Excellence Framework pdf_icon  
Mar 2016 OfQual AS and A Level Electronics consultation on Conditions and Guidance pdf_icon  
Jan 2016 Department for Business, Innovation and Skills – Higher education: teaching excellence, social mobility and student choice pdf_icon  
Jan 2016 OfQual AS and A Level Mathematics and Further Mathematics consultation on Conditions and Guidance pdf_icon  


Read the EPC’s submissions to other recent consultations.