Bishop of Winchester voices concern about grade inflation

18.03.20 Winchester 2On the 19th November 2018, Lord Stevenson of Balmacara tabled an Oral Question ‘To ask Her Majesty’s Government when the review of the Teaching Excellence Framework is due to report and whether this review will include recommendations for judgements to be made on the change in the percentage of first class and upper second class degrees awarded by higher education institutions’. The Bishop of Winchester, the Rt Revd Tim Dakin, asked a supplementary question: Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester voices concern about grade inflation”

Bishop of Winchester urges Government to make UK higher education accessible as possible to international students

On 19th July 2018 Lord Norton of Louth led a debate on the motion “That this House takes note of the value to the United Kingdom of higher education as an export.” The Bishop of Winchester, Rt Revd Tim Dakin, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Winchester: My Lords, I declare my interests as found in the register, particularly those relating to higher education.

I thank the noble Lord, Lord Norton of Louth, for securing this debate and for outlining some of the key issues, but begin by congratulating the right reverend Prelate the Bishop of Chichester on an excellent maiden speech, with its characteristic blend of deep pastoral concern, learning lightly worn and a keen appreciation of the importance of education. He and I share the pleasure of having a Cathedrals Group university in our dioceses. I am sure that my right reverend friend will contribute greatly to the deliberations of this House. Continue reading “Bishop of Winchester urges Government to make UK higher education accessible as possible to international students”

Bishop of Chichester highlights importance of arts and education in first speech to the Lords

On 19th July 2018 the Bishop of Chichester, Rt Revd Martin Warner, delivered his first speech in the House of Lords, during a debate led by Lord Norton of Louth, “That this House takes note of the value to the United Kingdom of higher education as an export.” The full text of his speech is below, as are the welcoming remarks from other Members of the House:

The Lord Bishop of Chichester (Maiden Speech): My Lords, I begin by recording my thanks for the welcome and encouragement that I have received both today and on so many occasions since being introduced into your Lordships’ House. Continue reading “Bishop of Chichester highlights importance of arts and education in first speech to the Lords”

Bishop of Oxford on importance of lifelong learning and skills in response to technological change

Oxford 5718bOn 5th July 2018 Baroness Bakewell led a debate on the motion “That this House takes note of part-time and continuing education, and in particular the future of the Open University.” The Bishop of Oxford, Rt Revd Steven Croft, spoke in the debate:

The Lord Bishop of Oxford: My Lords, like others, I warmly welcome this debate and thank the noble Baroness, Lady Bakewell, for introducing it so ably. Student numbers in part-time education are moving dramatically in the opposite direction to the one I am sure we all want to see, potentially with really dangerous consequences for our economy and society. Continue reading “Bishop of Oxford on importance of lifelong learning and skills in response to technological change”

Bishop of St Albans asks Government about support for students with learning disabilities

On 27th February 2018,Lord Addington asked Her Majesty’s Government ‘what consideration they have given to removing the need for candidates for higher education with dyslexia and other specific learning disabilities to pay for new assessments for the disabled students’ allowance if they have an existing diagnosis acquired before the age of 16 and a history of support’. The Bishop of St Albans, the Rt Revd Dr Alan Smith, asked a follow up question about distinguishing learning disabilities from physical and mental disabilities: 

The Lord Bishop of St Albans: My Lords, as I understand it, the Equality Act recognises learning disabilities and other forms of mental and physical disabilities in the same way. Yet until now, the Government’s position has been to separate learning disabilities out into a different category. I welcome this review but can the Minister assure us that it will lay out the basis for that different treatment?

Continue reading “Bishop of St Albans asks Government about support for students with learning disabilities”

Votes: Higher Education Regulations 2016

On 5th April, a vote took place on a Regret Motion tabled by Labour’s Lord Stevenson of Balmacara to two Regulations changing student loan terms and amounts. The Bishop of Peterborough took part. Continue reading “Votes: Higher Education Regulations 2016”

Higher Education and Research Bill: Bishop of Durham supports amendment on Archbishop of Canterbury’s historic role in conferring degrees


On the 23rd January 2017, the Bishop of Durham, the Rt. Revd. Paul Butler, spoke to an amendment to the Higher Education and Research Bill, which would protect the Archbishop of Canterbury’s historic right to confer degrees. The amendment was tabled by the Bishop of Portsmouth, the Rt. Revd. Christopher Foster, who was unable to attend the debate. Viscount Younger of Leckie responded on behalf of the Government:

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The Lord Bishop of Durham: My Lords, my friend the right reverend prelate the Bishop of Portsmouth is unable to be in his place this evening, but in his place I bring before your Lordships Amendment 268A. I endorse all the general comments made by the noble Lord, Lord Murphy of Torfaen, about the Cathedrals Group of universities. While I am not armed with the expertise, his amendments appear to make sense for the particular purpose.

I am sure that almost all noble Lords in the Committee are aware that the Archbishop of Canterbury has possessed the power to confer degrees since the Ecclesiastical Licences Act 1533. Certainly the landscape of higher education has changed in the almost 500 years since then, when the only other English degree-awarding institutions were Oxford and Cambridge. The Higher Education and Research Bill that we are rightly considering so carefully is very welcome in recognising that changing landscape and legislating to ensure that the sector continues to evolve as successfully as it has done so far. Continue reading “Higher Education and Research Bill: Bishop of Durham supports amendment on Archbishop of Canterbury’s historic role in conferring degrees”