On 20 May 2014, the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) announced a Market Study which will look into the provision of higher education in England and what steps, if any, could be taken to improve competition and regulation in the sector.
Three months earlier, the Office of Fair Trading (OFT) had published a report on competition in the higher education sector.
In that earlier report the OFT recommended that the CMA work with interested parties to obtain their views on the design of a regulatory regime that would deliver greater benefits of choice and competition.
The CMA has now started approached interested parties for their views. It expects to conclude its work by early 2015.
The OFT also recommended that the CMA conducts a consumer law review. The objective of this review would be to assess how, and to what extent, certain practices identified in the earlier report may affect students. The OFT also suggested that the CMA should clarify the responsibilities of universities under the same consumer protection law review. The consumer protection review would also be complete by early 2015.