The Higher Education and Research Bill 2016-17 is currently making its way through Parliament. It is now at the committee stage in the House of Commons, which means any interested parties may submit evidence to be considered by the committee of MPs. I’ve decided to do this and make a few suggestions in areas related to my research, including proposing an amendment about open access. A copy of my submission will be available on the Parliament website soon. [Update: published at http://www.publications.parliament.uk/pa/cm201617/cmpublic/HigherEducationandResearch/memo/HERB47.htm (PDF)]
There are differing opinions as to the validity of engaging with the Parliamentary process in this way, since it can be used by the government to claim that a full consultation has been carried out with the higher education and research community even if they subsequently choose to ignore all suggestions. (So far, all amendments that have been formally proposed have been rejected by the Minister.) However, it is one of the few avenues to input directly into the policy-making process, so it surprises me that so few individual students and academics take up the opportunity.