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The purpose of competition law is to promote consumer welfare through promoting and maintaining vigorous competition, to deliver open, dynamic markets and enhanced productivity, and to protect both businesses and consumers from anticompetitive behaviour.
SPA has worked with Universities UK (UUK) and taken legal advice (through UCAS) following requests and queries from admissions professionals for some insight into this area. We are keen to raise awareness and understanding within the HE admissions sector of the issues HE providers may wish to consider with regard to competition law and admissions and of the associated good practice.
The Office of Fair Trading (OFT) – now the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) - published its report on Higher Education in England in March 2014 following its Call for Information which sought to gain a better understanding of how choice and competition were working in the HE sector. The report’s overview was that the HE sector is in many respects performing to a very high standard in competition and consumer law terms, and enjoys an excellent reputation at the national and international level.
The SPA briefing on competition law and admissions aims to give admissions professionals and their colleagues an initial insight into some aspects of competition law and admissions and how this may impact their roles and work. We are grateful to the UCAS legal team and their competition lawyers for their work with us on this briefing.
Please note the briefing is intended for general guidance only. It does not purport to be exhaustive and is not legal advice. SPA cannot take any responsibility for actions taken based on this information. Competition law is a complex legal area and we urge universities and colleges to take their own legal advice.