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Tertiary Education and Research (Wales) Act 2022

Section 139: Dissolution of higher education corporations in Wales

433.This section amends section 128 of the 1988 Act which relates to the dissolution of higher education corporations.

434.Section 128(2) as amended contains a power for the Welsh Ministers by order to provide for the dissolution of a higher education corporation in Wales and the transfer of its property, rights and liabilities to any one or more of the following—

  • any person appearing to the Welsh Ministers to be wholly or mainly engaged in the provision of educational facilities or services of any description;

  • any body corporate established for purposes which include the provision of such facilities or services;

  • the Commission;

  • the Welsh Ministers.

435.The Welsh Ministers may only make an order under section 128(2) of the 1988 Act if the higher education corporation to be dissolved has requested an order be made, or has consented to an order being made. An order may be made without the consent of the higher education corporation, if the Welsh Ministers consider that consent has been unreasonably withheld or unreasonably delayed.

436.Section 128(4) of the 1988 Act, as amended by section 139(4) of the Act, requires the Welsh Ministers to consult the higher education corporation to be dissolved and the Commission before making an order under subsection (1).

437.Section 139 of the Act makes amendments to section 128 of the 1988 Act in consequence of the creation of the Commission, replacing references to HEFCW with references to the Commission.

438.Subsection (3) makes new provision about the power under section 128(1)(b) to make provision by order for the transfer of the property, rights and liabilities of the higher education corporation being dissolved. A new subsection (1A) is inserted into section 128 which provides that orders—

  • may make provision about the effect of a transfer on any right of pre-emption, right of return or other similar right that may apply in respect of such property or rights (including provision about the calculation and payment of any just compensation);

  • have effect in relation to property, rights or liabilities to which they apply in spite of any provision (of whatever nature) of any enactment or any rule of law, which would otherwise prevent, penalise or restrict the transfer of the property, rights or liabilities.

439.Subsection (6) inserts new subsection (7) into section 128 of the 1988 Act requiring the Welsh Ministers to publish and keep under review a statement setting out the circumstances in which they propose to exercise the power under this section to make an order. The Welsh Ministers must consult such persons as they consider appropriate before publishing the statement, or revised statement, and lay a copy before the Senedd as soon as possible after it is published.

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