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Government to exempt universities from EU procurement rules

7 October 2011

Procurement procedures for universities are to be made less arduous under new plans announced by government ministers.

In a speech at the Conservative Party conference, universities and science minister David Willetts pledged to make higher education bodies exempt from EU procurement rules, resulting in more efficient purchasing processes.

This will be achieved by reducing the proportion of income received by universities from the state from 60 per cent to 40 per cent, thus putting it below the 50 per cent threshold required for exemption.

Mr Willetts said he believes this move should be sufficient to ensure that the "vast majority" of UK universities benefit.

"Universities will be able to contribute more to their local economy by negotiating direct with local business," he added.

This comes after industry body Universities UK published a report last month suggesting that procurement process improvements are vital to helping the education sector meet its savings goals in the coming years.

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Categories: Education

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