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Toby Young appointed to Higher Education watchdog.

Toby Young appointed to Higher Education watchdog.

Writer Toby Young has faced criticism over his appointment to the board of a new higher education watchdog.

The Spectator columnist was praised by the education department for the "vital insights" his record as the founder of a free school will bring to the role.

But he was branded a "Tory cheerleader" by a lecturers union and comments he made in 2012 about inclusivity have sparked a social media backlash.

The Office for Students is due to start work in April.

Its remit is to hold universities to account on issues like vice chancellors' pay and free speech on campus, with powers to fine universities which fail to meet the required standards.

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