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  • Response to Consumer Rights Bill amendment to mandate OIA subscription for designated providers Study UK, the leading association of independent education providers in the UK, has welcomed the news that the Consumer Rights Bill is to be amended to create a level playing field for access to the higher education ombudsman service, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator (OIA). This amendment makes it mandatory for independent education providers with specific courses designated for student loans to subscribe to the OIA, bringing private colleges in line with public universities, which are already required to sign up to the OIA under the Higher Education Act 2004. Study UK has long championed the need for consistent and robust protection of the interests of students and will continue to support its members to engage with and subscribe to the OIA. Paul Kirkham, Study UK Board Member and Chief Executive at the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance said: ‘The independent education sector should welcome this amendment to the Consumer Rights Bill because it places independent providers on an equal footing with universities, with a collective, sector-wide obligation to meet the requirements of an OIA subscription. My organisation chose to subscribe voluntarily to the OIA because we believe it offers a valuable service in assuring students and other key stakeholders that we take student welfare and complaints seriously and we are committed to an accessible, open, transparent and independent process. That all designated independent providers will now be joining us in subscribing can only be a positive step for the education sector as a whole.’ In anticipation that a subscription to the OIA might become a requirement for designated providers, Study UK has been engaging with the OIA for some time to discuss the ways in which both its adjudication service and the developing ‘Good Practice Framework for Complaints and Appeals’ might be applied in the case of independent providers. We will therefore continue to work with both our members and the OIA to ensure that the published Framework is well-suited to the specific needs of independent education providers, large and small, to encourage its consistent adoption within the education sector. 
  • Last chance to book for Study UK Annual Conference 2014 There are just two weeks to go until the Study UK Annual Conference, which takes place on Tuesday 25 November 2014 at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London. Book now to secure your place and hear from our keynote speakers who will each give their unique insights into the future of education in the UK: -- Rt Hon David Hanson MP, Shadow Immigration Minister -- Professor Madeleine Atkins CBE, Chief Executive, HEFCE -- Rod Bristow, President, Pearson UK  Senior representatives from leading institutions, sector bodies, think tanks and regulators will also be speaking, including: Association of Colleges British Council Centre Forum Fabian Society Higher Education Policy Institute HESA Policy Exchange QAA Russell Group universities UCAS Universities UK The full conference brochure is now available on our website. Download a PDF copy to read more about the range of breakout sessions for delegates, including workshops on course designation, international students, employability, working with agents, student recruitment and the new GCSEs and A Levels. The brochure also presents more information about the day's plenaries and panel disucssions, which this year have a political focus as we look ahead to the 2015 election and what it might entail for the education sector:  -- Education 2020 – the choices ahead-- Quality and opportunity – enacting higher education reform-- Education: A Great British Export The Study UK Annual Conference also presents an unparalleled opportunity to meet and network with principals and senior staff from the independent education sector. A buffet lunch, morning and afternoon breaks provide plenty of time to continue the discussion between sessions. Delegates and speakers are also all invited to a complimentary Evening Reception after the conference to enjoy an informal end to the day.  To book a delegate place, please visit the conference booking page or alternatively contact the events team via events@study-uk.org or 020 7608 7090. Date and timeTuesday 25 November 2014Conference: 9am-5pm. Evening reception: 5pm-7pm. Conference venueGrand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA Delegate feesStudy UK members: £150. Non-members: £180. (VAT exempt)(20% discount available when booking additional delegates)
  • Three weeks to go until Study UK Annual Conference 2014 There are just three weeks to go until the Study UK Annual Conference, which takes place on Tuesday 25 November 2014 at the Grand Connaught Rooms in London. We are delighted to announce a keynote address by Professor Madeleine Atkins CBE, HEFCE Chief Executive and former Vice-Chancellor of Coventry University, who will set out her vision for English higher education. Regulation is needed to manage rising student numbers, raised expectations and increasing diversity in provision. HEFCE is poised to play the leading role and recently announced an unprecedented review of quality assessment arrangements. Professor Atkins is ideally suited to balancing the risks and opportunities of a modern, diverse sector, having herself pioneered a low-cost and innovative delivery model at Coventry University College. This keynote will be followed by a thought-provoking discussion on 'Quality and opportunity – enacting higher education reform', with Professor Atkins joined on the panel by the Deputy Director of Quality Assurance at QAA and policy leads from Universities UK and the Association of Colleges, to forecast some of the reforms that the next Government will need to consider in drafting new legislation. Elsewhere on the programme, expert analysis of the 2015 general election and what it means for education policy will be provided by the heads of three leading think tanks with a strong track record in education: Professor Stephen Lee of CentreForum; Dr Emran Mian of the Social Market Foundation; and Nick Hillman of the Higher Education Policy Institute. A choice of breakout sessions will provide delegates with practical advice, the latest research and updates on key industry issues from experts in their fields, including: What do international students really want? – Marie Clark, Head of Marketing and Communications, Hobsons – Daniel Cunningham, Head of Client Services, Hobsons Defining and developing your approach to employability – Maureen Tibby, Consultant in Academic Practice, Higher Education Academy – Doug Cole, Head of Employability and Enterprise, Northumbria University Working with agents: encouraging best practice – Helen Obaje, Professional Development Manager (Agents), British Council – Ian Smith, Visa Accreditation and Compliance Manager, Study Group Student recruitment: UK trends and developments – Margaret Farragher, Senior Policy Executive, UCAS – Alison Berry, Head of Institutional Liaison, HESA– Boryana Peevska-Cutting, Director of Quality and Academic Policy, BPP University The new GCSEs and A-levels: a University admissions perspective  – Roseanna Cross, Head of Admissions, University of Bristol – Paul Teulon, Director of Admissions, King’s College London – Rebecca Gaukroger, Director, Student Recruitment & Admissions, University of Edinburgh For the full programme and further conference details as they are confirmed, check the Study UK website. ESSENTIAL CONFERENCE INFORMATION Date and timeTuesday 25 November 2014Conference: 9am-5pm. Evening reception: 5pm-7pm. Conference venueGrand Connaught Rooms, 61-65 Great Queen Street, London, WC2B 5DA Delegate feesStudy UK members: £150. Non-members: £180. (VAT exempt)(20% discount available when booking additional delegates) Booking informationBook online to secure your place or contact the events team:T: 020 7608 7090 | F: 020 7608 7961 | E: events@study-uk.org
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