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- All international students should have the right to work Study UK, the UK’s leading association for independent further and higher education institutions and specialist training providers, has responded to a report published today by the thinktank IPPR titled ‘Britain wants you! Why the UK should commit to increasing international student numbers’. The report advises that in an increasingly competitive global market, in which the UK’s education exports industry is estimated to be worth £17.5 billion to the economy, ‘the UK needs to present an attractive, competitive offer to students both during and after their study’. Recommendations on how to improve this offer include working rights for all international students, and not just those at universities and publicly funded colleges as currently.
Sue Hindley, Chair of Study UK, responds to the publication of the report:
“We welcome IPPR’s recommendation to Government to ‘commit unequivocally to increasing the number of international students studying in British education institutions’. In particular, we support their position that ‘the entitlement [to working rights] should be the same regardless of whether the student’s education institution is public or private, further or higher education.' Study UK has campaigned on this issue since working rights were removed from international students at independent providers in 2011, writing to the Minister of State for Immigration and parliamentary committees this year to call for changes. We welcome IPPR’s recognition that all international students bring benefits to the UK education sector and economy, and that we should be making them a competitive offer in return. We hope that the growing consensus on this issue will have an impact on political decision-makers.
We also support IPPR’s position that stricter regulation of education providers must not be allowed to stifle growth in the sector. The report proposes a sliding scale of sanctions so that where weaknesses are identified a Tier 4 sponsor may be placed under review rather than immediately having its licence suspended or revoked, actions which can cause lasting reputational damage. It also recommends ‘reducing audits from every year to every 2-3 years if an institution is consistently performing well’. Study UK has long urged the Home Office to adopt both of these measures as essential elements of a flexible Sponsorship system in which the Government and education sector work together in guarding against abuse. We share IPPR’s vision of a regulatory system that is risk-based and that allows for a constructive partnership and an honest dialogue between education providers and the Home Office.”
- Study UK Conference and AGM - 16 December 2013 This year’s Study UK Conference and AGM 2013 will be held on 16 December 2013 at the BIS Conference Centre in Westminster from 9.30am till 5.30pm (registration at 9am).
The conference will focus on two critical themes for UK Independent Education today:
The Future of UK Higher Education: expanding choice, empowering students and driving innovation
Maintaining the UK’s international competitiveness: global trends, opportunities and policy challenges
Plenary sessions with industry leading keynote speakers and specialised breakout sessions will allow you to tailor your experience.
Join Study UK and leading names in education as we look at:
the evolving nature of Higher Education and how the sector is regulated
protecting and enhancing the student experience in a changing sector
the importance of data in student choices and educational outcomes
risks and opportunities for the UK in the global education market
improving the efficiency of the student visa and sponsorship system
business management – VAT, accounts auditing and pension obligations
advances in international marketing
Why take part?
The conference programme will cover all the current major issues in the industry, bringing you up to date with the latest research, insight, policy changes and expert advice.
Stimulating plenary talks and discussions will be supported by a choice of breakout sessions to consider a broad range of topics in depth.
An unparalleled opportunity for networking with principals and senior staff in the independent education sector. A buffet lunch will be provided as well as refreshments throughout the day.
Content will be delivered by high-profile, thought-provoking speakers and forward-thinking, knowledgeable workshop leaders drawn from across Government, business and the sector.
Confirmed speakers include:
David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science
Alison Allden, Chief Executive, Higher Education Statistics Agency
Rachel Wenstone, Vice President for Higher Education, National Union of Students
Pat Killingley, Director of Higher Education, British Council
George Shirley, Head of Sponsorship, Home Office
Alice Sachrajda, Institute for Public Policy Research
Emma Leech, Chair of HE Market Interest Group, Chartered Institute of Marketing
Book online now to secure your place, with the full day’s programme just £100 for Study UK Members and £130 for non-members. A further 20% discount is available when booking additional delegates.
Watch the website for the full programme schedule, coming soon.
Date and location Monday 16 December 2013 BIS Conference Centre, 1 Victoria Street, Westminster, London SW1H 0ET Registration: 09:00 | Programme start: 09:30 | Programme end: 17:30
Booking information Study UK members: £100. Non-members: £130. (VAT exempt) (20% discount available when booking additional delegates) Click here to book online via www.studyuktraining.com or contact the events team: T: 020 7608 7090 | F: 020 7608 7961 | E: email@example.com
- Controls already in place for independent higher education institutions Study UK, the UK’s leading association for independent further and higher education institutions and specialist training providers, has responded to a report launched in Parliament yesterday by the Higher Education Commission on ‘Regulating Higher Education’. Calling for an overarching regulatory framework to protect student investment and safeguard the reputation of UK HE, the report expresses concerns that ‘new alternative [i.e. independent] providers offering higher education in England… are not being picked up by the current regulatory regime’.
Sue Hindley, Chair of Study UK, responds to the publication of the report:
“We welcome the Higher Education Commission’s major contribution to the public policy debate with this report and look forward to discussing its recommendations in more detail. While Study UK has long been in favour of new primary legislation to bring all UK Higher Education under a clear and consistent regulatory framework, it should be recognised that independent providers in the UK are already subject to high levels of scrutiny and oversight under the current regime.
Firstly, since 2011 all independent providers of Higher Education to international students have undergone an in-depth review of their provision by the QAA in order to meet Home Office requirements for Educational Oversight. This is in addition to a raft of other controls that have the net effect of closely regulating their international recruitment.
Secondly, independent providers whose students want to access tuition fee loans of up to £6,000 now face a rigorous ‘course designation’ process operated by HEFCE, with tough requirements for financial sustainability and the effectiveness of management which will protect both students and the taxpayer from any risk from less stable institutions. The conditions of this course designation are similar in many respects to the requirements for publicly funded institutions, with independent providers required to provide regular data on students and courses to the Higher Education Statistics Agency, as well as being subject to thorough review by QAA on a regular basis.
Study UK believes strongly that external quality assurance at an institutional level is essential for protecting the reputation and standards of UK Higher Education, and for giving prospective students confidence in the quality of their chosen course. We are pleased that extensive regulation is today already in place to assure students and the taxpayer of the academic quality, financial sustainability and responsible management of independent and alternative higher education providers.
Finally, while it is right that we move towards a Higher Education sector in which all providers are subject to a consistent set of regulations, this must go hand in hand with a consistent level of opportunity. In far too many areas at present, publicly funded providers have been granted a competitive advantage that threatens to stifle innovation and efficiency in the sector – for example, in the area of working rights for international students. Removing all such artificial distortions of the sector will be key to the success of a new regulatory framework in protecting students, encouraging innovation and enhancing excellence.”