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New rules for independent providers announced by Greg Clark MP

30 January 2015

Study UK responded to the announcement by Greg Clark, the Universities and Science Minister, of new rules for alternative higher education providers designated for student support. The measures include greater consistency in quality assurance, stronger admissions processes, and new data collection and publication requirements. He also confirmed that student numbers on degree courses at alternative providers would be allowed to increase by 20% in 2015-16, with further growth in 2016-17 to be based on performance.

Alex Proudfoot, Chief Executive of Study UK, said:

“These are thoughtful proposals which will help strengthen the UK’s already world-class higher education sector. Greg Clark rightly recognises the exceptionally high levels of student satisfaction and graduate employability in many independent providers, and their success in these areas will be amply demonstrated by the collection of new public information announced today. It is also great news that independent providers will be able to welcome more students onto their degree programmes this autumn. Study UK will work closely with the Minister's team on the implementation of these changes, and we look forward to helping prospective students choose confidently from the growing range of fantastic courses available in the UK."

Study UK will be meeting with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) to explore some of the changes in more detail and discuss the timetable for implementation. We will also ask for clarification of the proposed annual renewal of designation, and will seek assurances that prospective students will not be disadvantaged by any strengthening of the existing annual monitoring process. It is of course essential that any student making their choice of undergraduate programme according to the standard UCAS timetable can feel confident in the availability of loans funding for the start of their course the followng year. 

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