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Validating Internal Awards Event

15 October 2009

14 October 2009
A Study UK/BAC joint event

Study UK and the BAC jointly hosted an event called "Validating Internal Awards" at the Westminster Conference Centre on 14th October.

The event was attended by approximately 150 educational institutions wanting to find out what options are available to them for continuing to recruit international students onto programmes that currently do not fit the UK Border Agency's Tier 4 criteria for an approved programme. The UKBA has instructed that from 31 March 2010, only students studying on courses leading to approved qualifications will be eligible to receive a general student visa (as stated in paragraph 200 of the Guidance for Sponsors). 

The day began with welcome speeches by BAC Chief Executive, Gina Hobson, and Study UK Chair, Sue Hindley. This was followed by a presentation by Neil Hughes, Director of the Economic and Family Migration Programme at the UK Border Agency. Neil gave an update on Tier 4 PBS and answered questions from attendees on all aspects of the new system.

Following this, delegates enjoyed a buffet lunch kindly provided by UK Trade and Investment, before meeting with representatives of regulatory, awarding and validating bodies in the exhibition rooms.

The Association of Business Executives, British Computer Society, Confederation of Tourism and Hospitality, Edexcel, Institute of Legal Executives, Institute of Business Consulting, Management Standards Centre, Middlesex University, Mindspring, NCC Education, Open College Network (London Region), Open University Validation Services, Sonis and the Vocational Training Charitable Trust all had exhibition stands to provide information to colleges and discuss what options they have for continuing to recruit visa students onto currently unapproved programmes.

Study UK also had an exhibition stand to promote our services to BAC accredited non-member colleges, where we handed out our membership flyer, professional services handbook and agent brochure.

Seminars continued in the afternoon, with Alan Sampson and James Gregory from Edexcel presenting a session about selecting external awards. Martina Wilson from OUVS then presented "Institution and programme validation by Open University Validation Services" and Sue McGlynn from Ofqual discussed how colleges can become awarding bodies. There was also a panel discussion, which was chaired by the BAC's Head of Inspection Services, Steve Bristow, and included representatives from Southampton Solent University, CATS Cambridge, QAA and the Study UK Chair, Sue Hindley. Please scroll down to download a copy of the event programme.

Feedback from educational institutions and exhibitors alike was very positive, despite the broad range of needs and expectations of those who attended. One college commented, "UKBA representatives and OU Validation Services were knowledgeable and informative." Another commented that the event provided "reassurance that a lots of us are so unsure of many aspects of change, especially from April 2010."

Study UK and the BAC would like to thank all those who attended the event, and we hope to offer more joint events in the future.


In partnership and supported by:

Study UK logo (small)  BAC full medium  

 UKTI logo



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UKBA presentation
Steve Bristow (BAC), Gina Hobson (BAC) and Sue Hindley (Study UK)
Neil Hughes, UKBA
Study UK stand