A level playing field: an update on student number controls

Back in December we wrote about the BIS consultation on regulating the access of students at alternative HE providers to the student support budget. 

BIS has now published its response to the consultation.  The key points are:

·         There was a clear preference from respondents for a level playing field of regulation for all providers of HE in England.

·         The government will introduce a system of number control for alternative providers based on eligible students, the system which currently applies to publicly-funded institutions. 

·         Following concerns raised about implementation for 2013/14 being unrealistic, the government has decided to introduce these student number controls from 2014/15.  

·         Providers with fewer than 50 students in total accessing student support will not be subject to student number controls.

·         Providers will be able to make a case-by-case basis for exceptional treatment where (for example) significant prior financial commitments to invest in a new campus have already been made.

·         Subscription to HESA will be a condition of course designation from 2014/15. 

·         Detailed guidance on the operation of the student number control system for alternative providers will be published in the autumn.

Joanna Forbes

Senior Associate Solicitor

Education Team

For and on behalf of SGH Martineau LLP

DD: 0800 763 1310

M: 07725 241552

F: 0800 763 1710

International DD: +44 870 763 1310

E: joanna.forbes@sghmartineau.com

W: www.sghmartineau.com

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