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Summarises the responses received and action planned in response to views raised. Alternative providers will need to meet new conditions in order to be designated for student support purposes.
This consultation aimed to:
- provide an overview of the shape and purpose of the new system for alternative providers that wish their students to be able to access student support from the Student Loans Company
- seek responses to specific proposals on student number controls, where we are consulting on options
- invite views, particularly from alternative providers, on aspects of how this will operate in practice
The higher education white paper Students at the heart of the system (June 2011) set out the government’s vision for how the higher education sector in England should become more diverse and responsive to the needs of students. A key plank of that strategy is to reduce the barriers which may artificially restrict the growth of alternative provision. Over time we wish to create a more level playing field of regulation between similar providers. As part of that process we are reforming the system of designation for student support purposes for alternative providers. We have been careful to set appropriate conditions to improve student protection while minimising bureaucracy.
The Government response to the higher education white paper and associated technical consultation, published June 2012, stated that we would consult on the process of applying student number controls to alternative providers who have courses designated for student support purposes. This is part of a review of the existing course designation system for alternative providers, including introducing more robust and transparent requirements on quality assurance, financial sustainability and management and governance. An overview of our plans for the new course designation system is contained in chapter 1, with chapter 2 focusing on the student number control aspect of the new system.
Following the consultation we have decided that alternative providers will need to meet new conditions in order to be designated for student support purposes. Specifically:
- alternative providers will be brought within the student number controls system from the 2014 to 2015 academic year
- the student number control system will be similar to that used for HEFCE funded providers
- providers will be required to submit data to the Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA)
- small providers with fewer than 50 students on total eligible for student support will be exempt from student number controls and HESA subscription but other conditions, such as on quality, will still apply