UCEM successful in Office for Students registration application

Posted on: 27 September, 2018

UCEM was added to the Office for Students’ (OfS) register of English higher education providers yesterday.

UCEM received notification of its successful application – which enables the institution to access public grants and student support funding, as well as apply for the right to call itself a university – from the OfS yesterday.

The OfS is the new independent regulator of higher education in England. The aim of the OfS is to ensure that every student, whatever their background, will have a fulfilling higher education experience.

As the regulator of higher education provision, the OfS will judge UCEM against the same criteria as other higher education providers.

In becoming registered, UCEM met the following OfS registered higher education provider criteria:

  • provides well-designed courses that deliver a high-quality academic experience for all students;
  • supports students from admission through to completion;
  • ensures students’ outcomes are valued by employers or enable further study;
  • awards qualifications that hold their value over time, in line with recognised standards;
  • pays regard to guidance about how to comply with consumer protection law;
  • has a published student protection plan setting out the risks of course, campus or provider closure and how it will protect students’ interests in such an event;
  • has the financial resources to provide and deliver the courses advertised;
  • has the management and governance arrangements necessary to provide and deliver the courses advertised.

UCEM Deputy Principal, Jane Fawkes, who led on the application, commented: “This is another milestone in UCEM’s maturity as a fully independent institution.

“Our successful application was a real team effort with a large number of staff contributing towards the achievement. Following on from encouraging results in the National Student Survey and positive outcomes from the recent Ofsted monitoring visit and QAA [the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education] annual monitoring return, this is further recognition of UCEM’s commitment to excellence which supports the institution’s vision to be the leading, vocational, online university.”

The registration falls under the ‘approved (fee cap)’ category which opens up more public grant funding opportunities than in the alternative ‘approved’ category. In addition to this, the registration enables students to apply for financial support when applying onto UCEM programmes.

Some higher education providers receive their registration subject to ‘conditions of registration’ whereby they have to show the OfS that they are taking steps to improve access and outcomes for students from underrepresented groups. UCEM received no specific conditions of registration from the OfS. On this point, Jane added: “This is testament to our governance, quality and standards, and our commitment to access and participation, which is central to our core purpose and is part of the UCEM Royal Charter.”

For full details, visit www.officeforstudents.org.uk/advice-and-guidance/the-register/the-ofs-register/