Our strategy

Enabling regulation

  1. We will consult on changes to our conditions of registration related to management and governance so that we can identify and address issues in providers more effectively before they register with the OfS and on an ongoing basis.
  2. We will use the regulatory intelligence we hold, including financial and market information, to identify providers where governance arrangements may come under pressure. We expect this proactive approach to result in the diagnosis of any weaknesses in governance that need to be addressed by a provider before any financial pressure builds.
  3. We will continue to monitor the financial viability and sustainability of providers to ensure we identify any provider likely to face financial difficulties and can intervene if necessary to protect the interests of students.
  1. In the first half of our strategy, we will consult on an updated approach to protecting the interests of students as consumers. This will involve revisiting the requirements we currently impose through the C conditions and developing proposals to replace these with more focused requirements that set the student protection norms for the higher education sector. We expect this to include proposals for the information providers should give to students choosing what and where to study, fair contractual terms, and complaint-handling arrangements.
  2. In pursuing this goal, we will place particular emphasis on our use of student engagement to understand the main issues for students in terms of consumer protection.
  1. We will become increasingly risk-based in the way we monitor compliance with conditions of registration and take enforcement action. We will continue to test whether the reporting requirements in place for all providers are appropriate for those that we consider present the least regulatory risk.
  2. In reviewing our approach to access and participation plans, we will focus in particular on opportunities to reduce burden.
  3. By the end of the strategic period, we will have varied the regulatory requirements we place on individual providers according to the risks they pose. We expect this to involve increasing requirements for providers where we judge risk to be highest.
  4. We will maintain our dialogue with providers about the impact of our regulation, testing that the benefits to students and taxpayers continue to outweigh the burden to providers. We will also challenge providers to take purposeful steps to dismantle internal bureaucracy that has accreted over time and is not needed to comply with our regulatory requirements.
Published 23 March 2022

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