Our approach to regulation

Universities and colleges choose to register with us. This allows them to access benefits such as public funding and gives them eligibility to apply for the power to award degrees.

We set requirements that registered higher education providers must meet for teaching quality, student outcomes, equality of access and participation, and their management, governance and financial sustainability.

We monitor the performance of universities and colleges, publish data and reports, and take action if a registered provider is failing to meet our requirements.

Find out more about registration

Quality and standards

We want students to receive a high quality academic experience and positive outcomes, with qualifications that hold their value over time. Our quality and standards assessments check that universities and colleges meet our minimum requirements, while our Teaching Excellence Framework encourages providers to go above and beyond to deliver outstanding education.

Equality of opportunity

We want all students from all backgrounds to be supported to access, succeed in, and progress from higher education. We require registered providers to identify risks to equality of opportunity and to develop plans to tackle these risks.

Student protection

We protect students by ensuring that universities and colleges are sustainable and well-run. We also make sure that students can access all the information they need to make informed choices about their studies.


We distribute more than £1 billion each year to universities and colleges on behalf of government, including capital grants to support investment in facilities, and ongoing funding to support teaching in important high-cost subjects. We also fund initiatives to address issues which affect students, such as promoting equal opportunities and student wellbeing.

Find out more about who and what we fund

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