Monthly update

Read our monthly update - a roundup of news, blog posts, reports and web updates published on our site.

Please click on the + sign for each month. (Each month is retrospective.)

2021

Read this month's digital newsletter

Publications

Guide to funding 2021-22
How the Office for Students allocates money to higher education providers

Prevent monitoring: accountability and data return 2021
This guidance is designed to help higher education providers complete the Prevent accountability and data return (ADR) for the 2020-21 academic year.

Reporting access and participation expenditure: FAQs
Appendix added on reporting access and participation expenditure in Table 14 of the Annual Financial Return (AFR) and Disclosure Note in Financial Statements for 2020-21 onwards.

Higher Education Students Forecast 2022-23 (HESF22)
Guidance for providers on how to complete HESF22 Higher Education Students Forecast (HESF) 2022-23

Higher Education Students Early Statistics survey 2021-22 (HESES21)
Guidance for providers on funding rules and definitions for the data return survey, HESES21.

Medical and Dental Students survey 2021
The Medical and Dental Students survey 2021 (MDS21) asks higher education providers in the UK to provide data on the intake of medical and dental students in the 2020-21 and 2021 22 academic years.

Regulatory notice 1: Access and participation plan guidance
Guidance on the preparation of an access and participation plan for consideration by the Director for Fair Access and Participation.

Prevent monitoring: Summary of annual accountability and data returns
This report presents sector-level data from providers’ accountability and data returns (ADRs) for academic years 2017-18, 2018-19 and 2019-20.

News

OfS publishes topic briefing on suicide prevention
The Office for Students has published a new topic briefing, setting out some of the approaches that universities and colleges can take to help prevent suicide among students.

Prevent monitoring data published
The Office for Students has published a range of data relating to how universities and colleges are performing their duties under the Prevent framework.

Blog

Working together on suicide prevention in higher education
The OfS’s Director for Fair Access and Participation, Chris Millward, and president of Universities UK, Professor Steve West, introduce new resources to support universities and colleges in their suicide prevention work.

Why students should have their say on how universities and colleges are regulated
As a student, how do you know whether the course you choose is good quality? Do you feel confident that your university or college will support you throughout your time there?

Web updates

For students

Study artificial intelligence and data science as a postgraduate: new page added 'hear from postgraduates'

Regulation and the Register

Quality and standards: further FAQs on changes to our approach added

Regulatory advice 3: update to financial and student numbers table template

The OfS Register: number of registered providers updated

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: July and August 2021 bulletins added

Data and analysis

Data collection: webpages updated for HESES21 and HESF22

Promoting equal opportunities

Effective practice: new resource added for care experienced students

Access and participation plans: new FAQ added

Student wellbeing and protection

Briefing note published following a meeting with UK Healthy Universities Network meeting and Universities UK on the intersection of sexual violence, alcohol and drugs at universities and colleges

Suicide prevention: new topic briefing on suicide prevention

Funding for providers

Capital funding for financial year 2021-22: Allocations and invitation to bid: FAQs added

HESES21 events:

General

Coronavirus provider guide: information updated

Measures of our success: annual update to key performance measure 10

Who we are: July 2021 board papers published

Our boards and committees: board members and register of interests updated

Our senior team: OfS directors' register of interests updated

How we are run: transparency data added for spending over £25,000 and procurement card spending over £500 for July 2021

Procurement: pipeline of opportunities updated

TRAC website: Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) guidance for 2020-21 returns published

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Publications

Higher education short course trial: Challenge Competition
The Challenge Competition invites Approved (fee cap) providers to develop new short courses from existing qualifications at Levels 4 to 6, in a range of subject areas and at a range of levels.

Independent research: Evaluation of the Mental Health Challenge Competition: Interim report to the Office for Students
This interim report provides lessons from the first stage of project delivery, which ran from June 2019 to February 2021. 

Regulatory advice 14: Guidance for providers for the Annual Financial Return
This regulatory advice sets out guidance about the information that a provider is required to submit as part of its financial monitoring returns to the OfS. Other documents give detailed guidance on completing and submitting the workbook.

Data collection to inform funding for 2022-23: Notification of changes
This document provides notification of changes that we intend to make to the collection of data to inform funding for 2022-23.

News

Additional OfS funding for high cost subjects
The Office for Students will allocate an additional £10 million of funding for high cost subjects to universities and other higher education providers.

The OfS responds to A-level results
Lord Wharton responds to this year’s A-level results.

Registration decision
The Office for Students has refused the registration application of British Institute of Technology Ltd, following a rigorous process of assessment and evaluation.

Funding boost to support student mental health
Eighteen innovative projects across universities and colleges in England will receive funding to support student mental health in a £6 million programme, the Office for Students announced today.

Higher education short course trial Challenge Competition
As reported in The Times, the OfS is to launch a challenge competition for new higher education short courses.

Blog

Introducing the OfS’s new proposals on quality and standards
The Office for Students' director of regulation Susan Lapworth introduces the next wave of proposed changes to initial and ongoing conditions of regulation

Taking the leap: How time to reflect in lockdown led me to a new career in data science
Postgraduate conversion courses in data science and AI are attracting people from a range of backgrounds to learn skills for new employment. University of Hull student Miranda Maimela reflects on why she chose the course.

Supporting student mental health through collaboration and evaluation
As the OfS announces funding for 18 new projects to support student mental health, Chris Millward explains the programme priorities and how we are sharing effective practice in this important area.

Do grade inflation and fair access mix?
Is it possible to combine fair access with the levels of grade inflation seen this year at Level 3? The OfS's director for fair access and participation Chris Millward makes the case.

What’s the relationship between where you come from, where you go to university and your opportunities for a well-paid graduate job?
The Office for Students is working with universities and employers so that improvements to access in higher education lead to opportunities in the workplace.

Providing choice and flexibility for a lifetime: Higher Education Short Course Trial Challenge Competition
Today we are publishing detailed guidance which invites providers to bid for funding to develop short courses that offer prospective students greater choice in how they choose to study, with more flexible options to develop their skills.

Web updates

Promoting equal opportunities

New Gypsy, Roma and Traveller communities resource added

Student wellbeing and protection

Mental health funding competition: Resources and case studies

Data and analysis

Data checking tool: Technical documentation for 2020-21 data added to:
Individualised Learner Record (ILR)
HESA Student
HESA Student Alternative

Data assurance: 2020-21 data verification documents added

Students numbers: methodology and 2020-21 technical information added

Students numbers data: student number data updated

Funding for providers

Mental health funding competition: Successful funding projects published

Skills and employment

Higher education short course trial: FAQ updated with new information on delivery

General

Student guide to coronavirus: minor FAQ update

Board papers: May 2021 board papers published

Our board and committees: board's register of interests updated

Our senior team: OfS directors' register of interests updated

How we are run: transparency data updated with May and June 2021 data added for spending over £25,000, Q1 data added for senior staff travel and expenses and May 2021 data added for procurement card spending over £500

Measures of our success: small adjustment made to key performance measure 26 data

TRAC website: TRAC Development Group membership list updated

Read this month's digital update

News

OfS sets out approach to calculating monetary penalties
The Office for Students (OfS) has set out how it will calculate a monetary penalty when it decides to impose a penalty on a university or college.

Next steps for the postgraduate student survey
Students have shown support for a new proposed survey of postgraduates studying on taught courses, according to initial testing run by the OfS.

Fewer students positive about their course amid pandemic
More university and college students have concerns about their educational experience this year compared to last year, results from this year’s National Student Survey (NSS) show today – the survey highlighting particular issues around the availability of learning resources.

New trial for short higher education courses
The Office for Students has confirmed that it will launch a new Challenge Competition to fund innovative projects delivering short courses in higher education – forming part of the government’s approach to delivering its new Lifelong Learning Entitlement.

OfS confirms funding reforms
The OfS has confirmed changes to how it will distribute funding to universities and colleges for 2021-22. OfS funding supplements course fees which pay for the bulk of higher education course costs.

New conditions will allow regulator to clamp down on poor quality and standards in higher education
The OfS is consulting on new regulation to protect quality and standards in higher education in England. The new requirements will allow the OfS to intervene more frequently in universities and colleges where courses fall below expectations and require improvement.

Grants announced for universities and colleges
The Office for Students (OfS) has allocated £1.2 billion in funding to universities and colleges across England.

Blog

Trouble at mill: protecting students from contract cheating
There is growing concern in government and among universities and colleges about students’ use of essay mills. Where does the OfS’s commitment to protecting standards in higher education fit in?

Income is important for fair access, but so is place
Chris Millward, the OfS’s Director for Fair Access and Participation, looks at the factors influencing participation in higher education.

Good universities have nothing to fear from the OfS’s quality crackdown
It is not in the interests of institutions with high-quality provision to offer courses that fall short of the mark, says OfS chair Lord Wharton.

Offshore opportunity: protecting students in transnational education
As we develop our approach to regulating quality and standards, we’re making sure that protection extends beyond students studying in England, to those based overseas too.

Publications

Regulatory advice 19: The OfS’s approach to determining the amount of a monetary penalty
This document provides guidance for registered providers on our approach to the calculation of a monetary penalty. It provides information about the factors that we will consider in calculating the amount of a monetary penalty and our approach to settlement discounts.

Consultation on the OfS’s approach to monetary penalties: Analysis of responses
This document identifies and discusses the most significant issues raised by respondents to the consultation on our approach to monetary penalties. We sought views on our proposed approach to determining the amount of a monetary penalty, including any discount for early settlement.

Annual fee information collection guidance
Any higher education provider holding an access and participation plan must annually return information on the fees it charges to students. This document describes how providers must return this information.

Uni Connect annual report: Phase two (August 2019 to July 2020)
This report showcases achievements of Uni Connect during phase two of the programme, from August 2019 to July 2020.

Uni Connect phase three guidance for 2021-22
This document sets out the aims, priorities and expectations of the Office for Students’ (OfS) Uni Connect programme for phase three, covering 1 August 2021 through to 31 July 2022. It will be of particular interest to the Uni Connect partnerships as a source of information for the delivery of activity in the 2021-22 academic year.

The National Student Survey: Student experience during the pandemic
The NSS gauges students’ experiences of learning and teaching at university or college. This year it enables us to look at the impact of the covid pandemic on their experiences, including the special arrangements universities and colleges have put in place for learning, teaching and wellbeing support.

Higher education short course trial – Challenge Competition initial guidance
This note provides initial information for OfS registered providers and other stakeholders, including employers, on the aims of the Competition, available funding, an indication of likely competition criteria, and next steps and timelines. Full bidding guidance and assessment criteria will be published in late August 2021.

Consultation on quality and standards conditions
We undertook a preliminary consultation on a range of quality and standards issues during the winter of 2020-21. The current consultation takes forward some aspects of that consultation and makes more detailed proposals about new regulatory requirements.

Consultation on regulating quality and standards in higher education: Analysis of responses
This document is an analysis of responses to our consultation on regulating quality and standards in higher education held between 17 November 2020 and 25 January 2021.

Recurrent funding for 2021-22: Outcomes of consultation
This document sets out our analysis of the responses we received to the ‘Consultation on recurrent funding for 2021-22’ (OfS 2021.01) and the decisions that we have taken on recurrent funding for academic year 2021-22.

Distribution of capital funding for financial year 2021-22: Outcomes of consultation
This document reports the decisions taken by the OfS on the distribution of capital grant funding for the financial year (April to March) 2021-22.

Capital funding for financial year 2021-22: Allocations and invitation to bid
This document sets out the arrangements for the distribution by the OfS of capital grant for the financial year (April to March) 2021-22.

TEF: update on the development of proposals for the future exercise
The OfS is developing proposals for consultation on the future TEF as part of a coherent overall approach to regulating quality and standards. This document provides an update on the development of proposals to be the subject of consultation for the future TEF.

Deadlines and requirements for 2021-22 data returns and Annual Financial Return 2022
This letter sets out information about deadlines for data returns required during the 2021-22 academic year. It also provides early information about the requirements for the Annual Financial Return 2022.

Annual TRAC 2019-20: Sector summary and analysis by TRAC peer group
This paper contains analysis of the 2019-20 sector aggregate data based on submissions from higher education institutions in England and Northern Ireland. Also provided is a summary of UK sector data.

Recurrent funding for 2021-22
This publication summarises the OfS's allocations of recurrent funding to higher education providers for the academic year 2021-22, to support their teaching activities.

Terms and conditions of funding for 2021-22
This document sets out terms and conditions of funding that apply for the academic year 1 August 2021 to 31 July 2022.

Regulatory advice 9: Accounts direction
We published a clarification note which relates to the accounts direction.

Web updates

Regulation and the Register

Quality and standards: new provider pages on changes to approach

The Register: May and June 2021 bulletins added

The Register: number of providers updated

Data and analysis

Individual Learner Record (ILR): new ILR training pages added

Data amendments process: new dates added for panel schedule and data errors submission

Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC): 2019-20 Annual TRAC data published

Student number data: student numbers data updated for 2019-20 and 2018-19

Proceed: Updated methodology and results: workbook updated to correct a minor error

Employment and skills

Events: recording added of Higher education short course trial Challenge Competition webinar

Student information

NSS: 2021 data published

Funding for providers

Capital funding: information updated for 2021-22

Annual funding: 2021-22 summary data published

For students

Student guide to coronavirus: student FAQs updated to align with announcement of step four of the government's roadmap

Student guide to quality and standards: updates to our changes to quality and standards page

General

How we are run: new page added on how we are funded

Our board and committees: register of interests updated for board members and Quality Assurance Committee

How to request information from us: retention schedule updated

Procurement: tender opportunities updated

Our board and committees: April 2021 board papers published

TRAC website: TRAC peer groups 2019-20 added (see Annex 4.1b)

Read this month's digital update

News

OfS seeks new student panel members
The Office for Students is seeking to appoint five new members of its student panel ahead of the new academic year.

New analysis explores local variations in graduate opportunities
Graduates are most likely to enter well-paid jobs if they live in London or the South East. However, opportunities for highly-skilled work can be found widely across the country – according to new analysis by the OfS.

OfS annual report and accounts
The Office for Students has published its annual report and accounts for 2020-21. The report covers the OfS’s third year of operation, and our progress in delivering against our regulatory objectives.

The OfS seeks a new independent member for its Risk and Audit Committee

The OfS seeks new independent members for its Quality Assessment Committee and Provider Risk Committee

New analysis shows big boost in numbers of women enrolling on AI and data science courses
New findings from an external evaluation of artificial intelligence (AI) and data science postgraduate conversion courses funded by the Office for Students (OfS) shows a high proportion of enrolments from women, black and disabled students.

Office for Students to examine assessment practices
The Office for Students has today launched a review of the use of ‘inclusive’ assessment practices that disregard poor spelling, punctuation and grammar when students’ work is assessed. The review is part of a range of activities to drive up the quality of higher education courses and ensure that standards are maintained.

New OfS analysis finds university finances in good order
New analysis for the Office for Students finds that the finances of universities and other higher education providers remain in broadly good order, despite the continuing impact of the pandemic and a range of other issues.

Blog

An inclusive mindset for adult learners: an international perspective
Professor Liz Johnson shares her experience of supporting return-to-study learners.

Seeing the difference: Raising awareness of the allied health professions
A major OfS-funded programme is helping boost student recruitment to courses leading to vital roles in the allied health professions.

Quality and standards: The road to more rigorous regulation
As we develop our next set of proposals for regulating quality and standards, director of regulation Susan Lapworth explains what to expect, and sets out the action we’re already taking to maintain the high-quality courses and rigorous standards that students expect and deserve.

Data Futures: balancing burden and benefit
Richard Puttock, the OfS’s director of data, foresight and analysis, discusses the balance of burden and benefit in data collection, and sets out next steps in the Data Futures programme.

Reflections on a challenging year and priorities for the future
OfS chief executive Nicola Dandridge reflects on a tough year for higher education students and sets out the OfS’s priorities for the year ahead.

Publications

A geography of employment and earnings
Experimental statistics classifying local variations in graduate opportunities

National Student Survey 2021: Publication of data
Information on the plans for the publication of the 2021 National Student Survey (NSS) results.

Equality, diversity and student characteristics data
Equality, diversity and student characteristics data: Students at English higher education providers between 2010-11 and 2019-20

Staff at the Office for Students: Equality, diversity and inclusion statistics
Equality, diversity and inclusion statistics for staff employed by the Office for Students

Annual report and accounts 2020-21
The OfS has published its annual report and accounts for 2019-20. The report covers the OfS’s second year of operation, and our progress in delivering against our regulatory objectives.

Independent research: Evaluation of the Strategic Interventions in Health Education Disciplines programme

Letter about the statement of expectations for preventing and addressing harassment and sexual misconduct affecting students in higher education
A letter to providers restating our invitation to review and update their systems, policies and procedures in line with the statement of expectations.

Letter to providers: TEF update
A letter to providers setting out the latest information about the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF).

Letter to providers: Applications for a TEF provisional award 
This letter gives information about how to apply for a Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) provisional award.

Proposed new name for NCH at Northeastern Limited
Details of a consultation on a proposed new name for NCH at Northeastern Limited.

Financial sustainability of higher education providers in England
This report analyses the overall financial position of universities, colleges and other higher education providers registered with the OfS across the English higher education sector.

Web updates

Regulation and the Register

Regulation: we are now open to new applications for degree awarding powers

The OfS Register: number of registered providers updated

Data and analysis

A geography of employment and earnings: interactive maps published

Official statistics: update to HESES survey data relating to academic year 2020-21 added to release schedule

Official statistics: annual TRAC data 2019-20 - publication date added to release schedule

Student numbers data updated

Equality, diversity and student characteristics data updated

Equality, diversity and student characteristics data: note added to 2020 methodology document

Promoting equal opportunities

New disabled students resource added

Evaluation: TASO survey deadline extended

Employment and skills

Student outcomes and employability: employer testimonials published on the graduate employment and skills guide

Planning to study: Lancaster University data science course updated

Teaching

TEF branding guidelines: updated for 2021

Student information

National Student Survey: update to the 2020 NSS data including data amendments and accounts for provider mergers since the data was last published

Funding for providers

Funding competition to improve access and participation for black, Asian and minority ethnic students in postgraduate research: independent evaluation team appointed

Student wellbeing and protection

Student wellbeing and protection: addressing sexual harassment resource added

For students

Student finance: Turing Scheme page added

Student guide to coronavirus: FAQ on student vaccinations added

General

Our board and committees: May 2018 board papers updated

OfS privacy: Student Spotlight email privacy notice updated

Procurement: new tender opportunity added

How we are run: April 2021 transparency data added

Careers: new recruitment portal and guidance for applicants added

Our student panel: minutes added for February 2021 meeting

Read this month's digital update

News

What is really going on with arts funding in higher education?
There have been several news reports and discussion on social media recently concerning proposals to reduce funding for arts subjects in higher education in England.

New OfS chair sets out priorities in first speech
Lord Wharton, the new chair of the Office for Students (OfS), will set out his priorities for the role in a speech to university leaders today.

New measure shows substantial differences in likely job and study outcomes for students
A new measure, published by the Office for Students, projects new students’ likelihood of finding professional level employment or embarking on further study in the year after they graduate.

OfS programme boosts outreach to underrepresented students
Evaluation of the Uni Connect programme has highlighted positive learner outcomes which are likely to support improving access for underrepresented groups. Insights come from four new reports providing the latest evaluation of Uni Connect’s progress.

Surge of mature applicants sparks calls for additional support
Universities and colleges have a “golden opportunity” to help a new generation of adult learners upskill, with strong increases in the number of mature applicants applying to study full time, the Office for Students says today.

Chris Millward to end fair access role in December
Chris Millward’s four-year term of office as the first director for fair access and participation at the Office for Students (OfS) will end in December 2021, the OfS has confirmed today.

Blog

Steps to success: helping graduates with their career journey
Working with the Department for Education, the sector and employers, the OfS has published a new online graduate information resource. By Brooke Storer-Church, Head of Skills, Office for Students

Fair access to English higher education in the 21st century – a story in five parts
In a personal reflection, the OfS’s Director for Fair Access and Participation, Chris Millward, looks back across two decades of policy, funding and regulation – and forward, as the next chapter unfolds.

Robust but civil debate: how the OfS protects free speech on campus
Free speech and academic freedom are fundamental to university and college culture. Susan Lapworth, OfS director of regulation, discusses how all students and staff should be supported to have open and honest debate.

Balancing act: measuring our progress on minimising regulatory burden
We are committed to keeping unnecessary regulatory burden to a minimum, but are we succeeding? Nicola Dandridge discusses the progress we have made so far, and what we will do next.

Learn from disabled students so everyone benefits from the digital revolution
On Global Accessibility Awareness Day, the OfS’s Head of Strategy Josh Fleming and Piers Wilkinson, Student Voice Commissioner at the Disabled Students’ Commission, emphasise the importance of listening to disabled students at a critical juncture for digital learning and accessibility.

Publications

Unistats 2021: timetable and arrangements for the submission and publication of data

Student hardship funding: monitoring and additional allocation

Experimental statistics: Projected completion and employment from entrant data (Proceed): Updated methodology and results

Independent research: Third independent review of evaluation evidence submitted by Uni Connect partnerships

Independent research: Emerging insight report: COVID-19 and Uni Connect

Independent research: Formative evaluation of Uni Connect phase two: Findings

Experimental official statistics: Uni Connect national evaluation: An analysis of young participation in higher education in England in the areas targeted by Uni Connect

Payment of annual OfS registration fees 2021-22: Technical guidance for providers

Insight brief: Improving opportunity and choice for mature students

Web updates

Regulation and the Register

Timeline of regulatory decisions: March and April 2021 bulletins added

Data and analysis

Official statistics: Interactive maps of geography of employment and earnings published

Official statistics: number of UK-domiciled undergraduate students to English higher education providers 2006-07 to 2019-20 data published

Official statistics: published key performance measure 26 on regulatory burden

Access and participation plan data: monitoring data and outcomes 2018-19 data added

Student numbers updated

Promoting equal opportunities

Uni Connect programme:

Events: recording published of Lifelong options: Improving opportunities for adult learners, supporting local and national prosperity

Effective practice: five new case studies added on care experienced students

Employment and skills

Graduate employment and skills guide: a new guide for students who are about to graduate and are at the start of their career journey

Graduate employability case studies: new collection of case studies showcasing new initiatives and measures universities and colleges have introduced this year to support students as they transition from university to graduate life

Funding for providers

Medical and dental targets updated for entry in 2021-22

Health education funding information updated

For students

Get involved: applications open for student panel vacancies

Student guide to coronavirus: Returning to university FAQs updated to reflect the latest guidance from the government

Planning to study: new guide for adult learners published

General

Measures of our success: key performance measure 22, 23 and 25 published on internal efficiency and effectiveness

Guidance from government: latest guidance added on the additional students taking up medicine and dentistry places in the 2021-22 academic year

Our board and committees:

OfS board papers: March 2021 paper published

Procurement: pipeline of opportunities updated

How we are run: latest transparency data added

Read this month's digital update

News

OfS calls for improved support for students who’ve been in care
A guarantee of year-round accommodation, tailored pastoral support and admissions which take into account applicants’ experiences are among the steps that universities and colleges could put in place to help improve support for students who have been in care, the Office for Students (OfS) has said.

Review sexual misconduct and harassment policies by this summer, OfS urges universities
The OfS has called for urgent action to tackle harassment and sexual misconduct in universities and colleges. OfS chief executive, Nicola Dandridge, urges all higher education providers to review their policies, systems and procedures before the next academic year.

Blog

The secret to delivering a better higher education experience? Involve students every step of the way
Student panel members reflect on our recent digital review and suggest that, above all else, providers should involve students in the design and delivery of the digital learning experience.
Ramy Badrie, Student panel member, Martha Longdon, Chair of the OfS's student panel and student experience board member

Building the regulatory picture: understanding student experiences and concerns
Students are experts in the higher education experience and their feedback helps build our understanding of the sector. But students should also be empowered to make the most of regulation.
Cassie Agbehenu, Student Engagement Manager, Akua Dwomoh-Bonsu, Compliance and Student Protection Manager

Protecting students if a provider is at risk of closure
If a university or other higher education provider is at risk of closure, its students will have fundamental questions about what that means for them.
Susan Lapworth, Director of regulation

How we expect universities and colleges to tackle harassment and sexual misconduct
Universities and colleges should be about open intellectual engagement between students and lecturers, in an atmosphere of trust and respect. Yet for too many students, the spirit of open inquiry is closed by the threat of harassment and sexual assault. This is not acceptable – and we need to do all we can to address it.
Nicola Dandridge, OfS chief executive

Publications

Consistency needed: Care experienced students and higher education
This Insight brief looks at the obstacles these students face and how they can be addressed, including examples of good practice and the recommendations of a recently commissioned report.

Supporting care experienced students in English higher education: towards a more consistent approach
The Office for Students commissioned the National Network for the Education of Care Leavers to undertake a short feasibility study on the potential development of a more consistent offer for care experienced students.

Condition F1 - Transparency 2021 information: Specification and publication guidance
Specification of the Transparency 2021 information and guidance for providers on the publication of the Transparency 2021 information which is a condition of registration.

Web updates

Skills and employment

Degree apprenticeships: gov.uk provider guide to delivering apprenticeships added

Student wellbeing

Prevent and address harassment and sexual misconduct: statement of expectations published

Harassment, hate and sexual misconduct: student information on harassment and sexual misconduct updated

Student safeguarding evaluation and resources: page structures updated

Corporate and general

OfS privacy: updated eventbrite privacy notice

Our board and committees: updated register of interests

Board papers: links to previously exempt publications added for January and March 2018 papers

Read this month's digital update

News

Major shake-up for National Student Survey following review
Major changes in the National Student Survey (NSS) will be introduced over the next two years following the first phase of a review of the survey conducted by the Office for Students (OfS).

OfS sets out new condition to protect students if a university or college closes
The OfS will introduce a new condition of registration to help protect students’ interests where a university, college or other higher education provider runs into severe financial difficulties - or has to close for other reasons.

OfS responds to the Commission on Race and Ethnic Disparities report
Chris Millward, director for fair access and participation, responds to the Commission's report into racial and ethnic disparities in the UK.

Regulator opens consultations on funding and outlines new plans to improve outreach to disadvantaged students
Universities and colleges have been invited to give their views on a number of proposed changes to how the Office for Students (OfS) allocates funding. The OfS has also published its next steps on how it will fund outreach to improve equality of opportunity in higher education.

Be sensible with admissions to secure quality, OfS warns
Universities and colleges must keep the promises they make to students during this year’s admissions cycle and not end up 'sacrificing quality for inflated intakes', the chief executive of the Office for Students (OfS) has warned today.

Students need support to succeed in and beyond higher education
Persistent gaps in outcomes for some groups of students highlight the need for universities and colleges to support students effectively to succeed in higher education, the Office for Students (OfS) has warned.

Blog

Evaluation in a time of crisis
Richard Shiner, head of access and participation evaluation and Rae Tooth, chief executive at Villiers Park Educational Trust explore the importance of evaluation and how it can improve our vision for the future.

Building on success: a new focus for Uni Connect
The Uni Connect programme will continue to support the most disadvantaged young learners while placing a greater focus on supporting adults into higher education and training.

The year ahead: What students can expect from the OfS
Many students were delighted to return to school last week. After such a difficult year – often with extremely disrupted learning – getting back in the classroom with their friends and teachers was a welcome boost. Those in their final year in college or sixth form will now be thinking about their next steps.

Technology in teaching is a big opportunity – but it's how you use it that counts
Online learning has become the new reality for students over the past year. But with a lockdown exit plan in place and we look to a post-pandemic world, it should not be jettisoned completely.

Making student mental health a priority
For University Mental Health Day, Amy Norton, the OfS’s Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, explains how the OfS is working with higher education providers and the third sector to promote effective practice in mental health support for students and help them to thrive.

Publications

Regulatory notice 6: Condition C4: Student protection directions
This regulatory notice contains an ongoing condition of registration introduced to enable the OfS to intervene more quickly and in a targeted way when we consider there to be a material risk that a registered provider may cease the provision of higher education.

Consultation on student protection directions: Decision
This document sets out the decisions taken by the OfS following analysis of responses to the consultation on student protection directions.

Information about deadlines for data returns
This letter sets out further information about deadlines for data returns required during the 2020-21 academic year.

NSS review: Phase one report
The report summarises the findings of the first phase of the 2020 NSS review and makes recommendations for the second phase of the review.

Consultation on distribution of capital funding for financial year 2021-22
We are consulting on the approach to capital funding for financial year 2021-22 following the Department for Education’s guidance letter which has made available £150 million in capital funding for the Office for Students to distribute. This consultation sets out our proposals for the distribution of capital funding to providers.

Consultation on recurrent funding for 2021-22
We are consulting on the approach to recurrent funding for 2021-22 in the light of the government’s statutory guidance letter and the condition of grant applied by the Secretary of State on the Office for Students. 

A new approach to the Uni Connect programme from 2021-22 to 2024-25
In this consultation response we identify and discuss the issues raised by respondents to the proposals set out in the consultation and demonstrate how we have taken these into account in deciding how to move forward with our approach for phase three of the programme.

Formative evaluation of Uni Connect phase two: survey of school and college staff
The evaluation looks at school and college engagement and relationships with Uni Connect targeted outreach, the unique offering of Uni Connect targeted outreach and the differential outcomes, including how and why Uni Connect is working differently for different groups.

An independent evaluation of Uni Connect’s impact on intermediate outcomes for learners
This is a report for the Office for Students on the first three waves of the longitudinal survey of Uni Connect target learners. The analysis presented in this report looks at the extent of the change in intermediate outcomes for Uni Connect target learners between 2017 and 2019, whether these changes are associated with particular learner characteristics, how learners engage with the programme, and whether they can be attributed to Uni Connect.

Evaluation of access and participation plan reforms
A commentary from the director for fair access and participation on progress since the new reforms, an independent evaluation of how the reforms are driving change in provider behaviour to create equality of opportunity and a response from the OfS to this evaluation.

Update - Guidance for providers about student and consumer protection during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
We have updated our guidance on student and consumer protection during the pandemic to ensure it continues to be appropriate in the current lockdown.

Web updates

For students

For students: revised section structure

Student guide to coronavirus:

Advice for EU and international students: government guidance updated

Promoting equal opportunities

Access and participation plans:

Uni Connect: new approach to Uni Connect added

Employment and skills

Study artificial intelligence and data science as a postgraduate: course start dates added

Local graduate case studies: new case study added on virtual internships

Funding for providers

Annual funding updated to reflect consultations

PGR funding competition: dates updated

Regulation and the Register

The Register: February bulletin added

Data and analysis

Student number data: data updated

Institutional performance measures: technical documentation updated

Official statistics:

Student information

Discover Uni and Unistats: updated widget user guide

National Student Survey:

Corporate and general

Event: Gravity assist: a new era for higher education? recording added

Our student panel: panel members updated and October 2020 minutes added

Board papers: Latest board papers published

Our board and committees: updated board members and registers of interest

Gender pay gap: March 2020 data added

Procurement: pipeline of future tender opportunities and new opportunity added

TRAC website

TRAC guidance: FAQ added on research charge-out rates

Read this month's digital update

News

The OfS distributes £50 million hardship funding
The OfS has written to universities and colleges with details of additional funding of £50 million to help address student hardship.

Lord Wharton appointed as new chair of the Office for Students (OfS)
Lord Wharton begins his term in April 2021.

Clearer expectations on harassment for universities and colleges
The OfS is re-launching its work to tackle harassment and sexual misconduct in higher education.

OfS responds to the government’s proposals on free speech

Students more confident with online learning than lecturers are about teaching digitally
Universities and colleges need to boost training and support for lecturers to realise long-term advantages of digital teaching and learning, a new landmark report has said.

Blog

Graduate opportunities in a new tech world
Postgraduate conversion courses funded by the OfS are equipping students with digital skills to work in a wide range of industries.

How to raise a concern about a university or college
Now more than ever it is crucial for students to know what to expect from their university or college about teaching and support.

Improving local prosperity: the big challenge for higher education in 2021
Chris Millward looks at the role higher education plays in local prosperity by improving opportunities through education and jobs.

‘This is the higher education sector’s moment to learn, change and innovate’
As Sir Michael Barber, chair of the Office for Students, publishes his review of digital teaching and learning, Jisc’s chief executive, Dr Paul Feldman, assesses the potential impact of its recommendations on post-pandemic higher education.

Publications

Evaluating the delivery and impact of the OfS investment in the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes
This report sets a baseline for the evaluation of the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO), and gives recommendations for the OfS, TASO and the sector.

Further additional funding of £50 million for student hardship for financial year 2020-21
The government has made available additional one-off funding totalling £50 million to help address hardship faced by students as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic.

2019-20 post-collection outputs: release letter
This letter provides information on post-collection output files, how to access them and which outputs will be available.

General ongoing condition A1: Provisional decision to approve an access and participation plan
These letters give information on the roll-over of initial approval of access and participation plans to cover the academic year 2021-22.

Outcomes of consultation: Additional recurrent and capital funding for 2020-21 and monitoring of medical and dental intake targets
This reports our decisions on additional recurrent and capital teaching funding for financial year 2020-21 and highlights outcomes from the consultation.

Gravity assist: propelling higher education towards a brighter future
A review of digital teaching and learning led by Sir Michael Barber and commissioned by the Secretary of State for Education.

Web updates

Coronavirus

Letter from the Minister of State for Universities added on plans for the reopening of education settings

Student guide to coronavirus:

  • updated FAQs to reflect government guidance
  • updated government and OfS guidance for students, including resuming in-person learning from 8 March

Funding for providers

Changes to funding and monitoring for 2019-20

Promoting equal opportunities

Effective practice: Inclusive practice resources for disabled students added

Access and participation plan monitoring: student submission deadline added

Data and analysis

Official statistics:

Regulation and the Register

Government guidance: letter from the Universities Minister on distribution of further hardship funding

Addition to the January 2021 bulletin

Teaching

TEF advisory group: membership details updated

Corporate

Procurement: tender opportunity added

Our boards and committees: board members’ register of interests updated

Transparency data:

  • Spending over £25,000 - December 2020 and January 2021 data
  • Senior staff expenses - 2020-21 Q3 data

Read this month's digital update

News

Latest lockdown should not lead to lost learning, says regulator
Universities should do all they can to deliver the teaching they have promised to students and alternative arrangements where this is not possible. This may include putting on extra lectures, repeating parts of the course, or fee refunds.

OfS responds to the government’s interim response to the Augar review, statutory guidance on funding, and the TEF
The OfS has responded to measures on higher education announced today by the Department for Education.

New guide to help students raise concerns
The Office for Students (OfS) has published a new guide as part of its work to support students, student representatives and students’ unions to notify the OfS about issues that may arise at their university or college which relate to its regulatory responsibilities.

OfS responds to latest statistics on degree attainment

Blog

The Disabled Students’ Commission: Making a difference for disabled students in higher education
Estelle Kane, 
Beth Cooper, Access and Participation Officer, 

White students who are left behind: the importance of place
Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation, 

How can we improve support for students who have been in care or required the support of a social worker?
Dr Omar Khan, Director of the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO)

Publications

Letter to accountable officers: Regulation during the current phase of the coronavirus pandemic
This letter gives a short update on the actions we are taking in response to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic and, in particular, the lockdown imposed by government on 5 January.

Letter to accountable officers: Office for Students’ response to today’s announcements from the Department for Education
This letter updates English higher education providers on how the OfS intends to take forward the announcements from the Department for Education on funding and the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF).

Guidance for providers about quality and standards during the coronavirus pandemic
This updated guidance sets out our expectations for providers in maintaining quality and standards during the period of disruption resulting from the coronavirus pandemic.

Guidance for providers about reportable events during the coronavirus  pandemic
This update gives guidance for providers about reportable events during the coronavirus pandemic.

Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework: Findings from the second subject-level pilot 2018-19
These reports set out the results and key findings from the 2018-19 Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework subject-level pilot.

Office for Students notifications: A guide for students, student representatives and students’ unions

National Student Survey: Procedures for investigating allegations of inappropriate influence
Updated to reflect the results of a data impact assessment

Web updates

Coronavirus

Provider guide to coronavirus: Additional FAQ on distribution of student hardship funding for 2020-21

Student guide to coronavirus: Latest government guidance for students on the current lockdown

Data and analysis

Ad hoc statistics: Transparency return 2019 applications data

New key performance measures:

Promoting equal opportunities

Addressing Barriers to Student Success programme:

Uni Connect: recording added of online event providing information on the consultation on a new approach to the Uni Connect programme from 2021-22 to 2024-25

Uni Connect: Phase three FAQs added

Regulation and the Register

The Register: two new Degree Awarding Powers listed

Skills and employment

Local graduates case studies:

Student information and data

National Student Survey: information on the coronavirus pandemic - questions added

Guide to notifications – discussion sessions for students, student representatives and students' union officers

Funding for providers

Deadline extended to 27 May 2021 for funding to improve access and participation for black, Asian and minority ethnic students in postgraduate research

General

Our board and committees: Update to Register of interests for board members and for Risk and Audit Committee

Guidance from government: statutory guidance on the allocation of higher education teaching grant funding in the 2021-22 financial year

Transparency data: November 2020 data for spending over £25,000 and procurement spend over £500 published

Read this month's digital update

News

Office for Students distributes additional hardship funding
The OfS has today written to universities and colleges with details of additional funding of £20 million to help to address student hardship.

The OfS sets out how students can register concerns
New guidance issued by the OfS has outlined how we will continue to respond to students, staff at universities and members of the public who have concerns that a university may be breaching its registration conditions.

The OfS seeks views on approach to collaborative outreach
The OfS has launched a consultation on the future of the Uni Connect programme, setting out plans to extend the funding of the programme to 2025.

New OfS analysis examines differences in higher education access and continuation between different groups of students
The OfS has published a new analysis of differences on access and continuation rates in higher education between students from different ethnic groups.

OfS publishes new experimental measure on student outcomes
The OfS has published details of a new measure which projects how likely it is that students will end up graduating as well as going on to professional employment or further study.

Statement on preferred candidate for OfS Chair
The Department for Education has announced that Lord Wharton of Yarm is the preferred candidate to be the new chair of the Office for Students.

English higher education ‘in reasonable financial shape’ despite impact of pandemic
Finances at England’s universities and other higher education providers largely remain sound despite the early impact of the pandemic, new analysis from the OfS has found. However, there is significant variation in the position of different providers.

Universities’ response to pandemic could see radical improvements in digital teaching, says OfS
Universities and colleges in England should take the opportunity to radically improve digital teaching and learning as they continue to negotiate the impact of the coronavirus pandemic, the Office for Students (OfS) has said in its annual review.

Blog

Uni Connect consultation - routes to success
A new OfS consultation proposes a more targeted approach to higher education collaborative outreach with a greater focus on further education and mature learners.

What’s the point of regulation?
Cathryn Ross, Group Regulatory Affairs Director, BT Group, reflects on the OfS's recent Insight event.

Why regulate? Reflections from the latest OfS Insight event
What is the point of regulation? What do students and higher education providers want to see from the higher education regulator? These were a couple of the questions raised in our Insight event held online last week.

OfS will tackle pockets of low quality higher education provision
Nick Holland, Competition and Registration Manager at the Office for Students introduces new proposals on poor quality courses.

Publications

Graduate wellbeing recorded in the Graduate Outcomes survey
This report summarises the wellbeing of graduates as reported in the Graduate Outcomes survey, which graduates have responded to 15 months after completing their higher education course.

Student transfers: Experimental statistics on students changing course from 2012-13 to 2017-18
This report:

  • introduces the numbers and proportions of students who transfer, both within the same provider and to a different provider, from 2012-13 to 2017-18
  • examines the number of students who change to a different course and were not reported to have carried credit from the previous study with them
  • examines the proportions of student transfers by certain characteristics.

Financial sustainability of higher education providers in England: An update
This report provides a summary of the Office for Students’ (OfS’s) analysis of financial data returned by registered higher education providers in England (excluding further education colleges) to the OfS at the end of October 2020 as part of an ‘interim financial data return’.

Additional funding for student hardship for 2020‑21
Details of one-off funding totalling £20 million that the OfS is distributing to higher education providers in the financial year 2020-21 to address student hardship.

Student submissions for the monitoring of 2019-20 access and participation plans
Guidance on how students can complete a report on the progress their university or college has made in delivering its 2019-20 access and participation plan.

Consultation on a new approach to the Uni Connect programme from 2021-22 to 2024-25
The OfS is seeking views on a new approach to the Uni Connect programme from academic year 2021-22 to 2024-25.

An independent review of evaluation evidence submitted by Uni Connect partnerships
This evaluation report presents the findings from an independent review of partnerships’ evaluation evidence, conducted by CFE Research.

Regulatory advice 15: Monitoring and intervention
This guidance document provides further information for registered providers on monitoring and intervention.

Regulatory advice 18: Notifications about providers from third parties
This document provides guidance for registered providers about the way in which the OfS will treat ‘notifications’ from third parties in its regulatory activities.

Consultation on reportable events
We are consulting on our requirements for reportable events. A reportable event is a standing requirement placed on each registered provider to report certain events or matters to the OfS.

Consultation on the Office for Students’ approach to monetary penalties
We are seeking views on our proposed approach to the use of our powers to impose monetary penalties on a higher education provider that breaches its conditions of registration with the OfS.

Consultation on publication of information about higher education providers
The OfS receives and generates information about the sector as a whole and about individual providers’ performance and regulatory compliance. We are now seeking views on the approach that we propose to take to the publication of information about individual providers and other persons.

Access and continuation data by ethnicity, provider tariff group and subject group
This report summarises access and continuation data for full-time (or apprenticeship) UK-domiciled undergraduate entrants to English higher education providers between 2013-14 and 2018-19, split by ethnicity and provider tariff group.

Fee information for new entrants in 2021-22
This document provides information about the prescribed fee caps that apply to individual higher education providers and the maximum fees chargeable by that provider to new students starting courses in 2021-22.

Developing an understanding of projected rates of progression from entry to professional employment
This research report outlines a new measure reporting projected rates of students progressing from entry to first degree programmes through to professional employment or further study (previously referred to as ‘start to success’).

English higher education 2020: The Office for Students annual review
We have published our annual review, reflecting on a year of challenge and resilience for English higher education. The review looks at our support to students and the sector during the pandemic, and sets out our priorities for 2021.

Web updates

Coronavirus

Latest on returning to university in 2021
We have updated our FAQ for students on returning to university in 2021, including new information about tier 4.

Provider guide to coronavirus: FAQs updated with government guidance on student movement

Data and analysis

Official statistics: Annual release of intake numbers from the medical and dental survey

Official statistics: Update to National Student Survey results 2020

Student numbers 2018-19 - monthly update

Access and participation

Funding competition to improve access and participation for black, Asian and minority ethnic students in postgraduate research: webinar recording added and FAQs updated

Gypsy, Roma and Traveller effective practice: GTRSB into Higher Education Pledge information added

Regulation and the Register

Complaints and notifications: New webpage added on notifications from students or other third parties

New guide added on monitoring and intervention regulation

Additional FAQs added for changes to quality and standards

Insight event - Regulator and regulated: what’s the right relationship?: recordings of event added

Student wellbeing and protection

Consumer Benefit Forum: new webpage added

Student information

NSS: Membership of the NSS working group updated

Student panel: latest minutes published

Miscellaneous

Brexit advice for students: updated information following the government's changes to student visas and immigration

New key performance measures: diversity of provider choice within subject and diversity of subject choice by region

Transparency data: October 2020 data for spending over £25,000 and procurement spend over £500 published

2020

Read this month's digital update

News

Support for disadvantaged students crucial as selective university numbers rise
More than 1,000 extra students from some of the most disadvantaged parts of the country have started courses at high tariff universities this year.

Universities must keep students informed on teaching plans, says regulator
The Office for Students (OfS) has today written to universities and colleges to highlight the importance of communicating changes to how courses are taught during the lockdown amid concerns of inadequate information for students where tougher pandemic restrictions have been introduced.

Online student mental health support extended through lockdown into 2021
Student Space, an online platform delivering targeted mental health support to students during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, will be extended to cover the 2020-21 academic year – the Office for Students (OfS) has confirmed today.

Regulator plans tougher minimum standards in higher education
A consultation launched by the Office for Students (OfS) today sets out initial proposals to raise the bar on quality and standards in higher education.

Grade inflation ‘remains a significant and pressing issue’ – new OfS analysis
The rapid increase in students receiving first class honours degrees which cannot be explained by factors which may affect attainment has slowed, new data from the Office for Students (OfS) shows.

OfS commissions new study on support for care experienced students
A new project exploring how national support for care experienced students can be improved has been commissioned by the Office for Students.

New data highlights equality gaps for estranged students
Students who are estranged from their parents are considerably less likely to be awarded a first or 2:1 and more likely to drop out in their first year of studies, according to new experimental data released by the Office for Students (OfS).

New analysis shows postgraduate courses are increasing diversity in AI and data science
New autumn 2020 student admissions data shows a diverse range of students have enrolled on artificial intelligence (AI) and data science postgraduate conversion courses funded by the Office for Students (OfS).

Blog

Tackling differential outcomes for underrepresented students in higher education - Melanie Redwood, 

Why grade inflation matters - Nick Holland, 

Beyond COVID-19: The future of digital teaching and learning - Lara Bird, 

Flexible learning can improve diversity and inclusion in higher education - Rachid Hourizi, 

Join Your AI Future: Postgraduate conversion courses show increased diversity - Helen Embleton, 

Publications

Letter to accountable officers: Monitoring of access and participation plans 2019-20

Analysis: Update to associations between characteristics of students

Differences in student outcomes: Further characteristics

Value for money in the Office for Students: Annual report 2019-20

Analysis of degree classifications over time: Changes in graduate attainment from 2010-11 to 2018-19

Letter to accountable officers: Additional recurrent and capital funding for 2020‑21 and monitoring of medical and dental intake targets - initial decisions

Consultation on regulating quality and standards in higher education

Registration condition B3: 2020 sector-level indicators

National Student Survey: Procedures for investigating allegations of inappropriate influence - updated for NSS 2020

Letter to accountable officers: Coronavirus (COVID-19) - New national restrictions for England

Summative evaluation of the OfS Addressing Barriers to Student Success programme

Web updates

Regulation and the Register

Consultation event on regulating quality and standards in higher education: Recording of webinar added

Changes to quality and standards: A guide to the proposed changes

Accounts direction (Regulatory advice 9): Update to confirm the requirements regarding disclosures of access and participation expenditure for 2019-20

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: October 2020 bulletin

Coronavirus

Updates to information for students on end of term 2020: Further advice for students on going home at the end of the autumn term 2020

Consultation event on regulating quality and standards in higher education: recording of webinar added

Regulator plans tougher minimum standards in higher education: Updated guide to quality and standards - 

Promoting equal opportunities

Access and participation plan monitoring: New webpages

Role models video added featuring care experienced students

Case study of pathways to higher education for mature learners from the forced migrant community - Birkbeck, University of London

Case study of improving outcomes for local graduates - Manchester Metropolitan University

Effective practice: Resources on refugees - links for new report from UNICEF UK and Refugee Support Network; good practice from UCAS

Effective practice: Resources on Black, Asian and minority ethnic students - link to new Universities UK report 

Student wellbeing and protection

Student mental health: Resources for PhD students and their supervisors -  Queen Mary University of London

Data and analysis

HESES20: answers to questions raised at our recent webinars
- Session one: Introduction to HESES20
- Session two: Categorising your students using HESES20 definitions
- Session three: Identifying and counting students to be included in HESES20
- Session four: Submission and verification of the HESES20 workbook

Student numbers - latest data: Student numbers 2018-19

General

Release of OfS key performance measure 7: Ratio of outcomes achieved through access to money spent on access

Release of OfS key performance measure 19: Student and key stakeholder perceptions of value for money

Transparency data: Latest data for spending over £25,000 and senior staff travel and expenses

TRAC website (Transparent approach to costing)

TRAC guidance: FAQ added including a separate COVID-19 working paper

TRAC guidance: Annexes updated -

  • Annex 3.5a (Income allocation table 2019-20)
  • Annex 3.5b (Guidance on allocation of Office for Students/Research England/Funding Council grants 2019-20)
  • Annex 4.1a (2019-20 TRAC return template)

TDG membership list updated

Read this month's digital update

News

£1 million funding competition to support student mental health

OfS student panel outlines priority areas for supporting students in self-isolation

Principles-based regulation: OfS publishes new Insight brief

New report published on mental health support for postgraduate research students

Regulator monitoring digital teaching quality at universities

OfS seeks views on distributing funding for increased student numbers

New fund to improve postgraduate research participation and access

Interim evaluation of access and participation reforms

Blog

Access to higher education before, during and after the pandemic - Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation

OfS student panel statement on support for students in self-isolation during coronavirus pandemic - Martha Longdon, Chair of the OfS's student panel

Fostering a healthy and supportive research environment for postgraduate research students - Suzy Allinson, Senior Officer, Office for Students; Claire Fraser, Senior Policy Adviser, Research England

Unlocking research talent and potential - Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation; Steven Hill, Director of Research, Research England

Digital teaching and learning: the opportunity - Michael Barber, Chair, Office for Students

Publications

Funding competition: Using innovation and intersectional approaches to target mental health support for students

Insight brief - A matter of principles: Regulating in the student interest

Higher Education Students Early Statistics survey 2020-21 (HESES20): Guidance for providers

Additional recurrent and capital funding for 2020‑21 and monitoring of medical and dental intake targets: Consultation and invitation to bid for capital

Prevent monitoring: Guidance for accountability and data returns 2020

Funding competition to improve access and participation for black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in postgraduate research study

Official statistics: Postgraduate research students at high tariff providers

Independent research: Effectiveness in implementation of access and participation plan reform

NSS: The National Student Survey 2021

Office for Students' business plan: October 2020 - March 2021

Letters to accountable officers:

Insight brief and autumn-winter activity

Coronavirus outbreaks

Web updates

Coronavirus

Coronavirus provider guide: new FAQ on resources for providers in the event of a suspected outbreak

Coronavirus student guide: FAQs updated

Promoting equal opportunities

Our approach to access and participation: new page on evaluating our approach

Uni Connect: list of providers delivering digital information, advice and outreach updated

Children from military families effective practice topic briefing: new example added

Regulation and the Register

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: September 2020 bulletin

Degree awarding powers: details of degree awarding powers Order for Regent's University London Limited

Data and analysis

Young participation by area postcode search: feedback survey launched

Area-based measures: TUNDRA feedback survey launched

HESES20 data return: additional supporting documents and courses table information

HESES data: updated data for the Higher Education Students Early Statistics (HESES) survey relating to the 2019-20 academic year

HESES20: supporting documents for the HESES20 data return and new guidance videos

Area-based measures data: OfS analysis of UCAS-placed applicants by POLAR4 28 days after the Joint Council for Qualifications results day

2019-20 data checking tools: technical documentation for additional outputs:
HESA student data checking tool
HESA student alternative data checking tool

Student wellbeing

Student mental health: section update, including resources to support PGR students' mental health

Funding for providers

Funding competition to improve access and participation for black, Asian and minority ethnic students in postgraduate research: information about the new funding competition

Mental health funding competition: further FAQs added

October grant announcements: updated funding allocations, see:
Recurrent funding for 2019-20
Recurrent funding for 2020-21 
Formula capital funding for 2020-21
2019-20 and 2020-21 sector tables

Student information and data

National Student Survey (NSS): provider and students' union feedback survey

NSS: sector analysis of National Student Survey results 2020

NSS: routine update to the 2019 and 2020 NSS data to account for data amendments and provider mergers since the data was originally published

General

Key performance measure 12: holding page published for OfS KPM on learning gain

Transparency: OfS spending over £25,000 August 2020 data published

Read this month's digital update

News

Universities must provide clarity for students, says regulator
Students should expect good quality higher education, effective support for mental health and wellbeing, and clear information from their universities, the Office for Students (OfS) has said.

OfS announces next steps for the National Student Survey
The Office for Students (OfS) has detailed arrangements for a review of the National Student Survey.

Regulator outlines significant cuts to bureaucracy
The Office for Students (OfS) has set out measures to reduce unnecessary burden on universities and other higher education providers.

‘Digital poverty’ risks leaving students behind
The ability of students to participate in higher education from home is being disrupted by a lack of access to core digital infrastructure, new survey data published by the Office for Students (OfS) shows, as a major new review into digital teaching and learning is launched.

Blog

What students are telling us about learning during lockdown
Susan Lapworth, the OfS's Director of Regulation, discusses the results of our recent poll to find out how students' teaching, learning and assessment were affected during the coronavirus (COVID-19) lockdown.

Publications

Medical and Dental Students survey 2020
The OfS has published details of the Medical and Dental Students survey 2020 (MDS20).

Annual fee information collection guidance
Any higher education provider holding an access and participation plan must annually return information on the fees it charges to students. This document describes how providers must return this information.

Regulatory advice 14: Guidance for providers for the financial monitoring returns - update
This regulatory advice sets out guidance about the information that a provider is required to submit as part of its financial monitoring returns to the OfS.

Prevent: Q&A for providers on how to comply with the Prevent duty during the coronavirus pandemic

Digital teaching and learning in English higher education during the coronavirus pandemic: Call for evidence
This call for evidence is seeking a wide breadth of sector input and experience to understand the challenges faced, and lessons learned from remote teaching and learning delivery since the start of the coronavirus pandemic in March 2020.

Evaluation of the OfS Mental Health Challenge Competition
This report explores early findings from our Mental Health Challenge Competition, including lessons learned and common challenges experienced during project implementation, delivery and the development of strategic partnerships.

TRAC: clarification of deadline for the annual TRAC return and arrangements for the TRAC(T) return for 2019-20

Web updates

Coronavirus

Coronavirus section: minor updates to reflect latest situation

Learning online in the coronavirus pandemic: student guide to our digital learning and teaching review

Promoting equal opportunities

Student engagement and consultation effective practice topic briefing: new effective practice example

Teaching

TEF advisory group: membership list updated with confirmation of the Department for Education representative

Regulation and the Register

Guidance letter from the Minister for Universities: Additional teaching grant and funding/reducing the bureaucratic burden on providers

Fee limits: confirmation of fees and student support arrangements for 2021-22 Erasmus years

Reducing regulatory burden: information and FAQs

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: August 2020 bulletin

Degree awarding powers: details of five Orders made by the OfS

Data and analysis

Young participation by area - updates: revised version of our postcode search function for young participation in higher education. This includes: the latest postcodes; updated maps of participation; and a new experimental measure which classifies young participation by local area.

Data amendment process: updated terms of reference and dates for amendment panel

Student numbers for 2018-19: revised higher education student numbers for providers registered with the OfS

Individualised Learner Record (ILR) webinars: questions and answers published for week six (fees and financial support)

2019-20 data checking tools: technical documentation for additional outputs:
Individualised Learner Record (ILR) data checking tool
HESA student data checking tool
HESA student alternative data checking tool

Student wellbeing and protection

Prevent duty: change of circumstances guidance updated

Corporate

OfS key performance measures: targets for KPMs 2, 3, 4 and 5 added

OfS board: register of interests updated

Scheme of delegation: revised scheme published as well as Rules of procedure for OfS committees

How we are funded: summary of income and expenditure budgets for financial year 2020-21

Transparency: spending over £25,000 July 2020 data

TRAC (Transparent Approach to Costing) website

TRAC guidance - additional FAQs added

Read this month's digital update

News

University access improving, but big challenges remain – OfS chair

Office for Students highlights need for fairness for all students with centre assessed grades

Office for Students responds to A-level results

OfS appoints 10 new student panellists

Impact of coronavirus on projects supporting student mental health: sharing of emerging practice

Blog

Tackling harassment, hate and sexual misconduct on campus

Publications

Data collection to inform funding for 2021-22

Impact of coronavirus on OfS Mental Health Challenge Competition

Release of 2019-20 Office for Students data checking tools

Independent report: Safeguarding Catalyst Fund projects evaluation: Final report (round three, religious-based hate crime)

Uni Connect programme: An update from the Office for Students - new letter for partnerships

Web updates

Coronavirus

Student guide: FAQ on confirming your university place for 2020-21

Provider guide: update to time-limited condition of registration FAQ

Mental health support: new online platform Student Space launched by Student Minds, part funded by the OfS

Regulation and the Register

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: July 2020 bulletin published

Access and participation

Postgraduate courses in artificial intelligence and data science: start dates for courses added

Fee limits: fee limits for 2021-22

Data and analysis

Data verification: 2019-20 data checking tools sample data verification queries

Data checking tools: 2019-20 technical documentation for:

Student numbers data: 2018-19 data updated

Corporate and general

Student panel: details of new panel members

Board papers: papers from the July 2020 meeting published

TRAC website

TRAC guidance for 2019-20 returns published

Events

Individualised Learner Record (ILR) training webinars: A series of webinars covering key data fields for higher education students in the ILR. Recordings, slides and questions and answers now available:

Higher Education Students Early Statistics 2020-21 (HESES20) data return training webinars: We are holding a number of online training webinars on how to complete the HESES20 data return:

Read this month's digital monthly update

News

OfS proposes tougher measures to protect students if universities run into financial trouble

Lower A-level grades from unconditional offers lead to higher dropout rates, warns regulator

Student satisfaction stable as data continues to highlight need for clear communication

Briefing note published on higher education outreach during the pandemic

Registration decisions July 2020

Regulator bans controversial ‘conditional unconditional’ offers during pandemic

‘Three months to make a difference’ for disabled students

Blog

Innovating for learning
Dr Claire Gordon and Dr Colleen McKenna have written a blog post highlighting the benefits of student engagement in learning and teaching design.

The power of storytelling
Ben Hunt, Senior Officer in Student Information, Advice and Guidance at the Office for Students, reflects on three lessons (and five questions) from his three roles in higher education.

How the Office for Students is supporting LGBT+ students
OfS Senior Equality and Diversity Officer Josh Callander discusses our activities to support LGBT+ students and our future ambitions.

Our approach to publishing this year’s National Student Survey
Richard Puttock introduces this year’s NSS, explaining the steps taken to ensure its reliability.

Publications

Regulatory notice 5: Condition Z3 Temporary provisions for sector stability and integrity

Consultation on the integrity and stability of the English higher education sector: Analysis of responses and equality impact assessment

Consultation on student protection directions

Impact of coronavirus on OfS Mental Health Challenge Competition

Coronavirus briefing note: Supporting disadvantaged students through higher education outreach

National Student Survey 2020: Analysis of the impact of the coronavirus pandemic

Update on the Office for Students’ approach to regulation and information about deadlines for data returns

Final evaluation of programme for innovations in learning and teaching projects

Digital provision of information, advice, guidance (IAG) and outreach: list of third party providers delivering IAG and outreach during the pandemic

Data analysis of unconditional offers: Update

2019-20 data checking tools - forthcoming release of data checking tools for:

  • 2019-20 Higher Education Statistics Agency Student data
  • 2019-20 Higher Education Statistics Agency Student Alternative data
  • the Education and Skills Funding Agency’s 2019-20 Individualised Learner Record.

Web updates

Protecting students if universities close: information for students about our new consultation on student protection directions

Coronavirus

Provider guide: information and FAQs about the new time-limited condition of registration

Student guide: FAQs on the time-limited condition of registration and new page on how to complain

New case studies on: 

Regulation and the Register

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: June 2020 bulletin

Accounts direction: clarification on the requirements of the accounts direction

Refused registration decisions: reasons for refusal published for four providers

Promoting equal opportunities

Effective practice: updated pages to show best available access and participation practice

Support for postgraduate research students: summary of a workshop on widening participation in postgraduate research

Funding for providers

Recurrent funding for 2019-20: update to Annex A reflecting further funding allocations

Recurrent funding for 2020-21: update to Annex A reflecting further funding allocations

Annual funding technical guidance and data: updated sector tables for 2019-20 and 2020-21

Provider payment dates: grant payment dates for academic year 2021-22

Data and analysis

Official statistics: updated Higher Education Students Early Statistics (HESES) and Higher Education in Further Education Student (HEIFES) survey data

Student numbers: updated 2018-19 and 2017-18 data

Analysis of Access to Higher Education Diplomas and integrated foundation year courses: publication and annex updated following a correction to the completion rates reported

Data checking tools: section updated with information on the 2019-20 data checking tools

Skills and employment

Improving outcomes for local graduates - new case studies

Student information and data

National Student Survey: 2020 results and data

Corporate

Key performance measures: KPM 10 (students responding positively to the NSS question on overall satisfaction) updated

Board papers: May 2020 board papers

OfS board: register of interests updated

Transparency - transparency data published for:

  • spending over £25,000: June 2020
  • procurement card spending over £500: June 2020
  • senior staff travel and expenses: 2020-21 Q1.

Business impact target reporting: summary statement for non-qualifying regulatory provisions 21 June 2019 - 12 Dec 2019

Read this month's digital monthly update

News

Briefing note published on supporting disabled students during the pandemic

Supporting graduate employability during the pandemic

Supporting postgraduate research students during the pandemic

Briefing note published on supporting prospective students during pandemic

Be clear to students on how courses will be taught, regulator says

New funds to boost student mental health through pandemic

Office for Students responds to HESA graduate outcomes survey

Supporting Black, Asian and minority ethnic students – event video published

Office for Students responds to HEPI/Advance HE student survey

Registration decisions

Applications open for OfS student panel

Apply now – new courses in artificial intelligence and data science

Care leavers more likely to drop out of university

Sir Michael Barber highlights achievements of OfS, as he agrees new digital role

Office for Students publishes annual report and accounts for 2019-20

Blog

Supporting Black, Asian and minority ethnic students during the coronavirus pandemic

Applicants and students need clarity about next year's provision

Why we need a student panel

Publications

Coronavirus briefing notes -

Guidance for providers about student and consumer protection during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Update on the OfS’s approach to regulation and information about deadlines for data returns

Annual report and accounts 2019-20

Annual TRAC 2018-19: Sector summary and analysis by TRAC peer group

Differences in student outcomes: further characteristics

Letter from Sir Michael Barber, Chair of the Office for Students, to Robert Halfon MP, Chair of the Education Select Committee

Web updates

Coronavirus

New case studies for:

Student mental health

Supporting postgraduate research students

Information, advice and guidance

Graduate employment

Coronavirus provider guide: funding for student mental health

Regulation and the Register

Regulatory activity: May 2020 bulletin

Student and consumer protection during the coronavirus pandemic: student page and provider FAQs

Data and analysis

Official statistics: section restructure and new ad hoc statistics release schedule

TRAC data: published data 2018-19

Student numbers: 2018-19 and 2017-18 data updated

Promoting equal opportunities

Supporting Black, Asian and minority ethnic students during the coronavirus pandemic: event recordings

Teaching

Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF): future of the TEF

Funding for providers

Postgraduate conversion courses in data science and artificial intelligence: information for prospective students

Student information and data

National Student Survey: update on 2020 results publication date

Corporate

OfS board: scheme of delegation updated

Student panel: apply to be on our student panel

Transparency: gifts and hospitality register 2019-20 updated

Transparency: data on spending over £25,000 and procurement card spending over £500 April 2020

Read this month's digital monthly update

News

Briefing note published on supporting international students during the pandemic

Briefing note published on needs of students without family support during pandemic

Office for Students response to Russell Group Pathways for Potential report

Regulator warns of penalties for recruitment practices that undermine student interests and stability of higher education

OfS announces decisions on 2020-21 teaching grant budget

OfS announces recurrent funding for 2020-21

Improved data resources provide more clarity on equality gaps

Publications

Coronavirus briefing note: international students

Coronavirus briefing note: students without family support

Payment of annual OfS registration fees 2020-21: Technical guidance for providers

Unistats 2020: timetable and arrangements for the submission and publication of data

Analysis of Level 6 and 7 apprenticeships

Consultation on the integrity and stability of the English higher education sector

Regulatory notice 1: Access and participation plan guidance - updated

Updates to information supporting access and participation plans

Implications of the coronavirus pandemic for OfS funding

Recurrent funding for 2020-21

Guide to funding 2020-21

Terms and conditions of funding for 2020-21

Funding for 2019-20 and 2020-21: OfS board decisions and outcomes of consultation

Prevent monitoring requirements during the coronavirus pandemic

National Student Survey 2020: Publication of data

Web updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Provider guide to coronavirus: information on the time-limited condition of registration proposal

Coronavirus: case studies

Regulation and the Register

Regulatory activity: March and April 2020 bulletins

Data and analysis

Supplying data: COVID-19 exceptional guidance for the 2019-20 Individualised Learner Record and HESA collections

Access and participation data: dashboard and resources updated

Student numbers: 2017-18 and 2018-19 data updated

Post-collection outputs - student premium technical documents and method documents for:

Student information and data

Unistats collection and dataset: timetable for the 2020 data collection

Promoting equal opportunities

Postgraduate research students: how we support PGR students

Funding for providers

Recurrent funding: funding for 2020-21

Funding: recurrent grant 2020-21 technical guidance and sector tables

Corporate

Board papers: March 2020 board papers

OfS board: register of interests updated

Transparency data: data published for the following:
• Spending over £25,000: February and March 2020
• Senior staff travel and expenses: 2019-20 Q4
• Board members' expenses: April 2019 - March 2020
• Procurement card spending over £500: February and March 2020.

Read this month's digital newsletter

News

Briefing note published on supporting student mental health during pandemic

Briefing note published on student accommodation during pandemic

Funding boost for students to work with business and communities

Funding boost for new courses in artificial intelligence and data science

Higher education regulator urges fairness for students in admissions

Maintain good courses and credible qualifications for students during pandemic, says regulator

Publications

Coronavirus briefing note: student accommodation

Coronavirus briefing note: supporting student mental health

Guidance for providers about quality and standards during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Moratorium on unconditional offer-making

Further extension to moratorium on unconditional offer-making

Project monitoring: An update

Coronavirus (COVID-19): update on support and information

Web updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Coronavirus student guide: frequently asked questions updated

Coronavirus provider guide:

Funding for providers

Postgraduate conversion courses in data science and artificial intelligence: details of funded projects

Funding awarded for projects to explore the impact of student involvement in knowledge exchange

Data and analysis

Annual release of equality and diversity data about students

Student numbers: 2017-18 and 2018-19 data updated

Post-collection outputs:

Data amendments: Updated panel schedule and dates for submitting amendments to the panel

Corporate updates

OfS key performance measures: 

OfS business plan: update on 2020-21 business plan

Remuneration and Nominations Committee: register of interests updated

Read this month's digital newsletter

News

Office for Students sets out slimmed down regulatory requirements during coronavirus pandemic
The Office for Students has announced that it is refocusing its regulatory requirements on universities, colleges and other higher education providers to prioritise the response to the current coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Universities must pause unconditional offers for two weeks in student interest, says regulator
Nicola Dandridge responds to the announcement that universities should stop making unconditional offers or amending existing offers to students for two weeks.

OfS responds to further details on grading following cancelled exams
Nicola Dandridge has responded to the Secretary of State’s statement on arrangements for students whose exams have been cancelled.

New independent commission aims to boost support for disabled students
A new independent group formed to challenge universities and colleges in England to improve support for disabled students has met for the first time.

Registration decision
The Office for Students has refused the registration application of London Vocational College Limited following a rigorous process of assessment and evaluation.

New funding competition to support student mental health
A new £1 million funding competition has been launched by the Office for Students which aims to improve support for students with mental ill health.

OfS seeks views on approach to monetary penalties
The Office for Students has set out its proposed approach to the use of a monetary penalty where a university, college or other higher education provider is judged to have breached a condition of registration.

Blog

The Disabled Students’ Commission: transforming disabled students’ experience
Professor Geoff Layer, Chair of the DSC, has written a blog post exploring the work of the DSC and the key issues they'll address.

Around the world (of admissions) in 80 days
Yinbo Yu from the UK Council for International Student Affairs has written a blog post exploring international students' experiences of the English higher education admissions system.

A to Z of admissions
The Office for Students is reviewing the higher education admissions system in England and wants to hear your views. Hilary Jones explains why the OfS is undertaking this review and how you can get involved.

Student mental health: joining the (intersectional) dots
Chris Millward announces the launch of a new funding competition and discusses the need for intersectional approaches in targeting support for mental health among students.

Publications

Formula capital funding for 2020-21
This publication summarises our allocations of formula capital funding for the financial year 2020-21 (1 April 2020 to 31 March 2021).

Regulatory requirements during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic
including guidance on reportable events
A letter with more detailed information about the regulatory requirements we have suspended and the specific information we need from providers.

Uni Connect programme: An update from the Office for Students
Next steps for Uni Connect partnerships during the coronavirus pandemic

Update from the Office for Students on coronavirus (COVID-19)
This letter shares our planned approach to coronavirus with providers. It also provides important updates on reporting requirements and consultations.

Funding competition: Using innovation and intersectional approaches to target mental health support for students
Please note: this competition is paused during the coronavirus pandemic.

Consultation on the Office for Students’ approach to monetary penalties
Please note: this consultation is paused during the coronavirus pandemic.

Web updates

Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic

Landing page collating guidance for providers and students

Provider guide to coronavirus: information for providers and questions and answers

Student guide to coronavirus: information for students and questions and answers

Our expectations of providers in terms of unconditional offer-making

Healthcare students in the coronavirus pandemic: guidance for medical, nursing and midwifery students

Letters from the Minister of State for Universities

Funding for providers

Annual funding: updated sector tables showing additional funding allocations for 2019-20

Recurrent funding for 2019-20: update to Annex A reflecting further funding allocations

Formula capital funding for 2019-20: update to Annex A reflecting further funding allocations

Mental health funding competition: information for bidders and frequently asked questions

Regulation and the Register

Refused registration decision: London Vocational College Limited

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: February 2020 bulletin

Student wellbeing and protection

Harassment and sexual misconduct consultation:

Data and analysis

Post-collection outputs: information on 2018-19 ILR, HESA and HESA AP post-collection outputs

Promoting equal opportunities

Disabled Students' Commission: group membership and secretariat

Corporate updates

Consultations: new page listing open and closed consultations

Gender pay gap: summary of gender pay gap data as at 31 March 2019

Transparency: January 2020 spending over £25,000 and procurement card spending over £500 data

Student panel: October 2019 meeting minutes

Read this month's digital newsletter

News

Admissions review to ensure a ‘system which works for all students’
A major review poses fundamental questions for the future of higher education admissions.

Registration decisions
The Office for Students has refused the registration applications of Acculearn Training Limited, Blackpool College Limited and Kensington Education Foundation Limited following a rigorous process of assessment and evaluation.

OfS approach to disruption caused by industrial action
A reminder of our approach to the protection of students’ interests in the event of industrial action at universities and colleges.

Less than half of part-timers think feedback is acted on by staff, but overall student satisfaction consistently high
New analysis of National Student Survey data highlights variations in how different student groups have responded to the survey.

Office for Students urges students to help shape higher education regulation
The Office for Students has set out a new approach to ensuring that students help shape the regulation of higher education in England.

Office for Students responds to HESA statistics
Chris Millward, Director for Fair Access and Participation, comments on HESA's latest widening participation statistics.

Office for Students awards funding to support University Mental Health Charter
The Office for Students has announced £95,000 in funding awarded to Student Minds for the next stage of the recently launched University Mental Health Charter.

Universities and colleges show compliance with Prevent duty
A series of review meetings with selected universities and colleges has found evidence of higher education providers complying with requirements of the Prevent duty.

Blog

The evaluation challenge: understanding what works in access and participation
Two new reports add to a growing body of knowledge about the impact of access and participation activities and identify ways to overcome the challenges of evaluation.

The OfS is ramping up its student engagement work
Martha Longdon discusses the OfS's approach to student engagement and the launch of our new strategy.

Becoming a healthcare student in my forties
OfS-commissioned research made recommendations for promoting greater gender balance in nursing and healthcare courses. Rupert Maclaren, a student in diagnostic radiography tells his story.

Looking beyond: celebrating the value and diversity of apprenticeships
National Apprenticeship Week 2020 encourages us to ‘look beyond’ old preconceptions of apprenticeships. Dr Brooke Storer-Church discusses the increasing importance of degree apprenticeships to a diverse and inclusive higher education offer.

Publications

Consultation on the higher education admissions system in England
The Office for Students is reviewing the admissions system in English higher education. We would like to hear your views on the current system and on proposed future options.

Students - experts in their own experience
Our strategy for engaging students from 2020 to 2023.

The National Student Survey: Consistency, controversy and change
Our latest Insight brief looks at the last 15 years of the National Student Survey, and considers how the survey can maintain its relevance for the next decade.

Understanding the impact of the financial support evaluation toolkit: Analysis and findings
Findings from higher education providers who have used the toolkit.

Data use for access and participation in higher education
This report looks at how data is currently used in targeting, monitoring and evaluating access and participation work.

Prevent duty monitoring framework: Year one evaluation
This document sets out the findings and recommendations from an evaluation of the first year of implementation of the OfS’s strengthened and risk-based Prevent monitoring framework.

Prevent review meetings: 2019 programme findings
This report presents findings from the 2019 Prevent review meetings programme, split by theme.

Proposed changes to terms and conditions of funding for 2020-21
The Office for Students will be updating its terms and conditions of funding for 2020-21. We would like to hear your views on the proposed changes.

Web updates

Data and analysis

Student numbers: 2018-19 data published and 2017-18 data updated

HESES: HESES19 data released

Regulation and the Register

Refused registration decisions: Acculearn Training Limited, Blackpool College Limited and Kensington Education Foundation Limited

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: January 2020 bulletin

Student wellbeing and protection

Admissions review: short guide to the consultation

Student information and data

National Student Survey: routine update to 2019 NSS results

National Student Survey: sector-level characteristic analysis

Corporate updates

Board papers: papers from the 28 January 2020 board meeting

Quality Assessment Committee: register of interests updated

Miscellaneous

Student spotlight: new mailing list for students

Get involved as a student: how students can get involved in our work and why

Coronavirus: advice for higher education providers from the government

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News

Universities pledge to reduce equality gaps dramatically within five years
The access gap at England’s most selective universities will almost halve in the next five years if universities meet ambitious new commitments.

The Office for Students welcomes projected cut in ‘strings attached’ unconditional offers
The OfS responds to UCAS' End of Cycle 2019 report.

Health and education sectors can unlock recruitment potential by promoting gender balance in healthcare
New research encourages greater gender balance in nursing and healthcare.

Office for Students respond to HESA statistics
The Office for Students has commented on HESA's Higher Education Student Statistics for 2018-19.

Consultation on implementing savings to teaching grant budget
The Office for Students invites responses to its consultation on implementing savings in academic years 2019-20 and 2020-21.

Robust complaints procedures required for students reporting harassment and sexual assault
The Office for Students has published its proposed set of expectations on how universities and colleges should deal with reports of harassment and all forms of sexual misconduct.

Teaching grant budget for 2020-21 set out
The Secretary of State for Education has written to the Office for Students to set out details of the teaching grant budget for the financial year 2020-21.

Blog

Universities are in the business of transforming lives
Our most recent Insight event focused on mental health among students, and harassment and sexual misconduct in higher education. Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Amy Norton, reflects on the event.

British students’ secret weapon against sexual misconduct in higher education
One of the most influential people in the history of Title IX, the US anti-discrimination law, Dr Ann Olivarius discusses the Equality Act 2010.

Publications

Transforming opportunity in higher education
This report analyses access and participation plans submitted by higher education providers to the Office for Students for the period 2020-21 to 2024-25.

Male participation in nursing and allied health higher education courses
The Office for Students commissioned research to raise awareness of the study and career opportunities that nursing and allied health offer men.

OfS Challenge Competitions: bidding guidance
This guidance is for higher education providers submitting bids for funding under OfS Challenge Competitions.

Consultation on implementing savings in academic years 2019-20 and 2020-21
The government’s grant to the Office for Students to fund recurrent teaching in higher education providers is reducing by £58 million in financial year 2020 21. This publication sets out proposals for how we may make savings in our allocations to providers.

Forward look note to registered providers
This note gives an overview of key OfS activities and publications coming up between January and June 2020.

Consultation on harassment and sexual misconduct in higher education
Our proposals set out expectations for universities and colleges to follow and how the Office for Students will regulate harassment and sexual misconduct affecting students in higher education providers.

Regulatory advice 8: Guidance for providers about condition of registration F1: transparency information
This regulatory advice has been updated to help providers to prepare to meet our requirements in respect of the collection and publication of transparency information from 2019-20 onwards.

Guidance for providers on submitting the transparency return 2020
This technical guidance must be read in conjunction with Regulatory advice 8.

Web updates

Data and analysis

Young participation by area: postcode look-up now includes Northern Irish postcodes

Official statistics: 2019 medical and dental students survey intake results

Transparency return 2020: data collection tool updated

Transparency data updated:

  • spending over £25,000 - December 2019
  • senior staff expenses 2019-20 - Q3
  • procurement card spending over £500 - December 2019

Student numbers 2017-18: monthly update

Regulation and the Register

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: December 2019 bulletin

Promoting equal opportunities

Access and participation: 2020-21 access and participation plan data

Our approach to access and participation: the impact of our approach

Addressing Barriers to Student Success: new case studies from the University of Exeter and Kingston University

Student wellbeing and protection

Harassment and sexual misconduct consultation: provider guide and student guide

Value for money: new provider guide and student guide

Prevent duty: timeline of activity updated

Student information and data

Uni Connect: new website for students, parents, carers and teachers

Corporate updates

Guidance from government: letter from the Secretary of State on the teaching grant budget for 2020-21

Risk and Audit Committee: register of interests updated

KPMs: specification for KPM 13

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News

England’s universities world class, but pockets of poor provision letting students down

The Office for Students has launched its first annual review, offering a wide-ranging assessment of the higher education sector in England.

Blog

The Office for Students responds to ‘Social mobility and elite universities’

Chris Millward responds to HEPI's report on social mobility and elite universities.

Publications

English higher education 2019: The Office for Students annual review

This annual review sets out our assessment of the current state of English higher education, and reflects on the OfS’s progress to date in implementing a new regulatory approach which places students at its heart.

Regulatory advice 17: variation and revocation of degree awarding powers

This regulatory advice sets out guidance about how and under what circumstances the Office for Students (OfS) might vary or revoke a provider’s degree awarding powers (DAPs) authorisation.

2018-19 access agreements and student premium funding: Guidance on how to complete your monitoring return

This document sets out the information that we require from higher education providers that had an access agreement approved by the Office for Fair Access (OFFA) for 2018-19 and from providers that received student premium funding from the Office for Students for 2018-19.

Web updates

Skills and employment

Apprentices' stories - Holly's story

Data and analysis

Student numbers 2017-18: monthly update

Regulation and the Register

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: November 2019 bulletin

Promoting equal opportunities

NCOP phase two: learner population estimates

Corporate updates

Risk and Audit committee: register of interests updated

Remuneration and Nominations Committee: terms of reference updated

OfS board: board proceedings and code of conduct updated

Transparency data:

  • Procurement card spending over £500 - October 2019 and November 2019 data
  • Spending over £25,000 - October 2019 and November 2019 data

UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee: June 2019 minutes and advisory letters

2019

Read the digital newsletter

News

Students with unconditional offers more likely to drop out
New analysis reveals that young people who receive unconditional offers before getting their exam results are more likely to drop out in their first year of university.

Regulator requires action by 65 per cent of English universities and colleges in student interest
A new report from the Office for Students analyses over 500 applications to join the OfS Register.

Sustained collaborative engagement with young people boosts their confidence to progress to higher education
Sustained collaborative partnerships of universities, colleges, schools and local agencies are developing young people’s confidence in their ability to progress successfully into higher education.

Office for Students responds to the Equality and Human Rights Commission report on racial harassment
Nicola Dandridge, chief executive of the Office for Students, gives her response.

New guidance published for registered higher education providers
The Office for Students has published new guidance for all registered higher education providers.

Going to university almost halves disability job gap
Going to university almost halves the gaps in employment rates between disabled and non-disabled people, compared to those who only have GCSEs – although significant gaps remain – a new report from the Office for Students shows.

Office for Students publishes value for money strategy
The strategy builds on previous research by the OfS and identifies key priorities for ensuring value for money for both students and taxpayers.

£13 million in bid to boost digital skills
£13 million is being made available to boost the number of skilled graduates in artificial intelligence and data science technologies over the next three years.

New plans demonstrate greater ambition in tackling equality gaps
Over 100 universities and colleges have now had their ambitious new plans to tackle gaps between students from different backgrounds approved.

Blog

Sustained outreach makes the difference
Chris Millward discusses the impact that the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP) is having, and looks at the next steps for the programme.

Tackling incidents of hate, harassment and sexual misconduct in higher education
Nicola Dandridge discusses the devastating impact that harassment, hate crime, and sexual misconduct can have on students, and the OfS’s role in driving improved prevention and support.

Virtuous circles: developing AI and data science courses to meet the needs of employers, students, and universities
The Office for Students has launched a competition to boost the numbers of artificial intelligence and data science graduates. Bill Mitchell emphasises the centrality of employer engagement and a credible student proposition to the design of course curricula.

Next steps for the National Student Survey
As the National Student Survey approaches its 15th year, there are plans for taking an in-depth look at its impact to date and outlining proposals for the biggest overhaul since its introduction.

A disabled student’s insight: Contextualising statistics
Statistics and analysis are important tools in helping us work towards equity in education and equality of opportunity for disabled students. It’s also vital we understand and listen to their lived experiences.

What value for whose money?
Student fees and public money fund higher education providers, but what should students and taxpayers get in return?

Supporting disabled students to succeed
Following the launch of a campaign to recruit members for the Disabled Students' Commission, Chris Millward explains the background to the new body, what it will do, and why it is needed.

Future proofing UK business for a digital future: how flexible learning can help close the digital skills gap
There is little doubt that technology is developing faster than the UK workforce is able to adapt to it. Josie Fraser of the Open University argues that a new approach to employee training and development is required.

Publications

We've published three reports exploring the impact and perceptions of the National Collaborative Outreach Programme (NCOP):

OfS registration process and outcomes 2019-20: key themes and analysis
We have published a sector-level analysis of the registration process and outcomes in the Office for Students’ first year of operation.

Data analysis of unconditional offers: Update
Our analysis of whether applicants placed through an unconditional offer are more or less likely to continue with their studies after the first year.

The National Student Survey 2020
This publication sets out the arrangements for the National Student Survey (NSS) 2020 and the action required from all participating universities, colleges and other higher education providers by 28 November 2019.

Regulatory advice 9: Accounts direction
This accounts direction sets out the information that providers are required to include in their audited financial statements. It applies to financial statements prepared by registered providers for accounting periods beginning on or after 1 August 2019.

Compliance with the 2017-18 accounts direction
Observations, compliance and areas for improvement

Regulatory advice 14: Guidance for providers for the annual financial return
This regulatory advice and guidance sets out the information that a provider is required to submit as part of its annual financial return to the Office for Students (OfS).

Regulatory advice 15: Monitoring and intervention
This guidance document provides further information for registered providers on monitoring and intervention.

Regulatory advice 16: Reportable events
This guidance document provides further information for registered providers on reportable events.

Beyond the bare minimum: Are universities and colleges doing enough for disabled students?
Our new Insight brief highlights the potentially life-changing impact of higher education for disabled people. It challenges universities to go above and beyond ‘reasonable adjustments’ to lead the way on creating a more inclusive society.

Value for money strategy, 2019 to 2021
The strategy sets out how the OfS will ensure higher education providers deliver value for money for both students and taxpayers.

Funding allocations updated for a small number of providers:

Artificial intelligence and data science postgraduate conversion course funding
This document provides guidance to providers on bidding for funding to develop postgraduate conversion courses in artificial intelligence and data science.

Web updates

Promoting equal opportunities

NCOP: new case studies in word

NCOP: new case studies in film

Access and participation

Access and participation plans: 68 plans published

Fee limits: accelerated degrees

Data and analysis

HESES19 supporting documents: completing the HESES19 workbook, appendices and sample tables

HESES19 training materials: playlist of guidance videos

HESA alternative provider student data checking tool: HESES18B comparison FTE estimation technical document and rebuild instructions

Student numbers 2017-18: monthly update

Skills and employment

Postgraduate conversion courses in artificial intelligence and data science: how to apply for funding, FAQs and resources

Funding for providers

UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee (UKHEAC): membership updated

Annual funding: 2019-20 sector tables update

Knowledge exchange

Knowledge exchange funding competition open forum: slides from the event

About the OfS

Board papers: September 2019 board papers

Transparency: gifts and hospitality data - April 2019 - September 2019

Read the digital newsletter

A full list of what we published in September is below.

News

Highly selective universities must follow through on promises to improve access, regulator warns
Universities with the some of the highest entry requirements, including Oxford and Cambridge, have published ambitious new plans to improve access for students from disadvantaged backgrounds.

Parents need more support to help their children make good decisions about university
New polling highlights common misconceptions held by parents of children who are currently making decisions about higher education.

Registration decision
The Office for Students has refused the registration application of Newham College of Further Education, following a rigorous process of assessment and evaluation.

Office for Students publishes data on changes in healthcare student numbers
The data breaks down the numbers of students starting nursing, midwifery, and allied health courses from 2016-17 to 2017-18.

Office for Students responds to HEPI report on racial inequalities
The Office for Students has responded to the Higher Education Policy Institute's report.

Better data can help close equality gaps
New experimental statistics on interactions between demographic characteristics could offer important insights on equality of opportunity for different groups of students.

Engaging students in knowledge exchange: £10 million ‘what works’ competition
Universities and Science Minister Chris Skidmore has announced a £10 million competition to help boost the benefits to students of getting involved in knowledge exchange activities.

Blog

Student engagement – you might not notice it, but it matters
OfS student panellist Sam Dedman discusses what student engagement is and how students can make an impact at a national level by taking part in our student engagement survey.

Putting student experiences at the forefront of higher education regulation
Cassie Agbehenu, our Student Engagement Manager, reflects on the development of the OfS's student engagement strategy.

The importance of information – a cautionary tale
Emma Maskell, our Head of Student Engagement and Information, reflects on her own, less-than-exemplary information experiences as a student and teacher.

The Office for Students’ new regulatory order
Susan Lapworth, our Director of Competition and Registration, describes arrangements for students at providers who have applied for registration but do not yet have a final decision.

Making a positive difference: Mature students and health education
Mature students are turning away from nursing and specialist healthcare courses. Ed Hughes discusses how we need to work together to make sure they're supported.

Publications

Higher Education Students Early Statistics survey 2019-20 (HESES19)
This document provides guidance on funding rules and definitions for the Higher Education Students Early Statistics (HESES) survey 2019-20, known as HESES19.

Forward look note to registered providers
An overview of OfS events, publications and data submission deadlines over the next six to eight months.

Medical and Dental Students survey 2019
The Medical and Dental Students survey 2019 (MDS19) asks higher education providers in the UK to provide data on the intake of medical and dental students in the 2018-19 and 2019-20 academic years.

Other web updates

Data and analysis

Associations between characteristics of students (ABCS): experimental statistics and methodology

Changes in healthcare student numbers: analysis and interactive charts

Student numbers 2017-18: monthly update

Regulation and the Register

Guidance from government: supplementary guidance to the OfS

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: August 2019 bulletin

Refused registration decisions: Newham College

Student information and data

Discover Uni: new student information website

Unistats data: guide for providers updated

National Student Survey: frequently asked questions updated

Unistats widget: updated guidance for linking to Discover Uni

Disabled Students' Commission: information on the new strategic group

Student wellbeing and protection

Prevent: accountability and data returns 2019 - guidance and FAQs

Teaching

TEF: Year Four workbooks and maps updated

Corporate updates

Deadlines, events and publications: upcoming OfS activities between September 2019 and April 2020

Transparency data: spending over £25,000 - August 2019

Transparency data: senior staff expenses 2019-20, Q1 data

OfS board: register of interests updated

Quality Assessment Committee: register of interests updated

Read the digital newsletter

A full list of what we published in August is below.

News

OfS responds to CMA statement on student debt sanctions
The Office for Students has welcomed the announcement from the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) that the University of Liverpool has changed its student debt penalty policy.

Students at the heart of our work
The OfS is inviting anyone with an interest in higher education to share their ideas on how we should engage students in our work.

Degree apprentices are positive about their career prospects, according to new exploratory research
New research looks at degree apprentices’ motivations for following the alternative route through higher education.

New team to help outreach partnerships find out what works
The OfS is funding a team to help universities and colleges around the country generate stronger evidence of the impact of their work to reach out to disadvantaged young people.

OfS receives full powers
The Office for Students' full powers came into force on 1 August.

Blog

Discovering Uni: planning your higher education journey
Emma Maskell, Head of Student Engagement and Information at the OfS, talks about our new student information website.

Motivating factors
Dr Brooke Storer-Church, Skills and Employability Manager at the OfS, discusses a new report on the motivations of degree apprentices.

Publications

Degree apprenticeships: Motivations research

Data collection to inform funding for 2020-21: Responses to feedback and confirmation of approach

Regulatory advice 8: Guidance for providers about condition of registration F1: transparency information (2018.52)
- updated to reflect minor changes 

Updates to web pages

Data and analysis

Data verification: sample data verification queries

ILR training webinar: questions and answers

ILR data checking tool: technical guidance released

HESA student data checking tool: technical guidance released

HESA alternative provider data checking tool: technical guidance released

Student numbers 2017-18: monthly update

Official statistics: statistics release schedule updated

HESES: seminar days - how to complete HESES tables for 2019-20:
Tuesday 10 September 2019 - London
Tuesday 1 October 2019 - London
Tuesday 8 October 2019 - Manchester

Regulation and the Register

Refused registration decisions: Spurgeon's College

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: July 2019 bulletin

Degree awarding powers: orders made by the OfS

About the OfS

Get involved: how should the OfS engage students in its work?

Our board and committees: scheme of delegation updated

OfS Directors: register of interests updated

Income and expenditure budgets: income and expenditure budgets for financial year 2019-20

Access and participation

Access and participation effective practice: supporting people with criminal convictions

Access and participation plans: fee limits for 2020-21

Student wellbeing and protection

Prevent: recording of accountability and data return evaluation webinar

Student information

Unistats: changes to the Unistats dataset and the replacement of the Unistats widget

Skills and employment

Events: Developing new conversion courses in data science and artificial intelligence

Other related updates

Charity Commission: updated guidance about exempt charities

Read the digital newsletter

A full list of what we published in July is below.

News

Student satisfaction rises but universities should do more to improve feedback
Students in the UK are more satisfied with their courses, according to this year’s National Student Survey (NSS). However, many universities and colleges still have plenty of room to improve.

OfS Annual report and accounts 2018-19
The Office for Students has published its 2018-19 annual report and accounts.

Statement on De Montfort University investigation
OfS statement on the formal investigation into matters at De Montfort University.

Office for Students responds to higher technical qualifications review
The OfS responds to the Secretary of State for Education’s announcement of a review of Level 4 and 5 qualifications.

New member applications open for UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee
The OfS is seeking exceptional individuals with the expertise and vision to contribute to the development of healthcare education and research across the UK.

New OfS analysis shows continuing upward trend in award of top degrees
The Office for Students has updated its analysis on degree classifications, and finds that 13.9 percentage points of first class degrees awarded are unexplained.

Registration decisions
The Office for Students has refused the registration applications of ABI College Limited and Waltham Forest College, following a rigorous process of assessment and evaluation.

Blog

Getting to grips with grade inflation
Our director of competition and registration, Susan Lapworth, sets out the findings from our new report on degree classifications.

The Spice Girls are back and so is the NSS
Benjamin Hunt, student engagement adviser at the Office for Students, talks about the positive impact the National Student Survey can have on campus.

Publications

Annual report and accounts 2018-19
The report covers the OfS’s first year of operation, and our progress to date in delivering against our regulatory objectives.

Financial and student number data collection
Seeking views on the collection of data from registered providers.

Data collection to inform funding for 2020-21: Notification of changes
This document provides notification of changes that we intend to make to the collection of data to inform funding for 2020-21.

Analysis of degree classifications over time
Changes in graduate attainment from 2010-11 to 2017-18.

Findings of student learning gain research:
Independent evaluation of the OfS’s learning gain pilot projects
Independent research into the National Mixed Methodology Learning Gain project (NMMLGP)
Higher Education Learning Gain Analysis (HELGA)

2018-19 data checking tools
This document notifies providers of the forthcoming release of the Office for Students data checking tools.

Updates to web pages

Data and analysis

Official statistics: update to the access and participation dataset

Key performance measures: KPM 10 (students responding positively to the NSS question on overall satisfaction) updated

HEIFES18: frequently asked questions

HESES18: frequently asked questions

Student numbers: updated data

ILR training webinar: recording and slides

Regulation

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: June 2019 bulletin

Access and participation

Effective practice: new guidance on student engagement and consultation

Skills and employment: note exploring links between access and participation and civic university agreements

About the OfS

Board papers: July 2019 board papers

Our board and committees: scheme of delegation updated

Remuneration and Nominations Committee: new independent member and register of interests

Provider Risk Committee: updated terms of reference

Transparency: business impact target reporting - summary statements

Transparency data: OfS spending over £25k - June 2019

Student information and data

Unistats: New training webinars for further education colleges

Funding and funded projects

Supporting mental health and wellbeing for postgraduate research students: details of funded projects

UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee (UKHEAC): March 2019 minutes and advisory letters

Medical and dental target intakes: targets for 2019-20

Other related updates

TRAC: guidance for 2018-19 returns

Charity Commission: Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) setting out an agreement of the relationship between the Charity Commission and the Office for Students

Government guidance on leaving the EU: 
The government has updated its guidance to help the higher education sector prepare in the event of no deal being reached

Read the digital newsletter

A full list of what we published in June is below.

News

Innovation, partnership and data can help improve student mental health in new £14m drive
The scheme is designed to spark a step-change in mental health support across the sector.

‘Welcome progress’ but more to do to tackle hate crime and sexual harassment on campus
Universities must build on recent progress to ensure that all students can feel and be safe on campus.

Nicola Dandridge: fair access and good outcomes are not a zero sum game
Our chief executive, Nicola Dandridge writes for The Times.

Office for Students announces results of TEF 2019
This year’s TEF results have been published – focusing on excellence in teaching and student outcomes across higher education.

Monitoring report finds high compliance with Prevent duty
Evaluation of 2017-18 reports show universities and colleges are demonstrating due regard to the Prevent duty.

Virtual reality tool leads new drive to train next generation of health specialists
The tool is one of several innovative projects awarded funding by the Office for Students.

Blog

Student mental health: now is the time for change
PhD student Katie Tyrrell, a member of the OfS mental health Challenge Competition panel, talks about her personal and academic experience of mental ill-health.

Publications

OfS fees: Payment of annual OfS registration fees and initial fees: Technical guidance for providers (OfS 2019.23).

Evaluation of student safeguarding projects: Catalyst for change: Protecting students from hate crime, sexual violence and online harassment in higher education
Two independent evaluation reports from Advance HE and our summary of the progress made (OfS 2019.24).

Prevent evaluation report: Prevent monitoring accountability and data returns 2017-18: Evaluation report (OfS 2019.22).

National Collaborative Outreach Programme: Phase two guidance (OfS 2019.25)

Official statistics

Updated HESES/HEIFES survey data

TEF 2019 outcomes

Update to the access and participation dataset

Other web updates

Access and participation effective practice: new guidance on -

Access and participation: glossary

Conference on protecting students from hate crime and harassment: conference materials

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: May 2019 bulletin

National Student Survey 2018: new data visualisations

OfS Challenge Competition - achieving a step change in mental health outcomes for all students: details of funded projects

OfS student panel: minutes from the December 2018 meeting and updated terms of reference

Quality Assessment Committee: register of interests updated

Strategic Interventions in Health Education Disciplines (SIHED) challenge fund: second round of funded projects

Student numbers: updated data

Student safety and wellbeing: resources developed from the first two rounds of student safeguarding Catalyst funding

Supplementary guidance to the OfS from the Secretary of State for Education: guidance on the government’s priorities for our work

Transparency data:

Transparency return 2019: Attainment technical document

Read the digital newsletter

A full list of what we published in May is below.

News

OfS announces initial recurrent grants to providers for 2019-20
The Office for Students is funding higher education providers for teaching, outreach and to enable students to succeed.

No place like home – new fund to boost local graduate opportunities
The Office for Students has awarded £5.6 million to projects based in universities and colleges across England to boost opportunities for graduates who seek work close to home.

Radical changes needed to ensure university admissions identify potential, not just exam results
Young people from more advantaged neighbourhoods are still nearly six times more likely to attend the most selective universities in England despite a significant growth in the use of contextual offers.

Blog

In praise of POLAR
POLAR is, and will continue to be, a powerful tool in the drive for fairer access, argues OfS principal analyst Maggie Smart.

The graduate employment paradox – and how thinking locally might unlock it
Charlie Ball, from the Higher Education Careers Services Unit, explains the effects of prevailing assumptions about students.

Building a ‘no excuses’ fair access culture: A personal and professional journey
Dr Kedra Bishop explains the University of Michigan's approach to access and participation.

Talent is everywhere, but opportunity is not
The OfS's inaugural Insight event focused on access and participation, with experts drawn from a range of backgrounds sharing their expertise. OfS Director for Fair Access and Participation Chris Millward reflects on the day.

Publications

Insight brief: Contextual admissions: Promoting fairness and rethinking merit

Funding for providers: Guide to funding 2019-20 (OfS 2019.18)

Funding for providers: Recurrent funding for 2019-20 (OfS 2019.17)
Initial allocations of recurrent funding to higher education providers

Annual TRAC 2017-18: Sector summary and analysis by TRAC peer group (OfS 2019.21)

Also see: Annual TRAC 2017-18: Sector summary and analysis by TRAC peer group

Unistats 2019: Timetable and arrangements for the submission and publication of data (OfS 2019.19)

Preparing for degree study: Analysis of Access to Higher Education Diplomas and integrated foundation year courses (OfS 2019.20)

Updated guidance: Submitting the transparency return 2019 - updated to clarify that only UK-domiciled students should be included in the transparency return

Official statistics

Equality and diversity statistics

Access and participation: Updated dataset

Annual TRAC 2017-18: Sector summary and analysis by TRAC peer group

Also see: Analysis of TRAC 2017-18 sector aggregate data

OfS key performance measures: KPMs 1 and 2 updated

Other web updates

OfS Challenge Competition: Industrial Strategy and skills - Details of funded projects

Transparency return 2019: Data collection tool - compiles the aggregate data that providers are required to submit. Plus FAQs.

Data amendments: Updated information, including terms of reference and panel schedule

Annual TRAC data 2016-17: Analysis by TRAC peer group - revised statistics

Recurrent funding: Funding for 2019-20

Post-collection outputs: Updated technical documentation published for - ILR, HESA, HESA AP

Conditions of registration: Monitoring of registered providers

Data and analysis: Benchmarking - current approach, methodology and guiding principles

Unistats: Timetable for the 2019 Unistats data collection

Transparency: April's data on spending >25k

Read the digital newsletter

A full list of what we published in April is below.

News

Office for Students says higher education in ‘reasonable financial health’ but warns of ‘over-ambitious’ student number forecasts

Higher education in England is in reasonable financial health but universities and colleges should avoid over-ambitious student number forecasts in their future planning, the OfS warns in a new report.

Consultation on Quality Assurance Agency fees

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has published a consultation on the fees it will charge in its capacity as the designated quality body.

New guidance on university title applications

The Office for Students has published guidance setting out the process for English higher education providers that wish to use either ‘university college’ or ‘university’ title as part of their name.

Publications

Financial health: Financial sustainability of higher education providers in England (OfS 2019.14)

Independent research: Evaluation of a scheme to develop pilot engineering and computing conversion masters' courses

Regulatory advice 13: How to apply for university college and university title (OfS 2019.08)

Student information: Summary of OfS strategy on student information, advice and guidance (OfS 2019.15)

What we do: OfS Business plan 2019-20 (OfS 2019.16)

Official statistics

Access and participation: Update to dataset

HESES and HEIFES survey data: Update for 2018-19 academic year

Student numbers 2017-18: Data on the number of full-time equivalent higher education students at registered providers

Continuation and transfer rates: Latest data and findings on the study activity of full-time undergraduate students

Other updates

Prevent duty - Prevent review meetings: Webinar video - what to expect under PRM programme

Regulation: University title or university college title - information updated

Data: Post-collection outputs
Data from Individualised Learner Record (ILR) returns
Data from HESA student returns

Access and participation plans: 2020-21 webinar videos

  • Support for small, specialist and new providers
  • Target setting
  • Evaluation
  • Assessment of performance

Access and participation plans: Frequently asked questions updated

POLAR: Frequently asked questions created

OfS national conference on learning gain: Download conference materials

Board papers: 26 March 2019 meeting

Transparency:

Request to access your personal information: Updated Personal data request form

Read the digital newsletter

A full list of what we published in March is below.

News

Supporting students to succeed: OfS allocates £1.4 billion for 2019-20
The Office for Students is funding higher education providers for teaching, outreach and student success.

New data reveals university performance on access and student success
The new data shows where the gaps between the most and least advantaged groups of students lie.

Office for Students comments on latest HESA non-continuation data
The Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA) has released data on how many students continue their courses.

Make degree apprenticeships a force for social mobility, says the Office for Students
Degree apprenticeships are growing significantly and offer a route to increased social mobility, but more work is needed to realise their potential.

Office for Students responds to HEPI policy note on the financial health of universities
The Office for Students responds to a new survey of student attitudes to the financial health of their university.

Blog

Evidence for impact on access and participation
We've issued our first guidance under our new approach to access and participation, setting out how we expect higher education providers to make a step change through the targets they set themselves and the activities they deliver.

Mental wellbeing: let’s find new ways to support students
When we talk with students about the issues that worry them most, mental health consistently tops the list.

Publications

Insight brief: Degree apprenticeships: A viable alternative?

National Student Survey: Publication of NSS 2019 data (OfS 2019.09)

Funding for 2019-20: Formula capital funding (OfS 2019.13)

Funding for 2019-20: Terms and conditions of funding (OfS 2019.12)

Funding for 2019-20: Outcomes of consultation on terms, conditions and methods (OfS 2019.10)

Funding for 2019-20: OfS board decisions (OfS 2019.11)

Transparency condition: Guidance for providers on submitting the transparency return 2019

Independent research: Research on recruitment of mature students to nursing, midwifery and allied health courses

Independent research: Understanding effective part-time provision for undergraduates from underrepresented and disadvantaged backgrounds

Official statistics

Access and participation data dashboard

Update to OfS key performance measures:

Other updates

Student wellbeing and protection: Mental health information including resources

National Collaborative Outreach Programme: Two new case studies published

Financial sustainability: Report on understanding the impact of income cross-flows

Calculating student numbers: Overview of method and technical document updated

Transparency: Spending data, February 2019

Read the digital newsletter

A full list of what we published in February is below.

News

New ‘What Works’ centre to help universities cut equality gaps
A new independent centre funded by the Office for Students (OfS) is set to help universities meet challenging targets to eliminate equality gaps in higher education within 20 years.

OfS appoints new student panellists
Five new students will join our student panel for 2019.

OfS publishes first annual analysis of senior staff pay
Newly published data and analysis around senior pay can act as a benchmark, helping universities to reduce senior pay where necessary.

OfS comments on HESA widening participation performance indicators
HESA has released measures of how the UK higher education sector is performing.

New members sought for UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee
The UK Healthcare Education Advisory Committee (UKHEAC) is looking for new members with the expertise and vision to contribute to the development of healthcare education and research across the UK.

Government guidance on leaving the EU
The government has published guidance to help the higher education sector prepare in the event of no deal being reached.

Publications

Independent research: Understanding and overcoming the challenges of ethnicity targeting 

National Collaborative Outreach Programme: Call for proposals to deliver phase two of the programme in Leicestershire and Northamptonshire (OfS 2019.01)

Funding for 2019-20: Consultation on terms and conditions and method (OfS 2019.02)

Regulatory notice 1: Access and participation plan guidance (OfS 2019.05)

Regulatory advice 6: How to prepare your access and participation plan - effective advice (OfS 2019.06)

Independent research: Standards of evidence and evaluating impact of outreach

Other updates

OfS board: Papers from meeting on 28 January 2019

HESES and HEIFES: Release of survey data relating to academic year 2018-19

Addressing barriers to student success: Case study from University of Leeds

Official statistics release: Senior staff remuneration

Read the newsletter

A full list of what we published in January is below.

News

Universities must avoid using unconditional offers to put pressure on students, says Office for Students
The Office for Students has warned universities and other higher education providers that indiscriminate use of unconditional offers is akin to pressure selling and could put them in breach of consumer law.

Independent reviewer of TEF asks for views
Dame Shirley Pearce, who is leading the independent review of the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), has invited views from all with an interest in the TEF.

We invited applications to our student panel
The panel advises the OfS, and ensures that students’ interests are reflected in everything we do.

Publications

Unconditional offers: Serving the interests of students?
The steep rise in the numbers of unconditional offers made by universities and colleges to students applying to study with them has come under the spotlight in recent months amid concerns that it is having a negative impact on students. 

Release of intake numbers from medical and dental survey (Official statistics)

Analysis of degree classifications over time (OfS 2018.54): Overview of populations added as supplementary information

Other updates

TEF Year Four: Metrics and contextual data published (Official statistics)

TEF Year Four: Data now includes participants from devolved administrations (Official statistics)

Data amendments: Error summary sheet for aggregate data updated

Regulatory notice diagrams: Visual summaries added for Regulatory notice 3 and Regulatory notice 4

Transparency: Data published for December 2018 (spending over £25,000)

Student panel: Meeting minutes published

Data amendment panel: Dates added for error submission and meeting of next panel

TEF Year Four: Training video added for provider submissions

Addressing barriers to student success: Case study from New College Durham

Read the newsletter

A full list of what we published in December is below.

News

Office for Students: universities must eliminate equality gaps

The Office for Students has challenged all universities to eliminate the gaps in access and student success within 20 years.

Office for Students calls for ideas to support innovation in healthcare education

The Office for Students is inviting funding bids from universities and colleges for innovative projects which will support and enhance provision in nursing, midwifery and allied health subjects.

Office for Students responds to UCAS end of cycle report

Chris Millward comments on slow progress in narrowing gaps in access to higher education.

Office for Students responds to Sutton Trust report: Access to advantage

Chris Millward responds to new research on gaps in equality of opportunity.

Blog

Engaging students in the TEF

Student representation and engagement is one of the most important, and most unique, concepts that we work with.

Publications

Analysis of degree classifications over time: Changes in graduate attainment (OfS 2018.54)

A new approach to regulating access and participation in English higher education: Consultation outcomes (OfS 2018.53)

Understanding the evaluation of access and participation outreach interventions for under-16-year-olds (Independent research)

Regulatory Advice 8: Guidance for providers about condition of registration F1: transparency information (OfS 2018.52)

Strategic interventions in health education disciplines 2019 challenge fund: Innovations in recruitment to and delivery of healthcare courses (OfS 2018.51)

Other updates

Our new approach to access and participation: Our approach and ambitions

Outreach interventions for under-16s: New guidance and development tool

Complaints and notifications: Process has been updated

Official statistics: HESES and HEIFES survey data relating to academic year 2018-19 will be released on 5 February 2019

NSS: Evaluating the updated survey

Data checking tools: Future releases page added

TEF Years Two and Three: Updates to TEF outcomes – merger added

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