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. 

2024

See the digital newsletter for May 2024

News

OfS communications in the pre-election period
As a non-departmental public body, the Office for Students is subject to Cabinet Office guidelines during the pre-election period. This means that, until the general election on 4 July 2024, we will be publishing less content than usual.

Quality assessment report: Bradford College
The Office for Students (OfS) has today published a quality assessment report into the quality of computing courses at Bradford College.

Increased pressure on higher education finances
An independent analysis from the Office for Students (OfS) has found increased pressure on higher education sector finances, and cautioned universities against being too optimistic about future student growth.

OfS publishes annual review of financial sustainability – media coverage
There has been significant coverage of the OfS’s financial sustainability report and accompanying Insight brief.

Blog

Improving the financial data we collect
In the context of the financial challenges facing the higher education sector, David Smy sets out the changes we are making to the financial information we collect from higher education providers to make sure we understand the impact of these risks.

Publications and updates

Regulation and the Register

Protests on campus: tackling harassment and securing freedom of speech
Letter from Arif Ahmed, Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom, to universities and colleges about the protests that are taking place on some university campuses.

Independent research: Review of Office for Students’ Annual Financial Return
A review of the financial information and data the OfS collects annually from relevant higher education providers.

Deadlines and requirements for Annual Financial Return 2024: enclosing F3 Notice
This letter sets out the requirements and providers’ individual deadlines for the Annual Financial Return 2024 (AFR24).

Regulatory advice 14: Guidance for providers for the Annual Financial Return - updated for 2024
Guidance about the information that a provider is required to submit as part of its financial monitoring returns to the OfS.

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: activity added for March and April.

Degree awarding powers - orders made by the OfS: added two DAPs variation orders.

Quality and standards

Quality assessment report BSc Computing courses at Bradford College
This report represents the conclusions of an assessment team that undertook an assessment of quality between December 2022 and April 2023 of the computing courses provided by Bradford College.

Data and analysis

Get the current student numbers data: updated with latest student numbers.

ILR data checking tool: documentation added for 2023-24.

Student data checking tool: documentation added for 2023-24.

Official statistics: updated release schedule.

Promoting equal opportunities

Uni Connect target areas national analysis 2024
An updated analysis of young participation in higher education in England in the areas targeted by Uni Connect.

Uni Connect: Guidance on priorities - updated for 2024-25.

Uni Connect: Programme guidance from 1 August 2022 - updated for 2024-25.

Effective practice: Governing bodies - updated good governance practice guidelines.

The TEF

Independent report: Approaches to strategic improvement described in TEF 2023 submissions
Independent report exploring providers’ accounts of how strategic changes have been planned, of specific steps that have been taken, and how providers set about evidencing these improvements.

Skills and employment

Degree apprenticeships funding competition: addendum and bidding template published for wave 3, and FAQs refreshed.

Funding for providers

Medical and dental maximum fundable limits: updated for entry in 2024-25.

General

Financial sustainability of higher education providers in England: 2024
Our impartial, independent view of the financial condition of the higher education sector and its resilience to financial challenge - based on our analysis of financial data returned to the OfS.

Navigating financial challenges in higher education
This brief looks at the financial challenges facing universities and colleges, and the actions some are taking to navigate them.

About the Office for Students: expanded and updated introductory content for those not yet familiar with what we do and how we are run.

Procurement: latest pipeline of opportunity published.

Our student panel: published minutes from the January meeting.

Content published across the website in April 2024

See this month's digital newsletter

News

OfS seeks views on proposed new name for City, University of London
We have launched a consultation on City, University of London’s proposal to change its name to ‘City St George’s, University of London’.

Strategic Priorities Grant sets out funding for 2024-25
The OfS has received guidance from the Secretary of State for Education and the Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education on the Higher Education Strategic Priorities Grant for the 2024-25 financial year.

Panel members announced for new Disability in Higher Education Advisory Panel
The OfS announced the panel members who will be joining its new Disability in Higher Education Advisory Panel.

Blog

New OfS strategy: Developing the future of higher education
Josh Fleming talks about the importance of hearing from students, students’ unions, and the sector in the development of a new OfS strategy.

The future of OfS funding: Help us shape our approach
John Blake, Director for Fair Access and Participation, explores the role and purpose of OfS funding, and asks how our approach should develop.

Help us improve our engagement with the sector
Susan Lapworth, our chief executive, updates on research to build on our refreshed approach to communication and engagement.

Publications

The National Student Survey 2024: Publication of data
This publication provides information on the publication of the 2024 National Student Survey (NSS) results.

Approaches to identifying and measuring educational gains in TEF 2023
This independent report is based on analysis of the submissions of the 51 providers that received a Gold rating for student outcomes in TEF 2023.

Mid-year allocations of recurrent funding for 2023-24
This publication outlines the Office for Students’ (OfS’s) allocations of £16 million of recurrent funding to higher education providers for the academic year of 2023-24 to encourage provision of Level 4 and 5 qualifications.

Formula capital funding - 2024 allocations
This document describes how we will distribute the last of three allocations for formula capital funding that we announced originally in December 2022.

Proposed new name for City, University of London
We are consulting on a proposed new name for City, University of London.

Update on theme measures, benchmarking and response thresholds in the NSS - open letter consultation and link to a survey for feedback

Web updates

Regulation and the Register

Guidance from government: published strategic priorities grant letter

Assessment reports: updated investigation outcomes for closed cases

Promoting equal opportunities

Access and participation plans: added information about submitting Fees, Investments and Targets document

Student wellbeing and protection

Support for disabled students: updated with details of the panel

Data and analysis

Official statistics: updated with latest code of practice link and statistical process for revisions

Release schedule: updated with planned releases

Post-collection outputs: updated with latest information and data

Data checking tool: guide updated for academic year 2023-24

Employment and skills

Positive outcomes for students studying on a modular basis: latest information added

Lifelong Learning Entitlement: updated to reflect government decision to phase delivery of LLE

General

Operational measures: published the latest data on the performance of our core regulatory activity

KPM 11: Efficient regulation: published the latest data for KPM 11B (enhanced monitoring)

OfS board meeting: published meeting minutes from 8 February 2024

Procurement: New opportunity added

Content published across the website in March 2024

See this month's digital newsletter

News

OfS proposes new guidance on freedom of speech
We launched a consultation on new guidance about freedom of speech, ahead of universities, colleges and students’ unions taking on new free speech duties, which is expected to be from August this year.

Office for Students seeks views on proposed new name for the University of Bolton
We launched a consultation on the University of Bolton’s proposal to change its name to 'University of Greater Manchester’.

£14 million degree apprenticeships funding announced by Office for Students
The OfS confirmed a second wave of investment of £14 million to increase the number of Level 6 degree apprenticeships in England.

Acting in the student interest: Susan Lapworth speaks about how the OfS is expanding and improving the work it does with students.
Read the full transcript of a speech by Susan Lapworth, Chief Executive of the OfS, who spoke at the annual Association of Colleges Higher Education conference on Thursday 21 March.

Over 3,000 students supported by OfS programme providing targeted student mental health support
Independent evaluation of our Mental Health Funding Competition found the programme supported 3,241 students and trained 316 staff.

OfS issues further guidance on retaining students’ assessed work
We have established new guidance for universities and colleges on retention of students’ assessed work in relation to conditions B4 and B5.

OfS seeks views on how its funding can best support learning and facilities for students
We launched a call for evidence for views on how we apply powers to distribute funding to universities and colleges in England.

OfS seeks views on proposed new name for Solent University
We launched a consultation on Solent University’s proposal to change its name to Southampton Solent University.

Blog

Next steps for implementation of free speech legislation
Arif Ahmed discusses the next steps in our work to implement new free speech legislation, including a further consultation launching soon.

Mental health matters: let’s talk evidence
Our Head of Student Equality and Welfare reflects on our growing pool of evidence on what works to support student mental health.

Publications and web updates

Quality and standards

Consultation on proposed regulatory advice and other matters relating to freedom of speech
The Office for Students (OfS) is implementing new freedom of speech functions. This consultation seeks views on proposals relating to guidance on the new free speech duties, amendments to the OfS regulatory framework and the OfS’s recovery of costs.

Freedom of speech: updated indicative timeline for changes to regulation

Supplementary guidance: Retention of assessed work
Information about our expectations that providers should retain appropriate records of assessed students’ work for five years.

Retaining assessed work: new guide to policies on retaining assessed work.

Regulation and the Register

Proposed new name for Solent University
Solent University has applied to change its name to ‘Southampton Solent University.’ We are seeking views on whether the proposed name is, or has the potential to be, confusing or misleading.

Proposed new name for the University of Bolton
The University of Bolton is registered with the OfS and has applied to change its name to ‘University of Greater Manchester’.

Regulatory advice 6: How to prepare your access and participation plan: published revised templates for access and participation plans (Annex C) and student submissions (Annex G) to make it easier for users of the templates to meet web content accessibility guidelines in the final published plans.

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: updated with activity from February.

Promoting equality of opportunity

2025-26 access and participation plans: webinars - published recordings of the webinars.

Data and analysis

Update on Jisc’s Data Futures programme
This letter gives an update on Data Futures, and the steps and decisions we have taken as a consequence of the delays in submissions.

HESES23: multiplication factors representations process guidance
This guidance sets out the full requirements for representations to be considered, including the thresholds which the representations need to meet and the parameters for submitting representations.

Multiplication factors: new page giving an overview of the multiplication factors used to determine funding full-time equivalent (FTE) values for 2023-24.

Get the HESES data: published figures for the 2023-24 academic year.

Funding for providers

Approach to OfS public grant funding
A call for evidence to invite views about how we could develop our funding approach.

Data to inform OfS funding in 2024-25
This letter explains the approach we plan to take to calculating funding allocations for 2024 25, and how providers can ask questions, seek advice or to make representations about the proposed approach.

Employment and skills

Degree apprenticeships funding competition: Funding allocations published for wave 2

Student wellbeing and protection

Evaluation of the mental health funding competition
We developed this programme to support innovative and intersectional approaches to target mental health support for students.

Mental health funding competition: updated project descriptions to reflect achievements and outputs

Student mental health: new suite of pages with resources for staff supporting student mental health

General

OfS board papers: papers published form the September and December 2023 board meetings.

Privacy notice: updated information about consultations and survey respondents.

Procurement:

  • updated procurement pipeline
  • new tender opportunity.

Content published across the website in February 2024

See this month's digital newsletter

News

Independent review calls for Uni Connect improvements
The Office for Students (OfS) has welcomed the publication of an independent report evaluating the effectiveness of Uni Connect.

Funding boost to support Student Minds' University Mental Health Charter
The Office for Students (OfS) has announced £400,000 in funding to support the rising demand for the University Mental Health Charter.

Office for Students seeks views on proposed new name for AECC University College
We have launched a consultation on AECC University College’s proposal to change its name to Health Sciences University.

The Office for Students has opened an investigation into Leeds Trinity University
On 16 February 2024 the Office for Students (OfS) opened an investigation in relation to Leeds Trinity University.

New analysis shows over 7,600 students have enrolled on AI and data science courses to tackle digital skills gaps
An independent evaluation of our postgraduate conversion course in AI and data science programme finds that more than 950 scholarships were awarded to students from underrepresented backgrounds.

Blog

Arif Ahmed updates on OfS work to implement new free speech legislation
Arif Ahmed discusses the OfS's work to implement new free speech legislation, including a further consultation which will be launched in the coming weeks.

That’s a wrap: TEF 2023 final results published
The Teaching Excellence Framework assessments are now complete and we have published the full set of final outcomes.

Publications and updates

Regulation and the Register

Proposed new name for AECC University College
Open letter consultation on a proposed new name for AECC University College

Promoting equality of opportunity

A review of collaborative support for improving equality of opportunity in access to higher education: Uni Connect
A review of the landscape of collaborative outreach in England: the ways that providers work together, and with partners, to improve equality of opportunity in access to higher education.

Access and participation plans: updated to reflect changes for academic year 2024-25

Data and analysis

Expansion of the student record: Analysis of consultation responses and decision
This paper summarises the analysis of responses provided by Jisc and the related decisions made by the OfS.

Student numbers data: updated with the latest student numbers data

Official statistics release schedule: updated with planned releases

Skills and employment

Evaluation of data science and artificial intelligence conversion masters' courses
Final report of the evaluation of a programme of data science and artificial intelligence postgraduate conversion courses

Consultation on the inclusion of higher technical qualifications in Office for Students’ student outcome measures: Analysis of responses and decisions
Analysis of consultation responses and our decisions

Funding for providers

Monitoring of capital funding allocated in the financial year 2023-24: Guidance for higher education providers
This guidance sets out the monitoring information required from higher education providers that received capital funding in the financial year 2023-24.

Recurrent funding: dates posted for academic year 2024-25

Graduate Outcomes survey: updated information on promoting the survey

General

Transparency data: latest data published

Procurement: updated with latest tender opportunities for suppliers

Content published across the website in January 2024

See this month's digital newsletter

News

£12 million boost for degree apprenticeships to increase access and choice for students
The Office for Students (OfS) has confirmed it will invest £12 million to increase the number of Level 6 degree apprenticeship courses and places available in English higher education.

Embedding partnerships: John Blake speaks on increasing equality of opportunity in English higher education through collaboration
Read the full transcript of a speech by John Blake, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the Office for Students (OfS), who spoke at an Impetus third sector forum event on 18 January.

Quality assessment reports find areas of concern
The Office for Students (OfS) has today published two quality assessment reports, relating to the quality of business and management courses at Buckinghamshire New University and the University of Wolverhampton.

Office for Students seeks views on proposed new name for University of Central Lancashire
The Office for Students (OfS) has launched a consultation on University of Central Lancashire’s (UCLan) proposal to change its name to University of Lancashire.

Blog

Trialling the design and delivery of higher education short courses: What have we learnt?
An important element of the Office for Students’ (OfS’s) work around equality of opportunity is ensuring that there are flexible and diverse pathways into higher education.

Publications

Proposed new name for University of Central Lancashire: Open letter consultation
We are consulting on a proposed new name for University of Central Lancashire.

Fee information for new entrants in 2024-25
Information about the prescribed fee caps and the maximum fees chargeable to new students starting courses in 2024-25.

Quality assessment report: Business and management at Buckinghamshire New University
This report represents the conclusions of an assessment team that undertook an assessment of quality between October 2022 and May 2023 of the business and management courses provided by Buckinghamshire New University.

Quality assessment report: Business and Management at the University of Wolverhampton
This report represents the conclusions of an assessment team that undertook an assessment of quality between October 2022 and March 2023 of the business and management courses provided by the University of Wolverhampton.

National Student Survey: Procedures for investigating allegations of inappropriate influence
Procedures for investigating allegations of inappropriate influence on National Student Survey results (English and Welsh versions).

Increase in undergraduate medical maximum fundable limits
This letter sets out guidance for providers with medical schools registered with the OfS in the Approved (fee cap) category on our approach to increasing the medical maximum fundable limits by 350 from the academic year 2025-26.

Evaluation of the higher education short course trial
Findings from the evaluation of the higher education short course trial which was conducted by the Career Research and Advisory Centre (CRAC).

Web updates

Promoting equality of opportunity

Equality of Opportunity Risk Register: updated with additional detail and evidence

Access and participation plans: fee limits updated with information for new entrants in 2024-25

Skills and employment

Degree apprenticeships: published allocated funding

Data and analysis

Data checking tool: HESES22 comparison technical and rebuild documents were updated

Release schedules: schedule updated for spring/summer 2024

Funding for providers

Recurrent funding: payment dates posted for academic year 2024-25

General

Introduction to the OfS: a webinar for all higher education staff: watch the recording of the webinar

Our board and committees: updated board and committee memberships and registers of interest

Gender pay gap: published 2023 figures

2023

Each month for 2023 is retrospective.

Content published in December across the website

See this month's digital newsletter

News

The OfS reflects on key issues in higher education in 2023 annual review
The Office for Students (OfS) has published its annual review for 2023, which explores the central issues in English higher education in 2023.

OfS to act to secure free speech for students with proposals on new free speech complaints scheme
We published proposals for how students, staff and visiting speakers will be able to complain about restrictions on their lawful free speech at a university, college or students’ union.

A further fifty TEF ratings awarded
The Office for Students (OfS) has published a further 50 Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) ratings of universities and colleges whose ratings were previously pending.

Blogs

Making waves in reforms to regulating equality of opportunity
John Blake writes a blog on the updated access and participation guidance, setting out the next steps for higher education providers.

Publications

Consultation on the OfS’s new free speech complaints scheme
We are implementing new freedom of speech functions. This will include a new free speech complaints scheme.

Consultation on the OfS’s approach to regulating students’ unions on free speech matters
We are implementing regulation of students’ unions in relation to their free speech duties.

Annual review 2023
The Office for Students annual review 2023

Regulatory advice 3: Registration of English higher education providers with the OfS
Updated edition of our guidance for providers on applying for registration.

Evaluation of the OfS 2023 reforms to regulating equality of opportunity in higher education
An independent evaluation report from Shift Learning on how higher education providers in 'wave one' implemented equality of opportunity reforms.

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

Regulatory advice 6: How to prepare your access and participation plan - effective practice advice
Update to advice on the preparation of an access and participation plan for providers of higher education in England.

Web updates

Equality of opportunity

Access and participation plans: refreshed guide in line with updated regulatory guidance

TEF

TEF ratings: a further fifty ratings published

Regulation and the Register

Consultations on free speech: quick guides to our proposals

How to register: updated guidance to reflect changes to assessments

Data and analysis

Student numbers data: monthly update to the datafiles

General

Procurement: updated pipeline of opportunities for suppliers

Content published in November across the website

See this month's digital newsletter

News

OfS confirms £8.1 million boost for postgraduate AI conversion courses
The Office for Students (OfS) has confirmed a further £8.1 million for postgraduate conversion course scholarships in artificial intelligence (AI) and data science to increase the diversity of students entering these careers.

OfS publishes latest quality assessment reports
The reports relate to the business and management courses at BPP University and computing courses at Goldsmiths’ College.

Transcript of Susan Lapworth’s speech at a Chartered Association of Business Schools event
Susan Lapworth, chief executive of the OfS, gave her first speech to members of the Chartered Association of Business Schools.

Transcript of Philippa Pickford’s speech at GuildHE’s annual conference
Philippa Pickford’s first major speech in the role of Director of Regulation at the Office for Students (OfS) to GuildHE members.

Susan Lapworth’s speech at AdvanceHE Conference
Read the full transcript of our chief executive's keynote speech at AdvanceHE’s Governance Conference on 23 November.

OfS responds to House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee report
The Office for Students (OfS) has today responded to the House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee’s report into its work.

Publications

Computing - subjects in profile
This data report provides contextual information about the computing subject area.

Quality assessment report: Computing courses at Goldsmiths’ College
This report represents the conclusions of an assessment team that undertook an assessment of quality between January and April 2023.

Quality assessment report: Business and management courses at BPP University Ltd
This report represents the conclusions of an assessment team that undertook an assessment of quality between November 2022 and January 2023.

Quality assessment report: BA Business and Management courses at the University of Bedfordshire
This report represents the conclusions of an assessment team that undertook an assessment of quality between October 2022 and April 2023.

Independent research: Student mental health: Higher education and NHS joined-up working
The OfS funded a 10-month action learning set project that brought together higher education and healthcare professionals to identify and solve problems around joined-up working to support student mental health. This report documents the main takeaways from the project.

Independent research: Evaluation of artificial intelligence and data science scholarship funding
The first interim summary report of an evaluation of a funded programme that delivers scholarships to students from underrepresented groups who are undertaking postgraduate conversion courses in artificial intelligence and data science.

Independent research: Evaluation of Student engagement in knowledge exchange programme - Final report 
This report provides findings from the final evaluation of projects within the 'Student engagement in knowledge exchange' programme.

Update on Data Futures
This letter gives an update on the Data Futures programme, and provides information about the steps the OfS is taking to address the challenges of the programme's implementation.

F3 Notice: Information about students’ union(s)
This is a letter to higher education providers seeking some basic information about their students’ union(s) in preparation for the implementation of our new free speech functions.

Web updates

Regulation and the Register

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: October bulletin added

Data and analysis

National Student Survey data: student characteristics data from the NSS 2023 published

Student number data: 2021-22 spreadsheet updated

Benchmarking: updated to include 'the factors used to construct benchmarks'

Skills and employment

Study artificial intelligence and data science as a postgraduate: changes to reflect course and scholarship updates

Degree apprenticeships funding competition: Guidance for providers: FAQs section added

Lifelong Learning Entitlement: updated guide to reflect government's decision to extend Advanced Learner Loans to 2027

Insight event: Delivering excellent technical higher education - further speakers announced

Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF)

Summary statements from the TEF panel published, together with some of the TEF submissions from the universities and colleges that took part in TEF 2023

Case studies that showcase examples of initiatives or approaches that the TEF panel found to be excellent

General

Our board and committees:

  • updated register of interests for QAC members
  • updated register of interests for Provider Risk Committee members

Procurement: updated pipeline of opportunities and new tender added

OfS privacy: NSS privacy notice updated

Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC): Latest TRAC Development Group bulletin published

Content published in October across the website

See this month's digital newsletter

News

OfS confirms £8.1 million boost for postgraduate AI conversion courses as evaluation finds promising signs of increase in diversity of graduates
The Office for Students (OfS) has confirmed a further £8.1 million will be made available for postgraduate conversion course scholarships in artificial intelligence (AI) and data science to increase the diversity of students entering these careers.

OfS publishes criteria for student outcomes assessments commencing in 2024
The Office for Students (OfS) has today confirmed the criteria it will use to select higher education providers for assessment of student outcomes for the second cycle of condition B3 assessments to commence in 2024.

New OfS-funded Evidence Hub launched to improve student mental health support
A new Student Mental Health Evidence Hub, funded by the Office for Students (OfS) and led by the Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes (TASO), has been launched today.

Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom Director: OfS to protect lawful speech rights independently of the views expressed
Arif Ahmed, the Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom at the Office for Students (OfS) will give his first major speech in the role to students and academics at an event at King’s College London today.

Transcript of Arif Ahmed's speech at King's College London
Read the full transcript of Arif Ahmed's first major speech in the role of Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom at the Office for Students (OfS) to students and academics at an event at King’s College London.

Third report published of the OfS’s quality assessment visits
The Office for Students (OfS) has today published the findings of a third assessment visit focused on the quality of Business and Management courses at a university.

Blog

A flexible modular world: the Lifelong Learning Entitlement
The Lifelong Learning Entitlement (LLE) will give individuals up to the age of 60 access to a loan that will cover the costs for the equivalent of four years of post-18 study. Jack Smith, the OfS’s Head of Pathways and Funding Policy, explores the possibilities and impact of colleges and universities offering more funded modular study.

TEF 2023: Reflections from the panel
Following the publication of the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) 2023 outcomes, TEF panel deputy chairs share examples of excellence observed in submissions and what they learnt from the process.

Ringing the (lifelong) changes: the Lifelong Learning Entitlement
Jack Smith, the OfS’s Head of Pathways and Funding Policy, explores the new Lifelong Learning Entitlement and the OfS’s role in implementing it

Celebrating excellence in higher education with TEF 2023
As the Office for Students publishes ratings from the Teaching Excellence Framework, TEF panel chair and Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University Chris Husbands reflects on the new exercise.

Publications

Condition B3: Prioritised categories for the 2023-24 assessment cycle
The prioritisation categories we will use to assess in relation to providers' compliance with ongoing condition B3 (student outcomes).

The National Student Survey 2024
This publication sets out the arrangements for the National Student Survey (NSS) 2024 and the action required from all participating universities, colleges and other higher education providers.

Meeting the mental health needs of students
This Insight brief discusses some of the issues of students mental health on outcomes, with reference to the most recent available data.

Analysis of data of students reporting a mental health condition
In this report, we explore data relating to students who have reported to their university or college that they have a mental health condition.

HESF24 Higher Education Students Forecast 2024-25
Guidance for providers on how to complete the Higher Education Students Forecast 2024-25 (HESF24).

Changes to the sign-off deadline for 2022-23 Student Return
The Office for Students has decided to further extend the sign-off deadline for the 2022-23 Student (Data Futures) return.

Condition F1 – Transparency information 2023
This document provides details of the publication requirements for, and the specifications and methodology used by the Office for Students in the preparation of the Transparency information 2023.

Quality assessment report: Business and management courses at the University of East London

External quality assurance of apprenticeship end-point assessment for integrated higher and degree apprenticeships
Guidance for providers setting out how the OfS plans to carry out the external quality assurance for end-point assessment.

Staff at the Office for Students: Equality statistics 2023
This report describes the makeup of OfS staff split by six protected characteristics: age, disability, race, religion or belief, sex and sexual orientation.

Uni Connect: data snapshot 2021-22
This snapshot presents Uni Connect data for academic year 2021-22.

Independent evaluation of Uni Connect’s impact on outcomes
The OfS commissioned an independent evaluation of the Uni Connect programme’s impact on outcomes for learners after Wave 4 of the project.
Independent research

Medical and Dental Students survey 2023
The Medical and Dental Students survey 2023 (MDS23) is an annual, UK-wide survey, asking higher education providers in the UK to provide data on the intake of medical and dental students in the 2022-23 and 2023-24 academic years.

Web updates

Regulation and the Register

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: Updates added to September 2023 bulletin regarding Bedford College Group, Birmingham Newman University and TEF 2023 outcomes

Data and analysis

Deadlines for providers: Deadlines extended for: 2022-23 Student (Data Futures) return; Graduate Outcomes collection; and National Student Survey collection

Higher Education Students Forecast (HESF24): updated for the collection of HESF24 data (2024-25)

Data checking tool: HESES22 comparison outputs and technical document updated

Student numbers data: monthly update to data

Higher Education Students Early Statistics 2023-24 (HESES23): further supporting documents added

Student wellbeing

Student guide to tackling harassment, hate and sexual misconduct: published more information about our sexual misconduct pilot survey

Centre for Transforming Access and Student Outcomes in Higher Education (TASO): new OfS-funded Student Mental Health Evidence Hub

Mental health funding competition: published case studies from funded projects

TASO guide: updated information

Student data

National Student Survey data: opened feedback survey

National Student Survey (NSS): updated to reflect 2024 survey details

Unistats collection and Discover Uni dataset: updated for 2023-24

The TEF

TEF guidance: Hub user guide for providers updated

Skills and employment

Degree apprenticeships funding competition webinar: published video and slides from the event

General

Key performance measures: updates to KPM10 (student protection) and KPM11 (efficient regulation) to include the latest data

OfS board: Papers published from board meetings of March 2023, May 2023 and July 2023

Our board and committees: updated scheme of delegation

Student panel: minutes published of meeting

Procurement: updated pipeline of opportunities for suppliers

Transparency data: reports for August and September 2023 published

Free speech complaints scheme: student roundtable: date changed from 26 October to 9 November

Discover Uni: TEF ratings are now live on Discover Uni website

Content published in September across the website

See this month's digital newsletter

News

Gold ratings for forty-six universities and colleges as TEF results announced
Forty-six universities and colleges have been awarded Gold ratings in the latest Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) exercise carried out by the Office for Students (OfS).

Funding competition launched to boost degree apprenticeships
The Office for Students (OfS) has launched a funding competition to boost the capacity and equality of opportunity within degree apprenticeship provision in higher education. Funding will be available for the 2023-24 and 2024-25 academic years.

Students polled about prevalence of sexual misconduct in higher education in a UK first
The Office for Students (OfS) has launched a pilot survey on the prevalence of sexual misconduct within higher education providers in England – the first time a survey on these issues has been run at scale in the UK.

Evaluation finds positive engagement in OfS programme from local graduates
We published an independent evaluation of our industrial strategy and skills Challenge Competition aimed at providing support for local students.

OfS publishes first reports of quality assessment visits
The OfS has published the findings of two assessment visits focused on the quality of Business and Management courses at two universities.

OfS responds to House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee Inquiry
The House of Lords Industry and Regulators Committee published findings from its inquiry into the work of the OfS.

Blog

To tackle a problem effectively, you need to understand it
The OfS’s pilot survey looks to address data gaps in prevalence of sexual misconduct in English higher education.

The results of TEF 2023: recognising excellence in all parts of the sector
The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) assessments are now complete for the majority of providers that took part, and today we have published their final ratings.

Our refreshed engagement with providers: where are we now?
Our chief executive reflects on nine months of our refreshed approach to engaging with the providers we regulate and sets out plans for the future.

Publications

Degree apprenticeships funding competition: Guidance for providers
This document sets out how the Office for Students (OfS) will distribute funding for up to two academic years that is designed to grow and build capacity and increase equality of opportunity in Level 6 degree apprenticeships provision at higher

Prevent monitoring: Accountability and data return 2023
Guidance for higher education providers on completing the Prevent accountability and data return (ADR) for the 2022-23 academic year.

An evaluation of the OfS Challenge Competition - Industrial strategy and skills: support for local students and graduates
This independent report evaluates the Challenge Competition 'Industrial strategy and skills - support for local students and graduates'

Higher Education Students Early Statistics survey 2023-24: Guidance for higher education providers
This document provides guidance on the data that providers must return to the OfS if they are registered (or have applied to register) in the Approved (fee cap) category and are seeking OfS funding for the 2024-25 academic year.

Quality assessment report: BSc/BA Business and Management courses at the University of Bolton
This report represents the conclusions of an assessment team that undertook an assessment of quality between October 2022 and January 2023 of the business and management courses provided by the University of Bolton.

Quality assessment report: BA Business and Management courses at London South Bank University
This report represents the conclusions of an assessment team that undertook an assessment of quality between November 2022 and March 2023 of the business and management courses provided by London South Bank University.

Subjects in profile: Business and management studies
This data report provides contextual information about the business and management subject area.

Approval of proposed new name for Newman University
The Office for Students (OfS) has approved the use of the word ‘university’ in the provider’s change of name from ‘Newman University’ to ‘Birmingham Newman University’.

Considering regulatory burden in light of UUK’s recent publication
A letter responding to the publication of Universities UK's (UUK) report ‘The challenge of regulatory burden’.

Web updates

Quality and standards

Quality assessment page: Overview and listing of reports published

Quality and standards: Freedom of speech guide updated

Regulation and the Register

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: published August bulletin

Data and analysis

Young participation in higher education by area: Annual update to the data used in our postcode search tool

Get the current student numbers data: Monthly data update

Data assurance: Sample data verification queries published

Data checking tool:

  • Student 2022-23 SLC comparison technical document published
  • updated HESES22 comparison technical document and rebuild document; published 2022-23 Pearson comparison technical document

HESES23:

Skills and employment

Local graduates case studies and resources: outputs from our industrial strategy and skills Challenge Competition

Degree apprenticeships: updated our guides with the latest information for providers, employers and prospective students

The TEF

TEF guidance:

Communications and branding guidelines updated with additional logo options

Hub user guide for providers updated

The TEF: published TEF 2023 ratings and data

General

Our board and committees: updated board membership

Content published in August across the website

See this month's digital update

News

Over 339,000 students cast their views in National Student Survey
Results from this year’s National Student Survey (NSS) published today show a 71.5 per cent overall response rate from students on their experiences of higher education, up from 68.6 per cent in 2022.

Blog

Collaboration and communication: A joined-up approach to supporting student mental health
The OfS’s Head of Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Amy Norton, reflects on our mental health funding competition and explains how the OfS is working with providers and other organisations to support the mental health of students.

Publications

Changes to the sign-off deadline for 2022-23 Student Return

Payment of fees for quality and standards assessments: Guidance for providers

Annual fee information collection guidance

Consultation on the general approach to publication of the National Student Survey: Analysis of responses and decisions

Independent research: Publication approach to the results of the National Student Survey

Web updates

Data and analysis

National Student Survey (NSS) data: new dashboard, datafiles and supporting information for this year's NSS results

Student numbers data: updated datafile to reflect changes to registered providers

Data checking tool: Updated and new technical documentation published for:

Promoting equal opportunities

Equality of Opportunity Risk Register (EORR): information on how to give feedback on the EORR, including at a series of focus groups in October

Student information

National Student Survey - NSS: updated guide content, including 'Review of the NSS', to reflect outcomes of the consultation on publication of results, as well as data on this year's survey

Teaching

TEF guidance: published 2023 communications and branding guidance and updated the TEF hub user guide

Regulation and the Register

Degree awarding powers:

  • The OfS has made an Order awarding S P Jain London School of Management Limited with new degree awarding powers for taught degrees
  • Added DAPs order variation for The London Interdisciplinary School
  • Orders made by the OfS: new taught degree awarding powers for New Model Institute of Technology and Engineering

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: July bulletin published

General

Key performance measures (KPMs) - Annual updates to:

Our board and committees: updated memberships and register of interests, committee rules of procedure and policy on managing conflicts of interest

How we are run: published June and July spending data

Procurement: new opportunity for suppliers to tender for recruitment services

Content published in July across the website

See this month's digital update

News

University grade inflation starts to drop, but half of top grades still unexplained
Figures reveal that the number of top grades awarded to students has fallen for the first time since 2010-11, but has still not returned to pre-pandemic levels.

OfS launches consultation to include higher technical qualifications in its student outcomes measures
Outcomes for students on higher technical qualifications (HTQs) could be separated from other Level 4 and 5 qualifications in published data.

OfS publishes new guidance on degree awarding powers
New operational guidance for universities and colleges to apply for degree awarding powers (DAPs).

Publications

Student characteristics data 2010-11 to 2021-22
These documents summarise some of the sector-level trends in our student characteristics populations and outcomes data.

Changes to 2023 student data surveys to inform funding
Notification of the changes that we intend to make to student data surveys for 2023.

Consultation on the inclusion of higher technical qualifications in student outcome measures
We are proposing to separate higher technical qualifications from other Level 4 and 5 qualifications in our student outcomes measures.

Positive outcomes for students studying on a modular basis
We have issued a call for evidence seeking views about how we could measure student outcomes resulting from modular study.

Regulatory advice 23: Arrangements for initial condition B7 quality assessment visits
Operational guidance about our approach to quality assessment visits for condition B7, including the members of an assessment team and their roles, the assessment visit, and the assessment report.

(Updated) Regulatory advice 3: Registration of English higher education providers with the OfS
Added guidance on the assessment of initial condition B8 (standards).

(Updated) Unistats 2023: Arrangements for the submission and publication of data
Added details of publication of Discover Uni dataset for 2023

(Updated) Regulatory advice 12: How to apply for degree awarding powers (DAPs)
Added operational guidance for providers on DAPs assessment by the OfS (Annex D)

(Updated) Regulatory advice 17: Variation and revocation of degree awarding powers
Added operational guidance for providers on DAPs assessment by the OfS (Annex B)

Monitoring of recurrent funding allocations for the 2022-23 academic year
Details of the monitoring process for funding made in 2022-23 for Level 4 and 5 qualifications, degree apprenticeships and student hardship.

Analysis of degree classifications over time
Changes in graduate attainment from 2010-11 to 2021-22.

Consultation on paying fees for investigations: Outcomes
Our analysis of responses and decisions following our recent consultation on paying fees for investigations.

Payment of fees for investigations
Guidance for providers on implementation of The Higher Education (Investigation Fees) (England) Regulations 2022.

Deadlines and requirements for 2023-24 data returns
This letter sets out deadlines for the data returns during the 2023-24 academic year.

Terms and conditions of funding for 2023-24
These apply to the recurrent and capital funding we distribute to providers that are registered in the Approved (fee cap) category.

Recurrent funding for 2023-24
A summary of allocations of recurrent funding to higher education providers for the academic year 2023-24.

Guide to funding 2023-24
A guide to help those working or studying in higher education wishing to understand how we manage funding for higher education providers.

Regulatory case report for Stratford College London Limited: assessment against condition B3 at registration
We found Stratford College London satisfies initial condition of registration B3. The report briefly sets out why we reached this decision, including the contextual information we considered during our assessment.

Web updates

Data and analysis

Data and analysis: reorganised our listings page to make it easier to find datasets, insight and information on data collection

Data dashboards: updated progression indicators to incorporate information for graduates in the 2020-21 academic year

Get the HESES data: updated figures, workbook and data files with the latest data

Post-collection outputs: published technical documents for the 2021-22 ILR, Student and Student Alternative post-collection outputs

2022-23 ILR data checking tool: published documentation for classifying learning aims.

Regulation and the Register

How we regulate student outcomes: new introductory guide to our activity and requirements for providers

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: published June and July 2023 bulletins

For students

Student guide to tackling harassment, hate and sexual misconduct: new information for students about our sexual misconduct pilot survey

Teaching

Teaching Excellence Framework: TEF Hub user guides for providers and for student contacts updated with information on multifactor authentication

Funding

Recurrent funding: updated funding allocations, technical guidance and funding data for 2023-24

Health education funding: updated to reflect merger of Health Education England with NHS England and provide information on 2023-24 maximum fundable limits

Skills and employment

Validation: How we’re making it easier for universities and colleges to form validation partnerships

Degree apprenticeships funding webinar: published video of the event

General

Our board and committees: updated scheme of delegation

Our senior team: updated team members and register of interests

How to request information from us: April – June 2023 Freedom of Information request log published

Procurement: pipeline of opportunities for suppliers updated

On the Transparent Approach to Costing (TRAC) website:

TRAC guidance for 2022-23 returns published

See this month's digital newsletter

News

New OfS panel to advise on what works in supporting disabled students
The Office for Students (OfS) is to establish a new Disability in Higher Education Advisory Panel to provide expert advice on enhancing disabled students’ experiences in higher education.

OfS annual report and accounts 2022-23
Our annual report sets out the progress we are making in delivering against our regulatory objectives.

Funding boost to degree apprenticeships, skills, healthcare, and science courses
Degree apprenticeships, skills and strategically important areas of study, including healthcare, science and engineering courses, are to receive increased funding for the 2023-24 academic year.

Students’ consumer rights should be a priority throughout their courses, says regulator
OfS chief executive Susan Lapworth spoke about protecting students' interests at our Insight event.

Office for Students announces its first Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom
The Office for Students (OfS) has today welcomed the appointment of Professor Arif Ahmed as the first Director for Freedom of Speech and Academic Freedom.

OfS fines Raindance Education Services Limited for breaching condition of registration

Publications

Protecting students as consumers
Our latest Insight brief considers the scope of consumer protection law as it currently stands, and how our regulation protects consumer rights.

An independent high-level evaluation of the Disabled Students' Commission
This report presents the findings of the short-term, external evaluation of the Disabled Students' Commission (DSC) since it was set up in 2020.

National Student Survey 2023: Publication of data
Information on the plans for the publication of the 2023 National Student Survey (NSS) results.

Improving access and participation for black, Asian and minority ethnic groups in postgraduate research: Evaluation
This independent research report evaluates the first year of the programme to improve access and participation for minority ethnic groups in PGR study.

Payment of annual OfS registration fees 2023-24
This guidance for registered higher education providers in England outlines the process for payment of annual registration fees.

Marking and assessment boycott
This letter outlines our expectations for the protection of student interests during the national marking and assessment boycott.

Office for Students' business plan: 2023-24
This business plan sets out what we will do in 2023-24, the second year of our three-year strategy.

Annual report and accounts 2022-23
The report covers the OfS’s fifth year of operation, and our progress in delivering against our regulatory objectives.

Funding for academic year 2023-24
This document reports the decisions taken by the OfS on funding for 2023-24.

Regulatory case report for Raindance Educational Services Limited
OfS decisions to find a breach of condition F3 and impose a monetary penalty

Web updates

Regulation and the Register

Insight event: Protecting students as consumers: published a recording and slides from the event

Regulatory advice 21: Publication of information: updated to reflect decisions on policy approaches in relation to TEF and the regulation of student outcomes

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: published bulletin for May 2023

Promoting equal opportunities

Help improve equality of opportunity: expanded our guide for students, including new written and video guides to the access and participation plan student submission

Data and analysis

Data checking tools: three technical documents for the Individualised Learner Record data checking tool published

Student numbers: updated data for 2021-22 and 2020-21

Size and shape of provision data dashboard: updated to correct a minor methodological oversight

Skills and employment

Postgraduate conversion courses in artificial intelligence and data science: three new student stories from the University of Bradford

Student wellbeing and protection

Intersectional approaches to support student mental health: published recordings and slides from these events

Prevent and address harassment and sexual misconduct: updated with the latest information on the pilot survey of sexual misconduct

Teaching

About the TEF: updated rules of procedure, membership list and register of interests for the TEF Panel

General

KPM 11: Efficient regulation: published the latest data for KPM 11B (conditions of registration subject to enhanced monitoring)

Operational measures: published the latest data for the four operational measures that report on the performance of our core regulatory activity

Transparency data: published spending data for March, April and May 2023, and expenses data for 2022-23

Procurement: updated pipeline of opportunities for suppliers

See this month's digital newsletter

News

One in six students at English universities taught overseas
Students living overseas now account for 16 per cent of all students registered at English universities and colleges, research from the Office for Students (OfS) finds, with China, Malaysia and Sri Lanka together accounting for nearly a third of all such transnational students.

New data on rejected speakers at English universities
New data published today by the OfS shows that during 2021-22, 31,545 speakers or events were approved to be held in English universities and colleges.

University finances generally in good shape, but risks include over-reliance on international recruitment
The Office for Students' annual report on financial sustainability finds that while university finances generally remain in good shape, significant variation remains in the performance of higher education providers.

New website and guidance to support effective uni-school partnerships
A new website launched today by the Office for Students is designed to help learners, teachers and advisers find activities, advice and information on the benefits and realities of going to university or college through the Uni Connect programme.

OfS appoints new Director of Regulation
Philippa Pickford joins us from Ofgem.

Blog

Uni Connect: driving collaboration and evaluation to improve equality of opportunity
We've published three independent reports on Uni Connect and launched a new Uni Connect website. John Blake explains.

Protecting students from harassment and sexual misconduct
OfS Student Panel member Nkechi Adeboye gives her views on our consultation on regulating to protect students.

Publications

Transnational education: Protecting the interests of students taught abroad
This Insight brief examines the scale of transnational education (TNE) in English higher education, focusing on how and where this learning is delivered and how the OfS’s risk-based regulatory approach seeks to ensure that students receive a high quality education wherever they study.

Prevent monitoring: Summary of 2021-22 accountability and data returns
This report presents sector-level data from providers’ accountability and data returns for the academic year 2021-22.

Annual TRAC 2021-22: Sector summary and analysis by TRAC peer group
This paper contains analysis of the 2021-22 sector aggregate data based on submissions from higher education institutions in England and Northern Ireland. Also provided is a summary of UK sector data.

Financial sustainability of higher education providers in England - 2023 update
This report analyses the financial data returned to the OfS from universities, colleges and other higher education providers in England (excluding further education colleges).

Regulatory advice 6: How to prepare your access and participation plan - effective practice advice
This updated guidance supports providers in creating a clear and effective access and participation plan.

The benefits of and barriers to collaborative access activity by higher education providers
Independent research: The benefits of collaboration for higher education providers, their partners and students, as well as current and potential barriers or tensions that can inhibit partnership working to inform a future strategy.

Fifth independent review of impact evaluation evidence submitted by Uni Connect partnerships
Independent research: Insights into the impact of activities delivered through the Uni Connect programme, drawing on partnerships’ local evaluation evidence to date.

Formative evaluation of Uni Connect phase three: Findings
Independent research: Formative evaluation findings exploring Uni Connect programme delivery - what has worked well, less well and why, as well as enablers of and barriers to effective practice.

Web updates

Promoting equal opportunities

Uni Connect: new website launched

Strategic relationships with schools case studies:

Evaluating Uni Connect's impact: latest evaluation reports listed

2024-25 access and participation plans - webinars for volunteer providers: slides and recordings published for the attainment raising in schools webinar and the strengthening evaluation webinar

Student mental health: new video from the University of Birmingham about their OfS-funded project

Data and analysis

Student data checking tool: added documentation and information on data futures

Annual TRAC 2021-22: Sector summary and analysis by TRAC peer group

Student numbers data: updated to reflect changes to registered providers

Regulation and the Register

Regulatory activity for individual providers: published April 2023 monthly bulletin

General

Transparency data: 2022-23 gifts and hospitality register published

Our board and committees: updated registers of interests for the board and the Risk and Audit Committee

Procurement: new tender opportunity (health assessments) and updated pipeline of opportunities for suppliers

See this month's digital newsletter

News

New case studies explain how OfS responds to risk of closure at universities and colleges
The Office for Students (OfS) has published a set of case studies explaining how it works with universities and other higher education providers at risk of closure.

Blog

Assessing quality and standards: next steps
Nick Holland, our Head of Quality and Standards, gives an update on future arrangements for quality and standards assessments.

Publications

Regulatory advice 14: Guidance for the Annual Financial Return - updated
Guidance about the information that a provider is required to submit as part of its financial monitoring returns to the OfS.

Deadlines and requirements for Annual Financial Return 2023
Enclosing F3 Notice

Financial sustainability and market exit cases
Cases where a provider has been at risk of ceasing the provision of higher education, including one case where a market exit occurred.

Unistats 2023 - publication of deadlines and requirements
Arrangements for the 2023-24 Unistats data collection for registered providers and for higher education providers in Northern Ireland.

Regulatory case reports for London College of Business Studies
These case reports explain why we have decided to impose specific ongoing conditions of registration on the London College of Business Studies.

Independent research: Regulating equality of opportunity in English higher education (including regulation of access and participation plans)
Independent analysis of consultation responses

Key web updates

Data and analysis

Student outcomes data dashboards - updated to include the latest student data up to the 2021-22 academic year:

Data checking tool: updated for 2022-23

Student numbers data: published latest datafiles

Higher Education Students Forecast (HESF23): added supporting documents to help complete the survey workbooks

Regulation and the Register

How we regulate financial sustainability within higher education

Quality and standards assessments: updated information on how we assess quality and standards at universities and colleges, and the role of independent experts

Regulatory activity: published March 2023 bulletin

Promoting equality of opportunity

2024-25 access and participation plans: webinars for volunteer providers: published recordings from the first and second webinars

Effective practice: published one new case study of student mental health support, the Creative Mental Health Framework

Partnerships and collaboration

Memorandum of understanding between the OfS and the Archbishop of Canterbury added

General

Events added:

KPM 11C: Average amount of regulatory fees paid by providers per student - updated with 2021-22 data

Our board and committees: updated board register of interests and Risk and Audit Committee register of interests

Board papers: published December 2022 and February 2023 board papers

Procurement: new tender opportunities for suppliers

See this month's digital newsletter

News

Strategic Priorities Grant letter sets out guidance for OfS
The Office for Students has received guidance from the Secretary of State for Education and the Minister for Skills, Apprenticeships and Higher Education on the Higher Education Strategic Priorities Grant for the 2023-24 financial year.

£8 million boost for digital student scholarships
Thirty English universities will share an £8.1 million fund to invest in artificial intelligence (AI) and data science postgraduate conversion course scholarships to increase diversity.

Office for Students launches consultation on publication of the National Student Survey
The Office for Students (OfS) has published a consultation on a number of proposals around the publication of the National Student Survey (NSS) and how to present the data received from students’ responses.

Students from disadvantaged backgrounds less likely to complete their course
Students from disadvantaged backgrounds and those otherwise underrepresented in higher education are less likely to complete their course, data published by the Office for Students (OfS) shows.

Universities take steps to address cost of living
Universities and colleges are taking steps to address the impact of inflation on students as new polling for the OfS finds nearly one in five say they are considering dropping out because of the rising cost of living.

Funding boost puts performing arts and degree apprenticeships in the limelight
We're awarding £9.6 million to improve teaching and access to performing arts courses at specialist higher education providers across England.

OfS to consult on investigation fees
We opened a consultation on how we may charge universities and colleges to cover the cost of investigations.

Blog

TEF 2023: A golden turn-out from students
With over 200 student submissions received for the 2023 Teaching Excellence Framework, we reflect on the value of student engagement.

'For us, by us': The important role of student co-creation in developing mental health support
For University Mental Health Day, Amy Norton explains how understanding the needs of your own students and providing tailored support can help improve student mental health support systems.

Publications

Evaluation of new data science and artificial intelligence conversion masters' courses
Interim evaluation summary report of a programme of new data science and artificial intelligence postgraduate conversion courses

Consultation on a new approach to regulating equality of opportunity: Analysis of responses and decisions
Our response to the key points made in the consultation, and the decisions we have taken following our consideration of the consultation responses and other relevant factors.

Independent research: Rapid review to support development of the Equality of Opportunity Risk Register

Regulatory notice 1: Access and participation plan guidance - updated
Guidance for higher education providers in England on the preparation of an access and participation plan

Consultation on the approach to publication of results of the National Student Survey
This consultation sets out the technical detail of proposals for the approach to publication of the revised National Student Survey from 2023 onwards.

Studying during rises in the cost of living
Our latest Insight brief looks at the effect on students of price increases, including a commissioned poll and roundtable discussions, as well as some of the actions by providers to mitigate the effects of the situation.

HESF23 Higher Education Students Forecast 2023-24
This document sets out requirements for the Higher Education Students Forecast survey 2023-24 (HESF23).

Formula capital funding: 2023 allocations
This publication announces the second distribution of formula capital grant for the spending review covering financial years 2022-23 to 2024-25.

Initiative funding for specialist performing arts providers: Funding allocations
This publication sets out the details of this funding and lists the annual allocations for providers for academic year 2022-23.

Mid-year allocations of recurrent funding for 2022-23
This publication outlines our allocations of £16 million of recurrent funding to higher education providers for the academic year 2022 23.

Monitoring of Ukrainian student hardship funding allocations
Monitoring requirements for providers that had Ukrainian student hardship funding, which should be uploaded by Monday 17 April.

Consultation on payment of fees for investigations
A short consultation that proposes how we will determine the fee a provider under investigation by the OfS should pay

Description and definition of student outcome and experience measures
Updated: new editions of the files and archive added for earlier editions

Web updates

Regulation and the Register

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: February 2023 bulletin published

Data and analysis

Access and participation data dashboard: Dashboard, user guide, key findings, FAQs and datafiles updated

Description and definition of student outcome and experience measures - updated files

HESES: data for the 2022-23 academic year published

Student numbers data: latest numbers published

Post-collection outputs: added documentation for degree apprenticeships

Student information and data

National Student Survey: third quarterly update to the 2022 results data

National Student Survey: NSS 2023 example results files (accompanies consultation)

Promoting equal opportunities

Access and participation plans: Details of our staggered approach to the submission of access and participation plans in 2023

Equality of Opportunity Risk Register: Explore a range of risks to equality of opportunity across the higher education sector

Our approach to equality of opportunity: Updated following publication of the outcomes of our consultation

Evaluation of TASO impact survey: Technopolis are running a survey to establish the impact of TASO and current use of evaluation and evidence in access and participation practice. APP contacts should complete the survey by 7 April.

Student wellbeing

Mental health funding competition:

Consultation on a new approach to regulating harassment and sexual misconduct -
Slides and recordings are now available for the two events we ran to provide information and answer your questions:

Funding for providers

Recurrent funding: updated technical guidance and sector tables

Recurrent funding: published dates of payments to providers for 2023-24

Skills and employment

Postgraduate conversion courses in artificial intelligence and data science: Update on latest scholarships

General

The gender pay gap at the OfS: published March 2022 and September 2022 data

Key performance measures:
Two new KPMs – KPM 10 (student protection) and KPM 6 (success and progression)
Updates to KPMs 3, 5, 7 and 8

Our board and committees: updated Committee register of interests and
Board members' register of interests

Transparency data: published February spending data

Procurement: pipeline of opportunities for suppliers updated

See this month's digital newsletter

News

OfS launches consultation on tackling harassment and sexual misconduct
Universities and colleges would need to maintain a register of personal relationships between staff and students under plans published today by the Office for Students (OfS).

Boost for equality of opportunity as universities commit to improving access 
Our outcomes report on responses to new priorities for access and participation plans has found promising signs of progress, with 90 per cent of universities and colleges with a plan submitting variations to respond to the priorities of John Blake, Director for Fair Access and Participation at the OfS.

Blog

Students deserve protection wherever they study
Prevention and response to harassment and sexual misconduct by universities is not consistently effective. OfS chief executive Susan Lapworth describes our toughened approach.

Experience matters
Martha Longdon, previous chair of the OfS student panel, suggests lessons to learn from the Office for Students’ first five years.

Publications

Consultation on a new approach to regulating harassment and sexual misconduct in English higher education
This consultation sets out the background to our proposals, the reasons we are proposing to make changes and what we expect those changes to achieve.

Monitoring of capital funding allocated in the financial year 2022 23: Guidance for higher education providers
This guidance sets out the monitoring information required from higher education providers that received capital funding in the financial year 2022-23.

Fee information for new entrants in 2023-24
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 2023-24.

New approach to regulating equality of opportunity: update
An update on the OfS's work following its consultation on a new approach to regulating equality of opportunity.

Outcomes report: Variations to access and participation plans for 2023-24
This document summarises responses following the OfS's request for all providers with access and participation plans to submit variations to their plan which responded to our new priorities.

Web updates

Regulation and the Register

Harassment and sexual misconduct consultation:

Regulating harassment and sexual misconduct webinars:

  • 7 March - webinar for higher education providers and other interested organisations
  • 9 March - webinar for students and student representatives

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: January bulletin published

Data and analysis

Student number data: 2021-22 student number data, methodology and technical information published; 2020-21 data updated

Medical and dental students: target intakes for 2023-24 entry published

Post-collection outputs: technical documentation added for for 2021-22 outputs

Promoting equal opportunities

Monitoring access and participation plans: approach to monitoring 2021-22 plans confirmed

General

Leadership Development Scheme: applications are now open

Our senior team: directors' register of interests updated

Our student panel: chair of the panel updated

Our board and committees: board register of interests and committee rules of procedure updated

Procurement: pipeline of opportunities for suppliers updated

See this month's digital newsletter

News

Office for Students responds to HESA statistics
Susan Lapworth commented on the Higher Education Student Statistics for 2021-22, which show a decrease in the proportion of students being awarded first class degrees.

Discover Uni works with Ukie to bring students and employers closer together in the video gaming industry
Partnership with UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) is Discover Uni's first collaboration with an employer-led organisation to provide course information for students in a specific industry.

OfS director receives honour
Nolan Smith, Director of Resources and Finance, was awarded an OBE for services to higher education in the King’s new year’s honours list.

OfS publishes summary of three-yearly report on quality body
We published a summary of our triennial report on the performance of the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) in its role as the designated quality body (DQB).

Blog

Refreshing our engagement with providers
Susan Lapworth sets out how we will refresh our engagement with universities, colleges and other higher education providers in response to feedback from their leaders.

Freedom to question, challenge and debate
Susan Lapworth explains how free speech is essential for quality and equality of opportunity in higher education.

Opportunity costs: The differential impact of cost-of-living pressures on students
John Blake discusses OfS research on the impact of cost-of-living pressures on students and risks to equality of opportunity.

Publications

Working in partnership to improve international student integration and experience: Evaluation report
We commissioned independent research with the aim of improving the understanding of international students’ experiences and needs, and identifying any gaps in provision.

National Student Survey: Procedures for investigating allegations of inappropriate influence
Procedures for investigating allegations of inappropriate influence on National Student Survey results - updated for NSS 2023

Report on provider engagement with the Office for Students
A summary of findings from research conducted by Shift Insight.

Additional student hardship funding for academic year 2022-23
Letter to providers on funding to be distributed by the end of this academic year to students facing hardship as a result of increased cost of living.

Summary of the OfS’s triennial report on the performance of the designated quality body
A summary of our report to the Secretary of State setting out how the designated quality body has performed the assessment functions and whether it should continue to be designated.

Briefing note: The statutory framework for quality and standards and the role of the OfS and any designated body
This briefing note explains the statutory framework for quality and standards and its implications for how quality and standards assessment functions are performed by the OfS or any designated body.

Web updates

Regulation and the Register

The designated quality body: a new page to explain the DQB's role

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: published December bulletin

Degree awarding powers: orders made by the OfS - added full taught degree awarding powers for The National Film and Television School

Data and analysis

Post-collection outputs: added release schedules and output information for 2021-22 outputs

Student numbers: 2020-21 data updated

Student information and data

Review of the NSS: updated content to reflect progress and current status

Promoting equal opportunities

Supporting international students: published a new topic briefing, including advice and resources for providers

General

Leadership development scheme: information about our 2023 careers scheme, including drop-in sessions

Our board and committees: updated board and committee memberships and register of interests

Procurement: pipeline of opportunities for suppliers updated

See this month's digital newsletter

News

University leaders and academics should be proactive in upholding freedom of speech
Office for Students chief executive Susan Lapworth has said that university leaders and academics should be proactive in upholding freedom of speech on their campuses, ensuring their policies and processes support free speech and academic freedom.

OfS fines University of Buckingham for breaching condition of registration
The Office for Students has imposed a fine of £37,231 on the University of Buckingham after it failed to meet the deadline for submitting its signed audited financial statements for the year ended 2019.

OfS allocates £432 million to boost higher education facilities and equipment
The Office for Students is awarding £432 million in capital funding to support investment in new buildings, facilities and equipment for universities and colleges across England.

Blog

New year, new NSS
For over 15 years the National Student Survey (NSS) has been an important indicator of student views. January 2023 sees the introduction of the new questionnaire.

Introducing the TEF Panel
Bringing expertise to drive enhancement and excellence in teaching

Quality: where are we now?
Susan Lapworth, the OfS’s chief executive, argues that focusing quality assessment on core academic matters means focusing on the things that matter to students.

Publications

Regulatory case report for University of Buckingham
This case report explains why the Office for Students has decided to impose a monetary penalty on University of Buckingham for a breach of condition F3.

Annual review 2022
The Office for Students annual review 2022

Insight brief: Freedom to question, challenge and debate
This brief summarises some key points before outlining the legal and regulatory framework within which universities and colleges must make decisions about matters relating to freedom of speech.

Guide to funding 2022-23
How the Office for Students allocates money to higher education providers

World-leading specialist provider funding: Outcome
This document announces decisions on funding from the Office for Students for the 2021-22 and 2022-23 academic years for specialist providers that have been identified by the Specialist Provider Panel as world-leading.

Capital funding for financial years 2022-23 to 2024-25
This document provides an overview of the process and outcomes for the distribution of capital grant by the Office for Students for the three financial years (April to March) 2022-23, 2023-24 and 2024-25.

Deadlines and requirements for Annual Financial Return 2023
This letter sets out our approach to communicating our requirements for the Annual Financial Return 2023 (AFR23).

Briefing note: How higher education quality is regulated in England
This briefing note sets out the OfS’s approach to regulating quality and standards.

Evaluation of the Mental Health Funding Competition: Co-creating intersectional student mental health initiatives
Lessons from the Mental Health Funding Competition

Web updates

Funding for providers

Medical and dental students: confirmed total intake numbers for 2021-22 and initial intake numbers for 2022-23

Update on capital funding allocations for 2022-23 to 2024-25 

Update on funding for specialist providers for 2021-22 and 2022-23

Update on recurrent funding allocations for 2021-22 and 2022-23

Regulation and the Register

Monthly bulletin of regulatory activity: November bulletin published

Data and analysis

Student numbers: 2020-21 data updated

Teaching

TEF panel: membership and rules of procedure published

TEF guides: hub user guides published

For students

Study artificial intelligence and data science as a postgraduate: additional case studies with advice for prospective students

General

Insight event: Freedom of speech in higher education: published video and slides from the 10 December event

Transparency data:

  • Data published for October and November 2022 (Transactions over £25,000 and procurement card transactions over £500)
  • April–September 2022 gifts and hospitality register published

Procurement: pipeline of opportunities for suppliers updated

Would you like a summary of what we've published at the end of each month?

Sign up for our Monthly update e-newsletter
Last updated 31 May 2024
31 May 2024
Roundup for May 2024 added.
01 May 2024
Roundup for April 2024 added.
08 April 2024
Roundup for March 2024 added.
08 March 2024
Roundup for February 2024 added.
08 February 2024
Roundup for January 2024 added.
25 January 2024
Roundup for December 2023 added.
02 November 2023
Roundup for November 2023 added (web content published in October 2023)
16 October 2023
Roundup for October 2023 added (web content published in September 2023)
08 September 2023
Roundup for September 2023 added (web content published in August 2023)
08 August 2023
Roundup for August 2023 added (web content published in July 2023)
06 July 2023
Roundup for July 2023 added (web content published in June 2023)
31 May 2023
Roundup for June 2023 added (web content published in May 2023)
05 May 2023
Roundup for May 2023 added (web content published in April 2023)
31 March 2023
Roundup for April 2023 added (web content published in March 2023)
01 March 2023
Roundup for March 2023 added (web content published in February 2023)
31 January 2023
Roundup for February 2023 added (web content published in January 2023)
03 January 2023
Roundup for January 2023 added (web content published in December 2022)
14 December 2022
Roundup for December 2022 added (web content published in November 2022)
03 October 2022
Links added for digital newsletters for: September 2022 (web content published in August 2022) and October 2022 (web content published in September 2022).
01 June 2022
Roundup for June 2022 added (web content published in May 2022)
16 May 2022
Roundup for May 2022 added (web content published in April 2022)
01 April 2022
Roundup for April 2022 added (web content published in March 2022)
28 February 2022
Roundup for March 2022 added (web content published in February 2022)
04 February 2022
Roundup for February 2022 added (web content published in January 2022)
28 January 2022
Roundup for January 2022 added (web content published in December 2021)
02 December 2021
Roundup for December and November 2021 added (web content published in October and November 2021)
01 October 2021
Roundup for September and October 2021 added (web content published in August and September 2021)
02 August 2021
Roundup for August 2021 added (web content published in July 2021)
30 June 2021
Roundup for July 2021 added (web content published in June 2021)
04 June 2021
Roundup for June 2021 added (web content published in May 2021)
05 May 2021
Content added for May 2021 (web content published in April 2021)
06 April 2021
Roundup for April 2021 published
04 March 2021
Roundup for March 2021 published
27 January 2021
Roundup for February 2021 published
04 December 2020
Roundup for December 2020 published
12 November 2020
Roundup for November 2020 published
30 September 2020
Roundup for October 2020 published
28 August 2020
Roundup for September 2020 published
17 August 2020
Roundup for August 2020 published
30 June 2020
Roundup for July 2020 published
29 May 2020
Roundup for June 2020 published
30 April 2020
Roundup for May 2020 published
31 March 2020
Roundup for April 2020 published
02 March 2020
Roundup for March 2020 published
31 January 2020
Roundup for February 2020 published
19 December 2019
Roundup for January 2020 published

Describe your experience of using this website

Improve experience feedback
* *

Thank you for your feedback