Registration with the OfS

Which providers register?

The OfS Register provides a full list of all registered providers. It sets out the status each provider has, the benefits for which it is eligible and if the provider has any specific ongoing conditions of registration. It also shows if a provider has chosen to deregister.

Search for registered providers

Do providers have to register?

Registration is voluntary, and organisations or companies may provide higher education courses without registering. But if they choose not to register, they cannot access any of the benefits of registration

This means that we cannot say whether they are offering the high quality experience our conditions of registration ensure. It also means their students cannot access student loans available through the Student Loans Company.

Which providers can register?

Providers that meet the definition of an ‘English higher education provider’ as set out in the regulatory framework can register.

An eligible provider must satisfy three elements:

  • it provides ‘higher education’
  • its activities are ‘principally carried on in England’
  • it is an ‘institution’.

Does registration cover all a provider’s activities?

Registration covers all a provider’s higher education courses. This extends to:

  • courses at an overseas campus
  • courses subcontracted to or from another provider
  • courses which are validated by another provider or for which a provider is the awarding body
  • ‘embedded colleges’ or separate organisations which deliver pathway courses to prepare students for entry to higher education courses
  • distance learning for students based outside England.

The OfS regulates activity on the basis that the obligations of the registered provider extend to its students wherever and however they study.

Published 03 February 2022

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