How to request information from us
OfS publication scheme
The OfS publication scheme sets out the different types of information we make available and how to obtain them.
Freedom of Information requests
Most information is accessible through either our website or our publication scheme below. However, if you are unable to find the information that you are looking for, please contact us, or submit a request for information.
The Office for Students (OfS) is committed to making information available as part of our normal business activities whenever we can legally do so, except where we consider release would cause significant harm. In such cases we will withhold information under an appropriate exemption under the Freedom of Information Act 2000. We must also comply with the requirements of the data protection legislation and respect the privacy of individuals.
The Freedom of Information Act requires every public authority to have a publication scheme approved by the Information Commissioner’s Office, and to publish information covered by the scheme. Our publication scheme sets out the different types of information we make available and how to obtain them. It follows the Information Commissioner’s model publication scheme and definition document for non-departmental public bodies.
Our website has information on:
Our relationship to government
The OfS was established in January 2018 under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 to regulate English higher education providers on behalf of all students, and ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers.
We are accountable to the Department for Education for the way we work and the funds we distribute. We engage with other government departments, such as the Department of Health and HM Treasury, as necessary.
Working in partnership
Working in partnership is central to the delivery of our objectives. Key partners include students, government, higher education providers, employers, and key national agencies. Our framework document sets out how we engage with government officials.
Location and contact details
Financial statements, budgets and variance reports
We publish spending over £25,000. Procurement card spending for staff is capped at £500, except in exceptional circumstances. See our transparency page.
Contracts and invitations to tender over £10,000 can be viewed on the Delta eSourcing website.
Annual report and accounts
We publish our annual report and accounts shortly after the end of each financial year.
Senior staff salaries and board members’ allowances and expenses
We publish the salaries and expense claims of OfS staff at director level and above, when available. See our transparency page.
OfS scheme of delegated decision-making
Our scheme of delegation shows how we use our resources to deliver our objectives. You can download it from the board and committees page.
Pay and grading structures
We publish salary information for senior employees in our annual report and accounts.
Guidance letter from Secretary of State to the OfS
The government sets out our annual priorities and tells us how much money to distribute to higher education providers. See guidance from government.
Our strategy outlines the four strategic objectives of the OfS, and how we will achieve these.
Our business plan outlines the work we will do to achieve our strategic objectives.
Impact and performance
We publish information on our impact and performance. See our key performance measures.
Each year we publish an annual review of our performance.
We will publish environmental information in our sustainability report as part of our annual report and accounts.
Major policy proposals, decisions and background information
All relevant decisions and policy are made available to the public. See our Publications section.
All our consultations, current and past, are listed on our Consultations page.
Since 1 April 2018, we have published papers presented to the OfS board. See OfS board papers.
Papers exempt from publication under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, including partly exempt papers, are listed for information with the other papers.
Assessing equality impact
Subject to relevance and proportionality, equality impact will be assessed on all policies and programmes. The outcomes of those assessments will be published in our Publications section alongside the associated publication.
By assessing equality impact we proactively consider the needs of students, the wider community or our own employees and identify potential steps to advance equality and foster good relations, and ensure that we do not discriminate unlawfully.
Equality and diversity
We are committed to promoting equality and diversity in all aspects of our work.
We publish information on how we strive to meet high standards when we conduct our business, make policy decisions, and deal with requests or enquiries. See How we are run.
OfS information rights
Read our Privacy section for details on how we process personal data and information security.
We also have guidance on how to request information from us:
- Dealing with Freedom of Information, and Environmental Information Regulations
- How to make a request to access your personal information
- Re-use of Public Sector Information
- How to appeal.
Our recruitment policy is available on request. Please contact customer services on 0117 931 7317 or [email protected].
Public interest disclosures (whistleblowing)
Making a complaint
Read the information on making a complaint against the OfS.
Please note that this procedure cannot be used by students wishing to bring a complaint against their higher education provider. Such complaints should be directed to the provider initially and, if the outcome is not satisfactory, the Office of the Independent Adjudicator.
Making a notification
If you believe your university or college may not be meeting the OfS’s requirements, you can send us a notification.
Charging regimes and policies
We may charge for responding to some information requests. See our How to request information pages for details.
Public registers and registers held as public records
- Register of higher education providers in England
- Access and participation plans and Access agreements
The OfS has closed circuit television (CCTV) in place at our Bristol site for the prevention and detection of crime.
The OfS publishes a Freedom of Information disclosure log on a quarterly basis.
Gifts and hospitality
We publish our register of gifts and hospitality provided to board members and senior staff, when available. See our transparency page.
Board and committee members
- We publish information on members and their interests
- We publish information on our senior team and a register of their interests.
Register of interests
Advice and guidance
The OfS offers advice and guidance on:
- Guidance and help for students
- Our regulatory framework
- Teaching excellence and innovation
- Graduate skills and employment
- Student information and data
- Promoting equal opportunities
The OfS produces, publishes and analyses student and higher education statistics.
The National Student Survey (NSS) is the largest survey of student experiences in the country. Each year thousands of students give feedback on their experiences of higher education - feedback that is valued and acted upon by universities and colleges across the UK. See information and data on the NSS.
Newsletter and email lists
- The OfS uses several email lists to send messages to higher education institutions and anyone else with an interest in higher education.
- We also produce a monthly digital newsletter.
News and events
Each month, we publish a roundup of everything we have published on our website in the previous month, including news, reports, blogs and other key updates.
The OfS’s disclosure log provides information on how we respond to requests made under the Freedom of Information Act 2000, and is published on a quarterly basis.
Our retention schedule sets out how long our information is kept, and what happens when it is no longer needed for business purposes or for legislative reasons. This document also includes a list of our datasets (see Annex A).
Last updated 10 January 2024 + show all updates
10 January 2024
- Published disclosure logs for July-September 2023 and October-December 2023.
17 July 2023
- Published disclosure log for April - June 2023
13 April 2023
- Published disclosure log for January-March 2023
10 January 2023
- Published disclosure log for October-December 2022
15 July 2022
- Published disclosure log for April-June 2022
12 April 2022
- Published disclosure log for January-March 2022
25 January 2022
- Published disclosure log for October-December 2021
20 October 2021
- Published disclosure log for July-September 2021
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