The regulatory framework for higher education in England

The Office for Students' primary aim is to ensure that English higher education is delivering positive outcomes for students – past, present, and future.

We seek to ensure that students, from all backgrounds (particularly the most disadvantaged), can access, succeed in, and progress from higher education.

The four primary regulatory objectives

All students, from all backgrounds, and with the ability and desire to undertake higher education:

  1. Are supported to access, succeed in, and progress from, higher education.
  2. Receive a high quality academic experience, and their interests are protected while they study or in the event of provider, campus or course closure.
  3. Are able to progress into employment or further study, and their qualifications hold their value over time.
  4. Receive value for money.

The regulatory framework

The regulatory framework is designed to mitigate the risk that these primary objectives are not met.

It states how the OfS intends to perform its various functions, and provides guidance for registered higher education providers on the ongoing conditions of registration.

Read the regulatory framework

Regulatory notices and advice

We also publish regulatory notices and regulatory advice to ensure providers meet requirements of the regulatory framework. 

Published 02 April 2018
Last updated 01 May 2022
01 May 2022
Changes to conditions of registration relating to quality and standards are now in effect.
02 March 2022
Notice of changes to some of the conditions of registration relating to quality and standards.
26 April 2021
Student sponsor licence note added
31 March 2021
Added link to Condition C4 (Regulatory notice 6)
03 July 2020
Details added about the time-limited condition of registration.

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