Information for students on the closure of ALRA drama school
This page provides information for students on the closure of ALRA drama school, including options for continuing your studies or receiving credit for your academic attainment to date.
The Office for Students (OfS) is the independent regulator of higher education in England. It is our role to ensure that if a higher education provider such as ALRA closes, its students are able to carry on with their studies or receive credit for their academic attainment to date.
We are now stepping in to ensure your position is protected, so far as is possible.
Information for students
Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance, a long standing drama college, which is a member of the Federation of Drama Schools, is able to offer a place to all ALRA students – no matter what course you are studying or how far through your studies you are.
The OfS has been working closely with the college, and we believe its courses offer a really good match in both the content of their courses and style of their education. Rose Bruford will work with you to help ensure your studies and experience to date help shape your future studies.
The college has a reputation for excellent teaching. In the last Teaching Excellence Framework exercise it received a Gold award – the highest level possible – for the quality of its teaching.
We anticipate that many students will choose to transfer to Rose Bruford on the basis that it represents a good option for them and they will be able to continue their studies with minimal disruption.
Rose Bruford is proposing to teach ALRA North students in ALRA's current facilities in Wigan, while ALRA South students will be based in London in studio space, the arrangements for which are currently being finalised.
If you do choose to transfer to Rose Bruford you will inevitably notice some changes – which could include some different teaching staff and (in London) different locations – but the college will do all it can to help support you to settle into the new arrangements.
Rose Bruford has held a series of Zoom meetings for students, with more planned. More details, including recordings of the meetings held so far, are available on the Rose Bruford website.
You can also contact Rose Bruford direct:
Telephone: 0208 308 2628
Email: [email protected]
While we believe that many students will want to transfer their studies to Rose Bruford, we recognise that you may wish to look at other options.
You have a right to talk to other universities and colleges, and to ask to be admitted onto their courses – but they do not have to say yes, and may base any admissions decision on a further audition or other criteria.
If you would like to consider courses at other higher education providers we suggest you talk first to St Mary’s University, Twickenham. St Mary’s was responsible for awarding most of the qualifications at ALRA and has pledged to offer all ALRA students independent advice and support.
St Mary’s will be emailing you later today to set out the support it can offer, and how you can get in touch. If you are on the Linklater course you can instead talk to Arts University, Bournemouth.
You can contact St Mary’s:
- Telephone: 020 8240 8284
- Email: [email protected].
Students on the Linklater course can contact Arts University, Bournemouth:
- Telephone: 01202 363325
- Email: [email protected].
Some students may decide to end or pause their studies. If you believe this is the right decision for you, we would strongly encourage you to speak to St Mary’s to ensure you have considered all of your options.
If you do decide to end your studies St Mary’s will be able to provide you with a record of your academic attainment to date.
You can contact St Mary’s:
- Telephone: 020 8240 8284
- Email: [email protected].
The Student Loans Company (SLC) is aware of ALRA’s closure. If you transfer to Rose Bruford or another higher education provider, the new provider will advise the SLC of the new course that you are on. The SLC will update your student finance account once this has happened.
The St Mary’s University helpline will be able to provide information, advice and guidance to students about this process at the appropriate time.
We recognise that this is a difficult time for international students, but there are opportunities for you to continue to study in the UK, and there is no requirement for you to leave the UK immediately.
As an international student, your permission to stay in the UK is based on ALRA holding a sponsor licence. After ALRA's licence to sponsor international students ends, UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) will review your permission and contact you with a new, shorter expiry date. You will usually have 60 days’ permission from the date that UKVI contact you with a new expiry date, unless there is less than 60 days left on your current permission.
Until you are contacted by UKVI, your current permission expiry date remains in place.
You can apply for permission to stay in the UK to study on a new course as long as the new course starts no more than 28 days after the expiry date of your permission – depending on when you apply, this may be your current expiry date, or the new expiry date given by UKVI.
The UK Council for International Student Affairs can provide advice and support for international students.
ALRA first reported financial concerns to the OfS in November 2021. Its circumstances have subsequently deteriorated and it has now decided to close. Since we were informed of these issues, we have been working intensively with ALRA and others to ensure that the interests of all of ALRA's students are protected as far as possible.
One difficult decision for the OfS was whether to tell students about ALRA's financial difficulties. We have not been able to do so before now for two reasons.
First, it has only been confirmed in recent days that ALRA will definitely have to close on 4 April 2022.
Second, we wanted students to have as much certainty as possible about their next steps at the point they were told about the closure, which is why we have been working behind the scenes to secure these options for future study, and are now in a position to announce Rose Bruford's offer to all ALRA students.
The Official Receiver’s duty is to wind down ALRA.
We understand that some students have made payments in advance to ALRA for the summer term. It is the Official Receiver’s role to administer ALRA’s affairs through the liquidation process – and they will ultimately decide what happens to fees which have been paid in advance. They are currently taking legal advice on this issue, and will inform the students in question once the position is definite
While it may take some time for all of these issues to be resolved, the OfS will work to help ensure that ALRA’s students are treated fairly throughout this difficult process. No ALRA students who have paid summer term fees will be ‘double-charged’ for what they have already paid if they transfer to Rose Bruford College.
Support and advice is available to you about your options and also if you are concerned about your mental health or wellbeing at this time.
You can contact:
- St Mary’s University’s Student Services offers student wellbeing support, and offers access to a range of other support
- Student Minds the UK’s student mental health charity, offers lots of information on the support available for students.
If you need urgent support for yourself or a friend, there are services that can help:
If you wish to make a complaint, the OIA is an independent body that reviews student complaints about higher education providers in England and Wales. Their service is free for students.
To find out if the OIA can help you with a complaint, please see its website, or contact it by email or phone:
As the independent regulator of higher education in England we have a role to help ensure that when a higher education provider such as ALRA closes, you are able to carry on with your studies or receive credit for your academic attainment to date.
Below is a short summary of how we will hold and use your personal information to facilitate the arrangements for the transfer of your studies from ALRA to Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance (or another provider of higher education).
You can find more detailed information in the full privacy notice.
- The purpose of using your personal information is to facilitate the arrangements for the transfer of your studies from ALRA to Rose Bruford College or another provider of higher education.
- If you were registered at ALRA in 2021-22 we hold your name, information relating to the fees that you paid to ALRA and educational records. We will share this information with Rose Bruford College (or another provider of higher education) to ensure that you are charged the appropriate amount for term three of the 2021-22 academic year.
- If your studies were funded under the Dance and Drama Award ('DaDA') we hold your household income bracket as assessed by ALRA and information about funding received from the Department for Education for your tuition fees and any maintenance grant. We will share this information with Rose Bruford College (or another provider of higher education) to ensure that those students in receipt of DaDA funding continue to be able to access it.
- The Data Controller of the personal information will be Office for Students.
- The legal basis for processing your personal information is to fulfil our public task (as set out in the full privacy notice).
- It will be stored on secure servers within the UK.
- Your personal information will be shared with Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance (if you have chosen to continue your studies there) or with another provider of higher education that you have chosen to transfer to.
- We will only retain your personal data for as long as it is necessary to fulfil the purpose it was collected for, after which it will be securely disposed of.
- You have certain rights in relation to your personal information, which are set out at: https://ico.org.uk/your-data-matters/
- You may contact our Data Protection Officer ([email protected]) with any queries or concerns you have about the use of your personal information.
Last updated 18 May 2022 + show all updates
18 May 2022
- Summary of how the OfS will use ALRA students' personal information added, and link to full privacy notice
26 April 2022
- Additional information added - No ALRA students who have paid summer term fees will be ‘double-charged’ for what they have already paid if they transfer to Rose Bruford College.
14 April 2022
- Information added on the role of the Official Receiver, and link added to recordings of Zoom webinars on Rose Bruford's website.
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