Protecting students if a course, campus or university closes

Course or campus closure

Universities and colleges registered with us must have a student protection plan in place which makes the risk of a course or campus closing clear.

As the higher education regulator, we have conditions in place to make sure that universities and colleges provide students with clear information about their courses.

This is because we want to make sure that current and future students can make informed choices about where they study.

Student protection plans

These should include any risks that a course or campus might need to close.

Student protection plans are approved by the OfS and must be publicly available for any student, including those considering enrolling in a course in the future.

Not every university or college will have a particularly big risk of a course or campus closing, so some student protection plans will be less detailed than others.

How to find a student protection plan

Universities and colleges registered with the OfS must publish their student protection plan on their website.

Find out more about student protection plans.

A student protection plan should include the steps that a university or college will take to make sure that students can continue their studies when there is a possibility that a course or campus is to close.

As well as including the details of the university or college’s refund and compensation policy, the plan must specify how the university or college will communicate with students, and in what the circumstances the plan will be implemented.

We would expect your university or college to inform us of any events that might mean that their student protection plan needs to be implemented.

For example, the university or college might expect lower income from tuition fees over the next few years, which might affect its ability to continue with certain courses.

We would expect the university or college to put its student protection plan into action, and make sure that students are kept informed when it is appropriate to do so. For example, making sure students know what their options are for continuing their course, or transferring to another university or college, if that becomes necessary.

We expect your university or college to provide you with as much information and support as appropriate, in the event that your course might be discontinued.

You should expect to have clarity on whether or not you can transfer credits from your course to another university or college, or to another course at the same institution. You should have clear information about what your options are for transferring, or staying at your institution to complete your studies.

If you are a student and you feel you are not getting the information or support you need, your university or college should have a clear complaints process in place. Find out more about how to complain.

Published 31 March 2021

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