What universities and colleges should do for students

Universities and colleges that are registered with the Office for Students are regulated by us and must meet certain conditions.

For example, they must:

  • provide well-designed courses that meet recognised standards
  • offer a high-quality academic experience for all students
  • support students from admission through to completion
  • ensure students’ achievements are valued by employers or enable further study
  • award qualifications hold their value over time, in line with recognised standards
  • participate in the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF) which assesses teaching quality
  • pay regard to guidance about how to comply with consumer protection law
  • cooperate with the student complaints scheme run by the Office of the Independent Adjudicator for Higher Education, and make students aware they can use the scheme
  • have a published student protection plan setting out how they will protect students’ interests if the course, campus or institution closes
  • have the financial resources to provide and deliver the courses advertised.

Some universities and colleges must also show us that they are taking steps to improve access for students from underrepresented groups, and supporting those students so that they have equal opportunity to complete their courses, get a good degree grade, and go on to a graduate level job or postgraduate study.

The full details of what universities and colleges should do are listed in our regulatory framework.

See more about higher education regulation

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