The OfS and students
The Office for Students is the regulator of higher education in England.
Our aim is to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers.
Our work covers all students, whether undergraduate or postgraduate, national or international, young or mature, fulltime or part-time, studying on a campus or by distance learning.
We regulate universities and colleges based on a set of conditions. The conditions are in place to make sure that all students receive a good educational experience.
Universities and colleges are required to meet these conditions as part of their registration with us. However, the OfS may intervene if we have evidence or concerns that a university or college isn’t meeting, or is at risk of breaching, one or more of its conditions of registration.
If students, staff or members of the public feel that a university or college is not meeting our requirements, they can let the Office for Students know by submitting a ‘notification’.
We work constructively with universities and colleges. However, we may use our regulatory powers to intervene to prevent or address poor academic quality, or behaviour that isn’t in the interests of students or the public.
The role of students’ unions and student representatives
We value the experiences and voices of students, student representatives and students’ unions. Students’ unions and representatives often have a great understanding of students’ experiences through their engagement and support.
So, we want to ensure that our processes are clear and open for you to use. We encourage you to work closely with your university or college to raise concerns and develop solutions together where possible.
Where your concerns continue and you don’t feel that they are being adequately addressed, you can tell us by submitting a notification. This guide should help you do that.
We also recognise that students’ unions want to work closely with their universities and colleges. Submitting a notification will be done in the interests of students and should not be seen as compromising those relationships.
If you’re a student and unhappy with your experience, we would encourage you to work with a student representative or your students’ union if you have one. Before approaching the OfS, where possible, you should follow your university or college’s complaints process.