Regulatory framework

Securing student success: Regulatory framework for higher education in England

Last updated: 24 November 2022

Condition G1: Mandatory fee limit

Condition G1: A provider in the Approved (fee cap) category must charge qualifying persons on qualifying courses fees that do not exceed the relevant fee limit determined by the provider’s quality rating and its access and participation plan.


Applies to: Approved (fee cap).

Initial or general ongoing condition: ongoing condition.

Legal basis: section 10 of HERA – mandatory.



Section 10 of HERA requires the OfS to impose a mandatory fee limit condition on providers within the Approved (fee cap) category of the Register, to secure that regulated course fees do not exceed a fee limit. Schedule 2 of HERA sets out that fee limits are determined on the basis of whether a provider has an agreed access and participation plan and according to their TEF award.


Section 11 of HERA requires the OfS to publish annually a list of all providers that are subject to a fee limit condition, and what that limits are in each case.



In judging whether a provider in the Approved (fee cap) category is charging fees that do not exceed the fee limit determined by the provider’s quality rating and any access and participation plan, material that the OfS may consider includes;


The fees charged by the provider.


The provider’s quality rating.


Any access and participation plan that is in force for the provider.



Information about the fee limits that apply to a provider will appear in a provider’s entry on the OfS’s Register. The OfS will also publish an annual list of registered providers that have a fee limit condition and the level of that limit.


The OfS may request information from a provider to confirm the current or intended fees for all courses offered, to ensure that these comply with the relevant fee cap. Where the OfS identifies a breach of the relevant fee cap it will intervene, including by considering the use of sanctions. For example, the provider may be required to rectify incorrectly advertised fees or provide more detailed or regular information to the OfS about fees before they are advertised. The OfS may also use its power to impose a monetary penalty to ensure that a provider did not retain the financial benefit of exceeding the fee cap.

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