Membership is open to independent providers of higher education, professional training or pathways who demonstrate a commitment to high educational standards, transparency, ethical marketing practices and protecting the interests of their students.
Members are required to:
- uphold the Principles of Independent Higher Education
- successfully undergo an appropriately rigorous external quality review
- report independently verified and publishable data on student outcomes
- sign up to a nominated independent student complaints scheme
- follow the rules of membership as set out and revised by the IHE Board
- meet any other relevant statutory requirements
Principles of Independent Higher Education
Independence runs through our member institutions. It can be seen in how they design their courses; in how they utilise their learning resources; in how they combine academic and vocational elements and perspectives; and in the qualities they look for in their teachers. It is often matched by an international outlook which draws inspiration from all over the world.
Above all, their independence is expressed through their prioritisation of specific student needs over systems, structures or the status quo, and this priority informs everything they do.
We expect members in demonstrating this to uphold the following six principles.
Independent HEIs build on foundations of academic excellence in higher education while focusing clearly on the needs of today’s students by embracing innovation in the design and delivery of their courses, paying particular attention to the learning environment and the student experience.
Independent HEIs strive to offer students excellent teaching informed by industry practice, research and innovation, and to support their teaching staff with a strategic focus on professional development and relevant frameworks for professional standards.
Independent HEIs recognise that students learn differently, come from a variety of backgrounds and circumstances, and are best served by a tailored and flexible approach to delivery modes and teaching methods which meet their individual needs.
Independent HEIs strive to deliver the highest quality in all aspects of their provision, adopt policies and practices to assure this quality, and undergo regular external scrutiny of their processes and outputs by an appropriate and trusted independent quality body.
Independent HEIs supply prospective students with accurate and accessible information on their courses, the learning environment and other aspects of the student experience, and regularly report independently verified and publishable data on student outcomes.
Independent HEIs consider the interests of students to be paramount, supporting them to achieve the best possible outcomes from their studies, giving access to an independent complaints and appeals process, and adopting transparent, fair and accessible policies and practices governing course closure and changes.