Consultation Response | Office for Students: Registration fees for HE Providers

Independent HE has responded to the Government’s consultation on the Office for Students: Registration fees for HE Providers.This initial consultation focuses on the government’s plans for the new higher education regulator, the Office for Students (OfS) which is to be primarily funded by registration fees from HE providers. The consultation sets out how the government envisages the funding arrangements for the OfS will operate and proposes principles to underpin the development of the registration fee model and puts forward plans to calculate registration fees in line with these.

Some of the key points included in our response were as follows:

  • We would welcome a principle that the OfS registration fee would not automatically charge more for ‘new’ providers but adopt a genuinely risk-based approach.
  • We agree strongly with the consultation proposal that OfS should not duplicate fees charged by sector bodies for the same activity.
  • We believe that more differentiation within the registration categories should be considered.
  • The differentiation within the Approved category might be achieved most easily by adding an additional charge specifically for Designation to the registration fee.
  • We agree with the proposal of measuring the size of a provider by HE student numbers, but welcome further consultation with the sector on which students are counted within this.
  • Both a band of fewer than 100 students and a band of fewer than 250 would be warranted – as much as 70% of the independent higher education sector has student numbers in this region (2016 IFF Research) .
  • We believe that care needs to be taken in terms of how OfS fees impact students from widening participation backgrounds, BME students, student parents and student carers as at independent providers, the cost of external regulation and quality assurance is passed directly onto the students.

Read our complete response here: Office for Students: Registration fees for HE Providers

  • On 14th March 2017