IHE’s annual survey of the independent higher education sector
The 2019 Independent Higher Education Survey was launched at our Annual Conference in November 2019. The third year of the survey provided a fascinating snapshot of a sector in continued evolution and how providers are adapting to the new regulatory environment many of them are now part of.
This year’s survey received over 80 responses, helping us to form an accurate picture of the sector at a time of significant change. Respondents gave insight on their students, qualifications, missions and corporate forms, including if they qualified as an SME. The issue of size dominated the survey, having the single largest impact on responses across the issues discussed including student funding, higher technical education, student welfare and of course the Office for Students. Independent HE providers expressed strong concerns with their experience registering for OfS, citing issues with delays, poor communication and inadequate guidance. Those with innovative programmes or delivery face the most significant challenges fitting into regulation, funding, metrics and for the first time the IHE Survey explored the size and nature of staff at independent providers, finding that many relied heavily on contracted staff as part of their teaching team.
This year our official survey partners are leading law firm Shakespeare Martineau.