Vince Cable, the Secretary of State for Business Innovation and Skills, announced today that small institutions with as few as 750 students studying towards a degree will be able to apply for university status.
The decision lift the bar on smaller colleges being awarded the title of ‘university’ is in response to the Higher Education White Paper and will come into effect immediately.
Vince Cable said: “We rightly have a global reputation for excellent teaching and research in the higher education sector. It’s vital that we preserve this. The measures we’ve announced today will do this. They will help ensure every student can be confident of the quality of teaching, wherever they study higher education.”
Before today’s announcement institutions were required to have 4,000 students to become a university. The number of students required to qualify now drops to 1000 with just 750 of these needing to be studying for a degree.
The Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts said:
“By cutting away the red tape, we are freeing higher education providers from central Government controls. “It is right to remove the red tape stopping good quality, smaller Higher Education providers calling themselves a University.”
Along with relaxing the rules on allowing university status the government also announced plans to bring alternative providers and further education colleges that do not receive Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) funding, into the formal student number control system.
Download the Higher Education White Paper