New terms and expressions in higher education

 Alternative providers

BIS has defined ‘alternative providers’ to cover the whole range of private providers of higher education, for-profit and not-for profit and in a variety of legal forms, such as charities and companies :

Alternative provider means any provider of higher education courses which is not in direct receipt of recurrent funding from HEFCE or from equivalent funding bodies in the Devolved Administrations; or does not receive direct recurrent public funding (for example, from a local authority, or the Secretary of State for Education); and is not a Further Education College.

Designated courses

Designated courses are courses approved for student loans from the Student Loan Company.  The process is being designed and implemented according to the plans discussed in:

The existing legislation provides for the designation of courses only, not for  the designation of providers. See Teaching and Higher Education Act 1998 s.22(1) and  Education (Student Support) Regulations 2011. The Regulations are to be amended under ministerial powers according to the Ministerial Statement of July 11.

However, providers will now be able to seek designation which will allow them to offer courses as ‘designated providers’ by entering through the ‘gateway’ which entitles them to be placed in the Register.  That will provide some protection for students against their courses not being what they expected.

Embedded college

Providers of this type often come under the following definition

What is an embedded college?

A college located on the premises of another educational institution (‘the provider’) is referred to as an ’embedded college’. Instead of being reviewed with the provider it will need to undergo a separate review. The Embedded College Review for Educational Oversight (ECREO) is the review method designed for this purpose. 

The Quality Assurance Agency has a Handbook  on Embedded College Review for Educational Oversight

Open Access

Open Access is a scheme to introduce ‘free online access to the outputs of publicly funded research’ by requiring authors or their employers to pay the costs of publication.  The present progress of this new initiative can be followed at: