We work with higher education providers to make sure that students succeed in higher education.

We are the independent regulator of higher education in England and the funder for the UniConnect Programme. 

We aim to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers.

Our work covers all students whether undergraduate or postgraduate, national or international, young or mature, full-time or part-time, studying on a campus or by distance learning

What we will do

We will achieve these outcomes by fulfilling the duties placed on us by the Higher Education and Research Act 2017, and using the levers in the regulatory framework.

We will establish a high quality threshold through our 24 conditions of registration that every registered higher education provider must meet, and we will intervene where they do not. Through these conditions, all students enrolled with a registered provider can be assured of a high quality educational experience.

Beyond this high quality threshold, we will ensure that all students are provided with the necessary information, advice and guidance so that they can make informed decisions about where and what to study. We will influence the sector to improve through incentives, allowing autonomous institutions to flourish and determine their own path.

How we will do this

We are committed to equality of opportunity and social mobility for the full diversity of students in all our work. Many students wish to progress straight from school to a residential experience of higher education and mobile lives and careers; but it is just as important for higher education to create opportunities for a student who wishes or needs to study at home, to work in the community where they grew up and to learn later in life.

We will promote competition and choice for students. We will be an enabling, not a controlling, regulator, independent of government and of providers. We will be stewards of the sector, sustaining and developing an internationally competitive higher education sector that is admired around the world for its quality.

We will involve students – past, present and future – and employers in shaping what we do and how we do it. We will invite challenge and challenge ourselves, continuously reflecting on and evaluating our performance as a regulator.

We will respect the institutional autonomy of higher education providers. We understand the connection between institutional autonomy and successful outcomes for students, as well as success in other areas of institutional activity.

We will regulate with an appreciation of the global nature of higher education; for students, employers and providers, our approach will have implications far beyond England’s borders.

We will work constructively and respectfully with providers, collaborating where we have common objectives. However, we will be uncompromising in intervening to prevent poor quality provision, behaviour or performance that damages students’ or public interests.

We will work efficiently, and aim to reduce bureaucracy and ensure coherence with other regulators.

We will work closely with UK Research and InnovationExternal link (Opens in a new tab or window), with government and with other partners, particularly in supporting the objectives of the industrial strategy, and will collaborate with colleagues in Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland.

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