Welcome to our latest BAC Newsletter, Following a busy month with conferences and events overseas, we're delighted to share this latest news update with you.
INSTITUTIONAL ACCREDITATION IN BAHRAIN
The British Accreditation Council was delighted to visit the Kingdom of Bahrain’s Ministry of Education to meet with Dr Muna Mohamed Al Balooshi (Centre), Assistant Secretary General for Accreditation and Evaluation, Higher Education Council (HEC). BAC has been working with HEC to develop their accreditation standards and undertaking inspections of the institutions.
The HEC is charged with ensuring all higher education institutions in Bahrain are accredited by 2020. Following successful initial inspections where BAC inspected three institutions for the HEC in 2016, institutions will be submitting accreditation applications to the HEC this month with additional inspections likely to take place in 2017.
BAC ATTENDS INQAAHE CONFERENCE
The International Network for Quality Assurance Agencies of Higher Education (INQAAHE) held the annual conference between the 27 February – 2 March 2017. Alexandra Carr, Deputy Chief Executive, Diana Morriss, Chief Inspector and Hayley Boyes, Higher Education Manager represented BAC at the 2017 conference. During the event we were able to talk with quality assurance agencies throughout the world to discuss issues about increased competition in both higher education and the accreditation of higher education institutions. Trust and the need for quality assurance to include quality enhancement and add value to the institutions were key themes running through the conference.
As an ongoing Bill, the Higher Education and Research Bill is in the second report stage in the House of Lords where additional debate, amendments and changes to the Bill can take place.
Key items to note were removing amendment to remove international students from the migration figures, amending the teaching excellence framework link to fee increases and greater control over the office for students powers.
Higher Education in the UK is big business and for many UK universities international students are an important source of income and part of their internationalisation strategies. By removing international students from the net migration figures this shows the UK is still open for business!
The final shape of the Bill is not yet clear as the return to the Commons and the subsequent vote from MPs followed by the return to the Lords for approval (or rejection) of the changes still makes the final Bill as yet unknown. We expect to see further announcements through the press over the coming weeks.
UK GOVERNMENT CONSIDERING PROTECTION FOR STUDENTS ON STUDENT LOANS
When an FE provider goes bust in the UK, their students are left with debt and no qualification to show for their money. This has long been a contention between FE stakeholders and the UK government. Following a campaign launched by FE Week last month, it seems that the UK government is now willing to look at the possibility of introducing new law to protect learners from this situation. While this is great news for the FE sector as a move to supporting FE students, we are still a long way from a formal policy being introduced. For more on this story,
March brought the new budget announcement for 2017 and with it a chorus of protest. However, one sector did hail the budget as a step in the right direction in recognising the equal value of FE qualifications to HE ones. A pledge of £500 million for ‘T-Levels’ was promised, to invest in technical qualifications for those aged between 16 to 19 to offer real alternatives to ‘A-Levels’. The funding will be welcome to the FE sector, but there is a fear that the 15 technical routes identified for the investment do not encompass enough of the courses on offer in the UK. It is felt that the is a lack of definition what is a ‘technical occupation’ and until this is clarified, there will be sectors that are overlooked. For more on this story, please click on the following link HERE
FEATURE: BAC ACCREDITED PROVIDER
BAC ACCREDITED PROVIDER: THE FLUTE STUDIO
The Flute Studio has a world-wide reputation and in large part responsible for training many of the leading flautists in some of the principal concert and chamber orchestras in the world.
The studio is run by Trevor Wye, previously Professor at the Guildhall School of Music in London and for 21 years at the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, now an honorary fellow, has been in existence since 1990. Trevor’s antecedence is impressive, having been the author of the famous practice books for the flute, published in eleven languages, a freelance orchestral and chamber music player as well as a flute teacher of renown and founder of the British Flute Society.
With such a reputation, this finishing school for outstanding student flautists is a pathway to greater success. With just six students accepted each year, places to study at the Flute Studio are limited and considered a prize amongst the students that apply.
To reach as near perfection as possible Trevor ensures that practice, as in all things, is the key and like all people of distinction hours of practice under expert guidance leads to success. Apart from formal instrumental practice students spend time listening and assessing particular performers and will be expected to undertake two projects; the history of the flute and the development of the modern flute as well as recent instrumental innovation.
Knowledge and skills are meticulously intertwined giving the graduate students a wonderful opportunity to achieve their aspiration to become outstanding players or as a flute teacher or for some the all-important task of repairing or making flutes.
Please contact BAC at firstname.lastname@example.org if you are a BAC accredited provider offering unique programmes to students and would like to submit a feature article to be considered for the BAC newsletter.
INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS BOOST THE UK ECONOMY BY £25 BILLION
The UK has the second largest share of the global market each year after the United States.
In 2014-15 the 437,000 international students studying in the UK – with 125,000 from the EU and 312,000 from the rest of the world – made up 19% of all students registered at UK universities.
Whilst the UK looks to enhance its place in the world post Brexit there’s an opportunity to nurture an even more welcoming climate in all regions of the country to international students and their visitors.It’s estimated that international students paid £4.8 billion in tuition fees at universities and their off campus spend provides a major economic boost to the UK economy.
Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK states "The spending of international students and their visitors now provides a major export boost for the UK economy. This is not something limited to London or to one or two big cities, but to towns and cities across the UK.”
Getting your Short-Term Study Visa Advice Right
Many UK based institutions will be busy processing applications for courses to be run over the summer months. It is also very easy to overlook the importance of making sure you get Short Term Study Visa compliance right. Below are a few key points to remember but BAC accredited institutions can also access the BAC STSV webinar recorded on the 23rd March on the Provider Gateway.
Points to Remember:
Students must apply for a Short-Term Study Visa and not a General Visa or Tier 4 visa
We have a number of providers who have experienced visa refusals because their students have applied for a General Visa. It is true that with a General Visa a student can study for up to two weeks but only if the course is incidental to their visit
Make sure your acceptance letter list all the relevant details required by the UKVI. Guidance can be found here
We recommend that institutions produce a simple guide for students detailing the documents they will need. If you already have a guide, make sure it is up to date. UKVI requirements change regularly and are not necessarily announced. We will always send out an email to accredited providers when we become aware of any significant change so do read BAC emails when they arrive.
Remember students under the age of 16 can stay for a maximum of 28 nights. Longer this you must either be a registered boarding school or house then in private fostering accommodation.
If your students under the age of 16 are staying in accommodation organised by you make sure you have informed the local authority
Keep an eye out for one of our free Short Term Study webinars. We announce these through email, Twitter and Facebook. If you are an accredited institution you can access passed webinars through the Provider Gateway on the BAC website
If in doubt and you're accredited by us, contact us on 0300 330 1400.
THE BAC BROCHURE
The British Accreditation Council have produced a brochure to provide an overview of our background, areas of expertise and what we do. The brochure is available to download if you wanted to tell your stakeholders more about the BAC.
Independent Higher Education (IHE), the UK representative body for independent and 'alternative' providers, is running a first-of-its-kind annual survey of the independent HE sector and wants to hear from you.
This major new survey, in collaboration with their research partners Hobsons, aims to enhance their knowledge and understanding of the independent HE sector by collecting information on your position in the sector today, more detailed data on your courses and students, and insight into your delivery models and institutional missions. In addition, they are keen to understand better your priorities and plans, as well as the challenges you face.
This is an exciting and fast-moving time for independent providers (also known as ‘alternative providers’) as the Government introduces reforms to put them on an equal footing with publicly funded institutions and raise awareness of their courses amongst prospective students. IHE has played an influential part in the design of these major reforms which have led to the most significant higher education legislation in 25 years, the Higher Education and Research Bill.
Findings from the survey will be published in the spring, and will be used to inform IHE’s lobbying and policy positions and to improve the products and services they offer to members and the wider independent higher education sector. As the sector’s representative body, it is essential that they are able to represent its views and promote its interests effectively.
We would therefore greatly appreciate the support of all independent providers of higher education in completing their survey, which can be found at the link below. The survey should take no more than 10 minutes to complete, and you can save and return to it at any time before the closing date of 31 March.
N.B. Your views will not be directly attributed to you as a provider or individual and all of the raw data collected will be anonymised before publication. We would greatly appreciate your support in completing it as fully and accurately as possible.
If you have any queries or issues with the survey or you are unsure how to answer a particular question, please contact Independant Higher Education directly on email@example.com
You can learn about IHE and their work at their website
NEWLY ACCREDITED INSTITUTIONS
Takeoff Direct has been approved for Short Course Provider Candidacy Accreditation. They will provide Air Traffic Control training in the UK for overseas participants. They plan to deliver courses in Air Traffic Control, air traffic management systems, global navigation systems and other related areas. For more information please visit their website
Lexical Lab has been approved for Short Course Provider Candidacy Accreditation. The owners are trainers and authors of English language training material and they plan to offer short courses in the teaching and assessing of English and language development. For more information please visit their website
XKeys Limited has been approved for Short Course Provider Candidacy Accreditation. The Provider has been running day and residential camps for young learners for nearly 20 years. Their aims are to provide residential camps for children in a supportive, friendly environment in dedicated camp locations in reputable private schools so that children can take part in challenging, enjoyable tasks within a safe and relaxed setting. For more information please visit their website
Maxer Education Group has been approved for Full Accreditation as a Short Course Provider. The Provider offers a summer and winter programme to overseas participants. The Cambridge Capstone Experience Programme provides two week courses offering two different programmes of study for participants to choose from. The Cambridge Innovative Practices Seminar (CIPS) and the Cambridge Academic Research Seminar (CARS) offer a series of academic lectures, workshops and language courses to develop students' professional skills.
International University in Geneva has been approved for Accreditation as an Independent Higher Education institution. It aims to provide quality education for students who wish to progress to careers in business and management globally. It strives to foster a balance between academic and practical programmes, which are delivered by faculty, who have strong practical backgrounds in a variety of business and management fields. For further information visit their website
HEFCE Degree Apprenticeships Conference 4 May, 09.00 – 16.30 GMT
The Higher Education and Funding Council for England (HEFCE) are running a one day conference on degree apprenticeships.
More information available here
We have a range of webinars that may be of interest to you.
All of our webinars are free of charge to BAC accredited institutions and BAC Inspectors.
Please see some upcoming topics below...
Webinar: Making the most of your BAC accreditation Thursday 27 April 2017, 14.00 - 15.00 GMT
We will be discussing methods of utilising BAC accreditation to differentiate your institution in your home market and demonstrating the quality of your institution.