‘Designation’ suspended at 22 private colleges
In a written ministerial statement on 19 November, David Willetts wrote:
“ We have … written to the 23 Alternative Providers that are expanding most rapidly to instruct them to recruit no more students for HNCs and HNDs in the current 2013/14 academic year.”
In fact, as revealed in today’s Guardian, the department for Business, Innovation and Skills suspended the ‘designation’ of all HNC & HND courses at those colleges. The suspension applies for the rest of the 2013/14 academic year. These were ‘the fastest growing’ providers of HNC and HND courses – there is no suggestion of impropriety, only that the departmental budget could not support such growth.
Eligible Home and EU students on a ‘designated’ course are eligible for tuition fees loans up to £6 000 per year and maintenance support (loans and grants). As London is the epicentre for new providers, the average maintenance loan is £6 800 per year, much higher than the average such loan across the rest of the sector.
As these are private colleges – the government has no control over recruitment. What the government has done instead is suspend access to support for students.The cutoff date is 18 November for 2013/14 academic year – those who already have offers must take up their places by January 2014.
That is, these colleges can continue to recruit Home and EU students, but students can no longer apply for student support.
Icon College, one of those suspended, has recruitment windows in January and May, in addition to the traditional September/October window. This intervention has therefore had an important impact.
The Colleges affected are:
1 AA Hamilton College, London – 2 courses
2 Brit College Limited, London – 2 courses
3 Fairfield Academy, Croydon – 1 course
4 Grafton College, London – 12 courses
5 Icon College of Technology and Management, London – 8 courses
6 London Bridge Business Academy – 2 courses
7 London Churchill College Ltd – 4 courses
8 London School of Business and Finance – also operates in Birmingham & Manchester
9 London School of Science and Technology – 4 courses
10 Mont Rose School of Management and Sciences, London – 12 courses
11 Nelson College London, Ilford – 5 courses
12 OLC (Europe) Ltd incorporating EETTEC Ltd, Bolton – 4 courses
13 RTC Education Limited Harrow – 6 courses
14 St Patrick’s International College, London – 7 courses
15 Stratford College London – 1 course
16 London College UCK – Far the biggest – nearly 100
17 West London College of Business and Management Sciences – 6 courses
18 British Institute of Technology & Engineering, London – 2 courses
19 East End Computing & Business College – 4 courses
20 Centre for Advance Studies Ltd, London – 4 courses
21 EThames Graduate School Limited, Ilford – 6 courses