An Ofqual Recognised Awarding Organisation

Higher Education Student Numbers Increase – What Are Your Options?

According to recent statistics the number of students studying postgraduate courses in England has increased substantially in 2016-17, following the introduction of postgraduate masters loans.

All-year student numbers of UK and other EU full-time undergraduates were 3.0 per cent (32,800 students) higher in 2016-17 than in 2015-16, at 1,123,000. These students made up 57 per cent of the overall higher education student population in 2015-16.

International (non-EU) students made up 12 per cent of all full-time undergraduate entrants to English higher education providers in 2015-16.

China is by some distance the single biggest source of international students. In 2015-16 there were 15,400 Chinese students on undergraduate courses, which was an increase an increase of 2.5 per cent on the previous year

Over a longer period, the trend in international students is more positive but varies across international markets. Since 2010-11, there have been large increases in entrants from a number of South and East Asian countries, with growth from China (16 per cent), Malaysia (39 per cent), Singapore (53 per cent) and Hong Kong (56 per cent).

As at 13 March 2017, there were 241 further education or sixth form colleges (FECs) delivering higher education. This includes providers that are directly funded by HEFCE and those that deliver higher education through a sub-contractual arrangement

An alternative provider (AP) is defined as any provider of higher education courses which:

  • does not directly receive annual funding from HEFCE or its equivalent bodies in the devolved administrations
  • does not receive direct annual public funding
  • is not a further education college. 

As at 13 March 2017, there were 115 alternative providers with specific course designation for 2016-17. Current students at the providers can access support through the Student Loans Company, but some of these providers have courses designated for Disabled Students Allowance only. Seven APs have degree-awarding powers of some description. One of these has permanent degree-awarding powers.

More than three-quarters of students at alternative providers in 2015-16 were in three subject areas, the most popular being business and management (48 per cent of students on designated courses).

Qualifi is proud of our work to provide students with access to RQF qualifications from level 2 to level 8. We are working in collaboration with several Universities in providing progression from Qualifi qualifications at L5 to Top Up Hons Degree and from Qualifi L7 to final year Masters degree studies.

Furthermore, Qualifi through its work with FE colleges and Alternative Providers is supporting UK and EU students as well as International students to study locally or visit the UK as part of their study programme.  Our work with PAM Education and a variety of collaborations will soon see the delivery of Qualifi qualifications in China. Our aim is to support co-delivered blended learning courses that support international students to study a range of Ofqual regulated courses locally and/or at UK institutions.

Qualifi welcomes contact from organisations and individuals that are interested in our RQF L2 to L8 qualifications and Top Up opportunities. Our L3 to L6 qualifications are Advanced Learning Loan recognised. Please do not hesitate to contact us for further information.