Today the Guardian published a further article on the plight of an international student affected by the closure of his college:

“Last year, David Whittaker used half his life savings – about £5,000 – to move from his native South Africa to study in Britain. The 31-year-old had been told by teachers, friends and family that a business degree from a UK college could be the springboard for him to run a successful company back home one day.

Whittaker, who had worked in IT since leaving school, chose a college approved and listed by the UK Border Agency (UKBA): Fulham & Chelsea College (FCC). He duly paid his first year’s tuition fees in advance – £3,600, plus £300 for his visa – and booked his flight. All went well until 29 July last year, seven months into his course, when an email landed in Whittaker’s inbox at 5.30pm and a notice was plastered on the college’s front door.”

Read the full article at The Guardian. This article highlights the plight of staff and international students caught up in the recent changes to the Tier 4 system for international students wishing to come and study in the UK. Several of the colleges featured were previously BAC-accredited and we regret their closures and the effect on their students.

BAC has produced guidance for displaced students and posted it on our website. We are also continuing to work with other bodies such as UKCISA, which has created a helpful information sheet for students whose colleges have been removed from the Register of Sponsors due to closure or other reasons. This can be found on their website.

The private and independent higher education sector remains in a difficult position, as the closure of a number of bona fide institutions demonstrates. Not only are students and college staff affected; a recent report by the Institute of Public Policy Research also highlights the negative impact on the UK economy of the government changes to student immigration policy.

Briefing note: British Accreditation Council (BAC)

BAC has been for over 25 years the principal non-EFL (English as a Foreign Language) accrediting body in the independent sectors of further and higher education. BAC is a non-governmental body, established in 1984 to provide an inspection and accreditation service for independent further and higher education.

BAC is a registered charity and was founded with the support of a number of bodies involved in education at a national level. BAC’s core business is to inspect and accredit providers of further and higher education which operate outside the funding and quality assurance framework underpinning the public university and college sectors.

Contact: Katie Sandford (