Welcome to my second blog of 2013. It’s been a busy time at the British Accreditation Council, with a number of visits and events requiring BAC involvement.

Meetings and Events

On Tuesday 23 January, I attended the Westminster Higher Education Forum reception at the House of Commons where I was able to network with other education sector specialists. The event attracted numerous MPs and members of the House of Lords, giving me the opportunity to continue to raise the profile of the private higher and further education and training sectors, and BAC accreditation.

BAC was back at the House of Commons on Wednesday morning for the All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on Migration meeting entitled: Immigration to the regions: how do we ensure no one is left behind? A full report on the meeting can be found on the BAC website, with further details about the APPG on Migration and its work at: http://www.appgmigration.org.uk/. As a result of this involvement, BAC was then invited to a very interesting and stimulating evening to launch the cross-party Migration Matters Trust on 12 February.

I was interested to see that the British Council has set up a new team dedicated to capitalise on the demand for UK education from abroad. Education UK will specifically target fast-growing markets such as India and the Middle East. As the debate about recruitment of international students and the issue of their inclusion in the official migration figures continues to feature highly in sector news items, I have no doubt that this initiative will be very relevant.

The British Council also hosted a large one-day conference on 30 January to discuss the development of partnerships to promote English language teaching in India. For BAC, the most interesting aspects were information regarding the potential ‘demographic dividend’ offered by India’s young population and the growing demand for vocational and skills training in the English medium in India.

Future Events

I am very pleased to announce that BAC is working with Penningtons Solicitors, the renowned immigration law specialists, to bring you a series of seminars on relevant legal matters such as employment law, immigration law and student contracts. The first of these will take place in London in May. Watch out for further details.

Many organisations approach BAC to provide information about their conferences and seminars. Some of the ones you might be interested are listed below, and I hope to see you there at some or all of them. Please make sure you make yourself known to any BAC representatives if you manage to get to them.

There are two events being run by the Higher Education Academy on their new professional development framework in February and March, one in Blackpool and one in London. Please click on the links below for further details.

19 February at the Fylde College, Blackpool: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2013/19_Feb_Developing_Capacity_Event_2

21 March at Friends House, Euston Road: http://www.heacademy.ac.uk/events/detail/2013/21_Mar_Developing_Capacity_Event_3

I would also like to remind you about the Public Policy Exchange seminar coming up at Broadway House, Westminster on 28 February entitled: International Student Recruitment: Understanding and Complying with the Points Based Immigration System. See: http://www.publicpolicyexchange.co.uk/events/DB28-PPE.php for further details.

Finally, I will be leading a seminar at the upcoming Neil Stewart Associates conference: Understanding Private and Alternative Providers at the Hallam Conference Centre in London W1 on 28 February. See http://www.neilstewartassociates.com/jb338/ for further details and registration.

BAC welcomes Bahraini Education Ministry staff

On the morning of 4 February, BAC was pleased to welcome a delegation of four educationalists from the Bahrain Education Ministry as part of their visit to UK educational establishments set up by the British Council. We took the opportunity to find out more about higher education in Bahrain, and then to provide information about BAC. The system of accreditation and its wider benefits, and where the private education and training sector sits on the UK educational map, were outlined.

Information for Accredited Colleges

In November 2012, we advised accredited institutions about the new BAC schemes; and our new logos, with instructions for downloading these. For further details, accredited institutions can log in to the BAC website using their username and password and follow the instructions. Alternatively, you can contact info@the-bac.org to order a copy of the instruction sheet. BAC is proud to accredit our providers, and I would encourage you to use the appropriate, up-to-date logo on your website and publicity materials.

Can I remind you that we have arranged a number of discounts for our accredited institutions. Please see our website to find out the financial benefits of your BAC accreditation.

Dr Gina Hobson

Chief Executive