Welcome to my third blog of 2013. There are a number of events and developments I’m keen to update you on in this edition.
Firstly, I’m pleased to announce that BAC is supporting research on the impacts of changes in policy relating to student immigration in conjunction with the Institute for Public Policy (www.ippr.org) and other sector bodies. Further detail will follow, but if you would like more information please get in touch with the BAC office. Next, I have been advised that the Home Office has completed its review of the student visitor visa (SVV) route, which BAC contributed to at the beginning of the year, and we expect a report to be published very shortly. Again, further news will follow as soon as more information is available. Finally, I am pleased to report that BAC is supporting the Police Community Safeguarding Manual 2013 (Police Community Club Children’s Services) which promotes best practice in child protection.
BAC in the news
The New Indian Express 6 May 2013
The digital article on International Accreditation Councils by Kaviya Sanjeeva featured the British Accreditation Council as the only UK accrediting body among other international accreditation organisations in Hong Kong, Germany and the USA. You can access the full article at: International Accreditation Councils Article
Meetings and Events
At the Neil Stewart Associates conference in February: Understanding Private and Alternative Providers, I was pleased to lead a session on Securing Recognised Accreditation and to meet representatives of sector bodies and colleges. See their website: Neil Stewart Associates for details of future events. Please contact us (firstname.lastname@example.org) if you would like a copy of this presentation.
I also attended the Board meeting of the Council for Validating Universities (CVU; www.cvu.ac.uk). CVU is a membership body of universities and their collaborative partners, including those from the private sector. BAC and CVU signed a memorandum of understanding last year and representatives from its Council sit on BAC’s Council and Accreditation Committee. If you would like to discuss CVU’s work and the benefits of joining the organisation, please get in touch.
BAC’s Business Manager, Francine Koubel, attended an Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR) event in March where the Shadow Home Secretary, Yvette Cooper, was the key speaker. Ms Cooper spoke on many issues, including expressing concern about possible abuse of the SVV route. BAC has provided material to the Shadow Home Secretary relating to the legitimate use of the route and as a result will be meeting with the Shadow Immigration Minister, Chris Bryant, in the next few weeks. If there are issues you think I should raise with Chris, please get in touch.
In March I met with Dr Stephen Vickers, my predecessor at BAC and now Chief Executive of VTCT, to discuss our charities’ work and developments in the sector. VTCT is an Ofqual regulated awarding body covering programmes in beauty, hospitality and leisure. More details can be found at: www.vtct.org.uk.
BAC was represented by Francine at the Westminster Higher Education keynote seminar on the Internationalisation of Higher Education. Key points related to the challenges and opportunities for universities in a highly competitive globalised system of higher education. Further information can be found here. The afternoon found Francine at the Higher Education Academy (HEA) seminar on their new professional development framework. You can find out more about the framework and HEA’s work at www.hea.ac.uk.
Many of you attended the BAC-Deloitte seminar at the end of last year about VAT-exemption for private providers of HE. However, George Osborne’s budget has revealed that the government appears to be at least postponing plans to grant VAT exemptions to for-profit education providers. Government changes course on for-profit vat
In the coming weeks, I will be introducing a joint BAC-Penningtons event on Student Law (www.penningtons.co.uk), attending the Gulf Education conference (www.gulfeducation.co.uk), and representing BAC at the British Council’s ELT awards ceremony and UKCISA’s annual conference (www.ukcisa.org.uk).
As ever, if you have queries or concerns that you would like to discuss, I would be happy to meet with you. Please get in contact with the BAC office (email@example.com) to arrange a convenient time.
Dr Gina Hobson