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         February 2017

Welcome to the first BAC newsletter of 2017. Since we last circulated our newsletter we have had new staff join us in the Higher Education and Accreditation teams. BAC's CEO, Paul Fear, has been delivering a series of international conferences from Outer Mongolia to Bahrain to promote the work BAC undertakes and we have welcomed more institutions to the BAC family.

In this edition of the newsletter we will be talking about developments in the UK Higher Education sector following Brexit, the progress of the HE Bill in Parliament as well as discussing government and policy news. We have also given you an update on some activities taking place within the TEFL sector and provided you with an update of some useful BAC and industry events.  

Education Update

Decline in university applications
The Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) have released the results of applications up to the 15 January deadline. The results show a 5% decline in applications, particularly to the middle and lower tariff institutions. 

In addition to the overall decline, there was a 7% drop from applications from EU students. It is possible that the continued uncertainly over Brexit and the impact on the Higher Education sector has contributed towards the fall in EU applicants. There was uncertainly over government financial support for EU students although students studying in 2017/18 are eligible for support. For more information go to the
UCAS website.

Alternative provision in Higher Education
The Higher Education Commission is calling for evidence from alternative providers of Higher Education provision. If your organisation delivers Higher Education outside of the standard offer of the three-year face to face campus delivery of an undergraduate course then they would welcome feedback. For more information go to their website here.
Will Brexit cause loss of Erasmus funding for 15,000 UK students?
The number of UK students studying on the Erasmus funding scheme increased by 115% in the period 2007 and 2014. The scheme offers students a grant and the opportunity to study or work in Europe as part of their degree. Read more from one students perspective and their concern over loss of this funding
Worlds '10 best cities' to be a student
QS World University Experts reveal the 10 best cities to be a student in, based on criteria that includes affordability, student experience, job prospects and friendliness to international students. Read more here

Qualifications for English Language providers
As providers start considering the organisation of their summer schools, the Accreditation and Quality Enhancement Manager has set out some useful advice for providers on acceptable qualifications for staff.  More information available here. 

Funding for English Language Teaching Training
It has been announced that there will now be funding available for those who wish to train as a teacher in English as a second or other language.   A loan of up to £1,417 is available to assist with the costs of training in England. The loan will help open the door for those wishing to go into EFL.  More details are available here.

One to Watch For!
Bogar Vallejo Martínez from Durango, Mexico has been awarded the Cambridge English Dr Peter Hargreaves Scholarship for his innovative ideas on how digital tools can be used to help develop the speaking skills of English Language learners. Bogar will be funded to attend the annual four-day International Association of English as a Foreign Language conference (IAEFL).  Congratulations to Bogar for winning the scholarship and we look forward to learning more on his ideas of implementing digital tools in English Language learning!

Government and Policy News 

Brexit and Students – are we going to see a change in student visa policy?

Education and training is a British export success story with the government targeting £30bn of exports by 2020.  All well and good but there are a few bumps in the road to hitting these kinds of numbers.  Brexit isn’t offering a great deal of help, with university applications illustrating the problem. European Union student applications have fallen by 7% compared to last year with non-EU student numbers falling by 5%.  If we assume that university application figures are a good proxy for international student numbers generally then it’s not exactly a promising start to the export campaign.

Of course, all of this is not just down to Brexit; the government determination to cut immigration figures means international students are finding it increasingly difficult to get the necessary visas they need. There are signs that this might change.  It has begun to become increasingly clear that whilst immigration was a key driver behind the support for Brexit, it was the perception that the government had no control over immigration that was the problem.  With immigration being one of the first items on the Brexit agenda, a new immigration bill will need to be passed relatively quickly.
This would give control of immigration back to the government and open the door to removing students from the immigration figures. As international students coming to the UK are classed as exports, the more international students coming in the greater our exports. It would certainly go a long way to helping to hit that £30bn.


The Higher Education Bill, Brexit and the Office for Students
You may be aware of the Higher Education and Research Bill making its way through Parliament following the publication of the White Paper Success as a Knowledge Economy: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice in May 2016. The topic has been hotly debated during the consultation period and notable figures in Higher Education called for amendments. There have been numerous reports in newspapers and many organisations have produced a position paper or published their consultation response on the Bill.

The Higher Education Manager has produced a briefing on some of the key proposals of the Bill and the potential impact to BAC accredited providers

Lifelong Learning is set to be firmly back on the Government's agenda

According to the Learning at Work Institute, adult learning is in decline. Unemployed adults seeking further learning opportunities has fallen and the reform of the FE system appears to be only one of the changes that is needed.
The AoC have highlighted that adult skills funding has dropped significantly between 2009/10 and 2015/16 and this could be constricting adult learner opportunities to learn and develop. HE participation has plummeted by 40% since 2010 and it’s becoming increasingly clear that a wider strategy that supports national educational routes for adults needs to be developed. Repeated statements from government comment on a need for a shared society, greater mobility and a lifelong learning approach should be at the heart of adult education policies, strategy and delivery.
Read more

BAC Updates

27 February – 2 March 2017 
 “Between Collaboration and Competition: The Promises and Challenges for Quality Assurance in Higher Education”
At the end of the month our Deputy CEO along with our HE manager and Chief Inspector are heading to the INQAAHE conference in Bahrain.   

Newly Accredited Institutions 

BAC would like to welcome the following providers who have recently gained BAC accreditation.

Edoire Education offers three two-week summer courses based at a university college premises in Cambridge, during July and August. Courses will be pitched at academically able students aged 13 to 18 years old, in a variety of subjects such as: Business Entrepreneurship, Computer Science, Creative Writing, Engineering Preparation, Film Academy, Global Leadership, Law Preparation, Medical Preparation, Psychology and Real Estate Development

Holts Academy (shortly to be known as the British Academy of Jewellery) is the UK’s leading independent training provider for the Jewellery Industry. By providing Government approved accredited qualifications at all levels as well as Apprenticeships, the Academy team are at the forefront of creating the next generation of jewellers, designers, artisans and designer/makers and have to date trained over 10,000 individuals, 74% of whom are now working in the jewellery sector.

London School of Business & Finance - Executive Education offers industry-focused programmes designed to reflect global market trends. LSBF attracts the most talented and ambitious candidates globally, and works together with its corporate partners to develop programmes structured with an up-to-date and international perspective in mind.

New Century works for a variety of military and law enforcement organisations, providing bespoke training and specialised courses. Courses offered include Community Policing , Strategic Leadership, Bomb Scene Management,Counter Narcotics,Armed Response, Commander Platoon and more. 

Notting Hill College, based in Manchester, offers a range of distance learning, blended and classroom based courses. Online distance learning courses include Language Awareness, Foundation TEFL, Advanced TEFL Programme, OfQual Regulated TEFL (L5), Nursery Management, and Educational Leadership and Management. Blended learning courses are TEFL Taster - Classroom Based, and Accredited Advanced TEFL Combined with Ten Week Training Session Course. Classroom based courses are offered in General English, IELTS Preparation and Preparation for Cambridge and Trinity College London Exams.
Western International College based in North London offers a range of accredited programmes in business, management and computing. The programmes are all accredited by Awards for Training and Higher Education (ATHE).  Programmes are aimed at those who may not have done very well in traditional schools, but who now recognise the need to have a formal qualification and also older people returning to work after a career break.

The British Accreditation Council (BAC) is seeking educational professionals to join its Accreditation Committee

The Accreditation Committee operates under delegated authority from the BAC trustees and holds decision making authority to:
  • Award or withdraw accreditation from an institution
  • To consider and recommend changes to BAC standards
Existing committee members have a wide range of educational experience covering higher education to vocational training. All share a common interest in maintaining and raising standards in further and higher education. If you are interested in joining the committee or would like to discuss the role of the committee further, please contact Paul Fear (CEO) at


BAC Events
We have a range of webinars that may be of interest to you. All of our webinars are free of charge to BAC accredited institutions.

Please see some upcoming topics below...

Webinar: Managing Short Term Study Visas
Thursday 23 March 2017, 14.00 - 15.00 GMT
This webinar will look at the implications of the Short Term Study Visa (STSV) route for short term courses as well as distance learning courses that have part of their teaching in the UK and overseas. 

Webinar: Making the most of your BAC accreditation
Thursday 27 April 2017, 14.00 - 15.00 GMT
We will be discussing methods of utilising BAC accreditation to differentiate your institution in your home market and demonstrating the quality of your institution. 

Webinar: Implementing Child Protection policies and procedures
Thursday 25 May 2017, 14.00 - 15.00 GMT
This session will look at any child protection updates and go through the application of child protection legislation in the typical BAC accredited institution

QAA Annual Conference 2017
9 -10 May 2017
The BAC team will have a stand here and would be delighted to see you at the event. Further details can be found here.

Industry Events

Higher Education: Changing Global Relations Conference
1 March 2017, 09.30 - 17.00 GMT
CGHE’s second annual conference on 1 March 2017 in London will explore the drivers and effects of changing global relations in higher education. Click here for further details.
CVU Seminar: Managing Partnership Closure and Change
30th March 2017, 
10:30 – 15:30 GMT
This seminar will look at a number of case studies of partnership closure and transfer to new validating bodies and will explore challenges and best practice in managing that transition. Tickets available here

Effectively Handling Student Complaints
30 March 2017, 09.15 - 16.15 GMT

The conference offers interactive workshops to develop complaints management skills, effective complaints strategy and responding to student complains. Further information available here.

NATECLA National Conference 2017
7 - 8 July 2017, 13.00 - 18.00 GMT
The National Association for Teaching English and other Community Languages to Adults (NATECLA) are hosting their annual conference in July 2017.  The event offers ESOL teachers a variety of workshops, networking opportunity and to view available resources for the market. More information is available here.

If you wish to make a contribution to our newsletter please email for topic guidelines. Please note there is no guarantee your article will be published. 
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