Frequently asked questions
If you can’t find the answer to your question here please try our guidance and useful information section.
- Do private institutions need an access agreement?
- I’ve spotted a mistake in our access agreement – what do we need to do to fix it?
- What information do you share with other organisations?
- Can we make retrospective changes to access agreements?
- Should we include EU students in our access agreements and financial calculations?
- Should we give bursaries to students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland?
- We do not have the facility to track our students’ household incomes – how can we disaggregate our financial predictions between income thresholds?
No. You only need an access agreement if you are directly funded by HEFCE or the Teaching Agency and want to charge a fee above the basic tuition fee to home/EU students on undergraduate courses or postgraduate teacher training courses. Note that students on designated courses are eligible for tuition fee loans of up to £6,000. See www.practitioners.slc.co.uk for more information.
Please contact us straight away.
Where possible, we share information with other organisations such as HEFCE, BIS and the SLC. We are subject to both the Freedom of Information Act and the Data Protection Act. For more information, see our Freedom of Information section.
Access agreements are approved on an annual basis and we would not normally expect you to make in-year changes once the application cycle is under way. In exceptional circumstances, some changes may be possible, for example where you need to clarify your access agreement. Please contact us straight away to discuss.
You should include new system EU students in any financial predictions that you supply to us in respect of fee income. However, it is for you to decide whether you award bursaries and scholarships to EU students. Your calculations in respect of bursary spend will therefore include or exclude EU students according to your bursary rules.
Students from Wales, Northern Ireland and Scotland are not eligible for the National Scholarship Programme, and it is up to you to decide whether such students are eligible for any other bursaries your institution offers.
English institutions are only required to provide the minimum bursary to England domiciled students, so this is a decision for institutions to make. However, we strongly recommend that cross-border students receive a fair level of support, in line with England domiciled students. Where the state support provided for students studying in England from other UK domiciles is higher than support for England domiciled students, we feel that it is reasonable for institutions to take this into account and apply separate bursary criteria for such students for means tested awards. Depending on the level of state support, this could result in students from other UK domiciles being entitled to less, or even no, bursary support.
We do not have the facility to track our students’ household incomes – how can we disaggregate our financial predictions between income thresholds?
The Student Loans Company can provide you with data showing the proportions of your students that fall into different household income bands. This will allow you to estimate how much you will spend on bursaries for lower income students. We also hold limited SLC data on students by income bands by institution so you could contact us to see if the data we hold is fit for your purpose.