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Higher Education

Volume 462: debated on Wednesday 11 July 2007

To ask the Secretary of State for Innovation, Universities and Skills what the procedure is for granting university status; and how many applications have been approved in the last 12 months. (149281)

Institutions must apply to the Privy Council in order to be granted a university title. The Privy Council will then seek advice from the Department who will consider whether an institution meets its criteria for university title; consulting the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education and the Higher Education Funding Council for England as necessary. The Department's criteria for university title are that an institution must:

(a) have been granted powers to award taught degrees under the 2004 criteria;

(b) normally have at least 4,000 full time equivalent higher education students, of whom at least 3,000 are registered on degree level courses (including foundation degree programmes); and

(c) be able to demonstrate that it has regard to the principles of good governance as are relevant to its sector.

In the last 12 months, the Privy Council has approved three applications for university title: Imperial College of Science, Technology and Medicine, St. Martin's College and York St. John University College.