The Office for Students (OfS) is publishing the prioritisation criteria it will use to select providers to assess in relation to their compliance with ongoing condition B3 (student outcomes). A final decision has been made about the criteria that will apply to the first assessment cycle in 2022, and a provisional decision has been taken for the second assessment cycle in 2023.
Following an extensive consultation, the OfS set numerical thresholds for continuation, completion and progression rates and will use these, together with an assessment of a provider’s context (including reasons for, or actions to address, its performance), to inform its judgement about whether students have positive outcomes.
Each year, the OfS will publish the criteria it will use to select universities and colleges with course continuation, completion and/or progression rates below these thresholds for assessment.
In 2022, the OfS will assess student outcomes in up to 20 higher education providers. It will consider the continuation, completion and progression rates of full-time first degree and postgraduate taught masters’ courses across seven subjects.
The OfS has also made a provisional decision to focus on the outcomes for full-time ‘other undergraduate’ and first degree courses in 2023, and to confirm this next year alongside any other categories for prioritisation.
The OfS will now use these prioritisation criteria to identify the individual providers to be assessed, considering additional criteria such as the number of students affected. (See the statement and paragraph 36 of Regulatory advice 20 for more information.)