Section 3 – Designation of other providers of higher education
14.This section enables the Welsh Ministers to designate a charitable provider of higher education in Wales, which would not otherwise be regarded as an institution, as an institution for the purposes of the Act and any regulations made under it. A designation will be made on an application by the provider concerned. This power might, for example, be exercised to designate a provider which is not able to award degrees but which provides other courses of higher education at a lower level on the credit and qualifications framework. Alternatively the power might be exercised to designate a provider which is a charitable company limited by guarantee which provides courses of higher education. Such providers might not regard themselves as an “institution” for the purposes of section 2 but may nevertheless wish for those courses to be designated by student support regulations (for the purposes of student support from the Welsh Ministers) and to be able to apply for approval of a fee and access plan under that section. A provider of higher education which is designated under section 3 of the Act will still need to satisfy all of the elements of section 2(3) of the Act in order to apply to HEFCW for approval of a fee and access plan.
15.Under section 3(4), the Welsh Ministers are able to make regulations about the making of applications by such providers, the withdrawal of a designation and the effect of such a withdrawal. The regulations might, for instance, make provision about the type of information that is to support an application for designation. Regulations might also provide that, where a provider’s designation has been withdrawn, the provider is to continue to be treated as an institution for a limited period and in relation to certain elements of the new regulatory framework.