Explanatory Notes

Higher Education (Wales) Act 2015


12 March 2015

Commentary on Sections of the Act

Part 2 – Fee and Access Plans

Section 7 – Approval of fee and access plan

26.Where the governing body of an institution applies to HEFCW under section 2 for approval of a fee and access plan, it is for HEFCW to either approve the plan or reject the plan. HEFCW cannot approve a plan unless they are satisfied that the applicant institution is an institution in Wales that provides higher education and is a charity. HEFCW will either approve or reject a plan by giving notice to the governing body of the institution concerned. Sections 41 to 44 of the Act provide for the procedure that is to apply in respect of notice rejecting a plan.

27.Section 7(3) enables regulations to provide for matters which are to be taken into account by HEFCW when determining whether to approve or reject a plan under this section. Regulations might, for instance, make provision for HEFCW to take into account the quality of education provided by the applicant institution and the organisation and management of its financial affairs.

28.Section 7(4) defines the period in which an approved fee and access plan is in force. This concept of a plan being “in force” is relevant to the references in the Act to a “regulated institution”, in that a “regulated institution” is an institution that has a plan which is currently in force. This means, for instance, that the duty under section 16 (duty to co-operate in relation to HEFCW’s monitoring and evaluation functions) applies only for so long as a plan is actually in force.