Navigating the Transition from FE to HE: Strategic Support for Securing OfQual Approval and Developing OfS-Ready Delivery Processes

We recognise the unique challenges and immense opportunities involved in transitioning from Further Education (FE) to Higher Education (HE).

Guidance for the journey

Our consultancy specialises in guiding educational institutions through this transformative journey, helping them obtain OfQual centre and programme approval, develop robust delivery processes, and create the necessary evidence for Office for Students (OfS) approval and Higher Education Institution (HEI) partnerships.

Here we outline the strategic journey we undertake with our clients, highlighting our expertise, tailored approach, and the commercial benefits of successfully navigating this transition.

The Commercial Value of Tranisitioning from FE to HE

Transitioning from FE to HE offers substantial commercial benefits.

Market Expansion

Entering the HE market allows institutions to attract a broader student base, increasing enrolment and revenue.

Enhanced reputation

Offering HE qualifications boosts the institution’s credibility and prestige.

Funding opportunities

HE institutions can access additional funding streams, including government grants and student loans.

Long-Term Viability

Diversifying program offerings enhances institutional resilience and long-term sustainability.

Strategic Partnerships

Establishing HE programs opens opportunities for collaborations with universities and industry partners.

illuminare Education’s strategic approach

At illuminare Education, we adopt a strategic, step-by-step approach to support clients through the transition from FE to HE, ensuring they are fully prepared and supported throughout the journey.

1 Initial assessment and strategic planning

Our journey begins with a comprehensive assessment of the institution’s current status and future goals. Key activities include:

  • Institutional Review: Evaluating existing FE programmes, resources, and infrastructure.
  • Strategic Alignment: Aligning the institution’s goals with HE requirements and market opportunities.
  • Feasibility Study: Assessing the feasibility of transitioning to HE, including potential challenges and opportunities.

2 Obtaining OfQual Centre and Programme Approval

Securing OfQual approval is a critical step in establishing credibility and meeting regulatory standards. Our process includes:

  • Centre Approval Preparation: Assisting with the preparation and submission of the OfQual centre approval application, including necessary policies, procedures, and documentation.
  • Programme Development: Developing HE programmes that meet OfQual standards, including curriculum design, assessment strategies, and quality assurance mechanisms.
  • Compliance Support: Ensuring all aspects of the institution’s operations comply with OfQual requirements through regular audits and reviews.

3 Developing robust delivery processes

Effective delivery processes are essential for maintaining high standards of education and ensuring student success. Our approach includes:

  • Operational Framework: Establishing a comprehensive operational framework that supports the delivery of HE programmes.
  • Quality Assurance: Implementing robust quality assurance processes to monitor and enhance the quality of education.
  • Faculty Development: Providing training and development for faculty to ensure they are equipped to deliver HE programmes effectively.
  • Student Support Services: Enhancing student support services to meet the needs of HE students, including academic advising, career services, and mental health support.

4 Creating Evidence for OfS Approval

Securing OfS approval requires demonstrating compliance with a comprehensive set of regulatory requirements. Our strategy includes:

  • Evidence Compilation: Gathering and organising evidence to demonstrate compliance with OfS requirements, including governance, financial sustainability, quality of education, student protection, and access and participation.
  • Application Preparation: Assisting with the preparation and submission of the OfS approval application, ensuring all documentation is clear, comprehensive, and aligned with OfS guidelines.
  • Continuous Improvement: Implementing continuous improvement processes to address any feedback from the OfS and ensure ongoing compliance.

4 Establishing HEI Partnerships

Forming strategic partnerships with established HEIs can enhance programme offerings and institutional reputation. Our approach includes:

  • Partner Identification: Identifying potential HEI partners that align with the institution’s goals and values.
  • Due Diligence: Conducting thorough due diligence to assess the suitability of potential partners, including academic standards, financial stability, and reputational standing.
  • Negotiation and Agreement: Facilitating negotiations and establishing partnership agreements, ensuring mutual benefits and strategic alignment.
  • Implementation and Management: Supporting the implementation and management of partnerships, including joint programme delivery, quality assurance, and student exchange initiatives.

Case Studies: Success Stories

Transitioning from FE to HE is a transformative journey that offers substantial commercial benefits and enhances institutional reputation. At illuminare Education, we are committed to guiding our clients through this complex process with expertise, precision, and unwavering support. Partner with us to navigate the path to HE, ensuring a prosperous and sustainable future for your institution.


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Ready to transform your educational institution? Contact illuminare Education today to learn more about our services and how we can help you achieve your goals.

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