The new guidance now includes a provision that educational oversight bodies must assess an institution’s financial sustainability, management and governance as part of the educational oversight assessment.

This is to give international students confidence in the quality of the education on offer and show that they should not be at risk of being unable to complete their course as a result of the financial failure of their education provider.

New sponsors will need to provide such things as:

  • corporate governance arrangements to demonstrate ownership at local and high level;
  • full audited financial statements covering the last two years as a track record of financial performance (reduced to one year if application made before 1 August 2016);
  • financial sustainability including contingency arrangements to safeguard international students’ interests in the event of a sudden decline in international student numbers or institutional failure.

Although these are provisions for new sponsor licence applications, existing sponsors should still take note that they may expect to see contingency plans being introduced.