The UKBA has confirmed today the arrangements to ensure continuing educational oversight for privately funded Tier 4 institutions following the initial round of reviews being undertaken at present by the Quality Assurance Agency and other designated bodies such as the Independent Schools Inspectorate.

The arrangements include full assessments at least every four years - and earlier if the sponsor's circumstances change, or interim "health checks" reveal any cause for concern. The frequency of those "health checks" (intended to be a "light-touch, shortened version of the full assessment") will be decided by the relevant oversight body according to a risk based approach, with reference to the outcome of previous inspections.

The UKBA has also confirmed that a window for new applications for educational oversight has opened today until 22 October 2012 and a similar pattern will be repeated annually thereafter to permit new institutions to join the register of Tier 4 sponsors, subject of course to would-be sponsors meeting the wider UKBA criteria.