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safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education

Terms and conditions

For the purposes of subscriptions, the academic year runs from 1 August to the following 31 July.

If an institution makes returns to HESA, the latest final return, as published on the HESA website, will be used to determine student numbers.

For other institutions, student number data that will be used to inform subscription rates will be as follows: 

​Directly funded further education colleges in England

​Student numbers will be taken from the HEIFES 2015-16 return to HEFC​E

Directly funded further education colleges in Wales

​Student numbers for 2015-16 as provided by HEFCW

Further education colleges with indirectly funded HE ​students (i.e. students are funded by a partner HEI)

​Subscription rate is Band A as the indirectly funded students are already included in headcount of another HEI.


​Will be asked to confirm their HE headcount

New subscribers

Subscriptions are payable from the earlier of:​
  • QAA confirmation following an application
  • Privy Council approval for degree awarding powers 
  • Date ​requested by a funding body

The amount payable will be prorated to 25% for each remaining quarter of that academic year. ​


Where institutions merge during an academic year, each institution shall pay a full year subscription with a single subscription due from the beginning of the next academic year. 

Subscription status

​Subscription to QAA does not confer any legal or funding benefits or status. It is not a form of institutional accreditation.

Subscribing institutions should not describe the status of subscription in a misleading or ambiguous way in promotional or marketing material. Care should be taken to avoid anything that could lead the reader to think that subscription to QAA confers any legal or funding benefits, or that it confers degree awarding powers, or that it is a form of accreditation.