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Confirmation of Designated Quality Body fees by QAA

Date: May 11 - 2021

QAA has now issued statutory charging notices confirming the final level of the fees that it charges as the Designated Quality Body in England (DQB) for 2020-21, and the estimated level of DQB fees for 2021-22.

Under the Higher Education and Research Act 2017 (HERA), DQB fees are calculated on a cost-only basis, using a model developed with London Economics and agreed with the Office for Students (OfS).

QAA has been able to reduce the cost of providing the DQB function in 2020-21 by 8% in real terms from a 2019-20 baseline; a further real-terms reduction of 4.5% per provider reflects an increased number of OfS-registered providers. QAA has therefore been able to pay proportionate refunds of fees for 2020-21 to all registered providers, with further refunds for providers who have undergone assessments. In total, QAA is refunding £249,863 to the sector.

The DQB fees in 2021-22 are to be set at the same reduced level. They will be subject to reconciliation in May 2022; as always, the level of fees per provider depends on the number of OfS-registered providers.

QAA Chief Executive Douglas Blackstock said: 'We are keenly aware of the financial pressures that higher education institutions face, so I’m pleased that our ongoing efforts to deliver our services as efficiently as possible have yielded further results. We have been able to reduce DQB fees per provider by 12.5% in real terms over a one-year period, and pay refunds to all providers, and we expect it should be possible to maintain that reduction for a second year.' 

The statutory fees charged as the DQB in England are entirely separate from QAA’s revenue from funding bodies, membership fees and other sources. QAA is an independent charity working to benefit students and higher education.