Private college gave ‘misleading information’ to Student Loans Company

A private college “supplied misleading information” that led to students wrongly gaining access to public-backed loans, according to the government

January 30, 2014

The Department for Business Innovation and Skills said today that it had never granted “designation” – giving students access to Student Loans Company funding – to ICE Academy’s campuses in Manchester, Bedford and Croydon.

News that SLC funds have been incorrectly paid out to a private college will be a further embarrassment to BIS.

Already, the government is considering cutting funding to universities for the poorest students, following a BIS overspend that arose partly because of the department’s failure to control spending at private colleges.

David Willetts, the universities and science minister, has sought to encourage the growth of private provision.

In a statement, BIS said of ICE Academy’s campuses in Manchester, Bedford and Croydon: “ICEAcademyshould not have advertised places on these courses as being eligible for support. These students will not receive any further payments and fee loans paid to the college on their behalf will be recovered by Student Loans Company.”

But questions will follow as to how SLC funding could be paid out to a private college when BIS had not, apparently, made the courses eligible for such funding.

BIS added: “Following an investigation ICE Academy admitted that it had supplied misleading information to the SLC about where some of its students were studying. They had provided details that led the SLC to believe that around 400 students studying at Manchester, Bedford and Croydon were studying at campuses where courses were designated for student support.”

ICE Academy lists campuses in Leicester, Smethwick and Peterborough on its website. Despite accusing ICE Academy of supplying “misleading information”, BIS is not removing all designations from the college – meaning that it can carry on accessing SLC funding.

The BIS statement continues: “ICE Academy have also been informed that if in the future it goes beyond the terms of its designations or knowingly misleads SLC, BIS may decide to withdraw some or all of their designations.”

The statement concludes: “The department is sorry that ICE Academy has put these students in such a difficult position.”

The only undergraduate courses advertised by ICE Academy on its website are sub-degree Higher National Diploma courses, in subjects such as business management and travel and tourism.

Nobody at ICE Academy was available for comment when Times Higher Education contacted the college.

john.morgan@tsleducation.com

You've reached your article limit

Register to continue

Registration is free and only takes a moment. Once registered you can read a total of 6 articles each month, plus:

  • Sign up for the editor's highlights
  • Receive World University Rankings news first
  • Get job alerts, shortlist jobs and save job searches
  • Participate in reader discussions and post comments
Register

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

Analyst

Greenwich School Of Management Ltd

PhD Research Fellow in Medical Physics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu

Senior Knowledge Officer

European Association For International Education

Postdoctoral position in Atmospheric and Space Physics

Norwegian University Of Science & Technology -ntnu
See all jobs

Most Commented

Doctoral study can seem like a 24-7 endeavour, but don't ignore these other opportunities, advise Robert MacIntosh and Kevin O'Gorman

Matthew Brazier illustration (9 February 2017)

How do you defeat Nazis and liars? Focus on the people in earshot, says eminent Holocaust scholar Deborah Lipstadt

Improvement, performance, rankings, success

Phil Baty sets out why the World University Rankings are here to stay – and why that's a good thing

Warwick vice-chancellor Stuart Croft on why his university reluctantly joined the ‘flawed’ teaching excellence framework

people dressed in game of thrones costume

Old Germanic languages are back in vogue, but what value are they to a modern-day graduate? Alice Durrans writes