Equality & diversity

In all areas, our work on equality and diversity follows our strategy.

Our mission

We aim to ensure that every student, whatever their background, has a fulfilling experience of higher education that enriches their lives and careers.

Our objectives

OfS Strategy 2022-2025

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All students, from all backgrounds, with the ability and desire to undertake higher education, are supported to access, succeed in, and progress from higher education.


All students, from all backgrounds, receive a high quality academic experience, and their interests are protected while they study or in the event of provider, campus or course closure.


All students, from all backgrounds, can progress into employment, further study, and lead fulfilling lives, in which their qualifications hold their value over time.

Value for money

All students, from all backgrounds, receive value for money.

Our approach

We will deliver the strategy through our regulatory approach
  • The regulatory baseline is a set of regulatory expectations that represent the minimum performance to which students and taxpayers are entitled.
  • We regulate by reference to our regulatory baseline: taking action to ensure providers’ compliance, and incentivising and influencing providers to go beyond our minimum expectations. During this strategic period, our work will be strongly focused on ensuring that providers are meeting these expectations.
  • Much of the provision in the English higher education sector is exemplary; our focus as a regulator will be on addressing cases that fall short
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Our focus

Our two areas of focus for this strategy are quality and standards and equality of opportunity.

The goals that we seek to achieve during the period of this strategy fall into the categories of quality and standards, equality of opportunity, and enabling regulation.

Our eleven goals

Quality and standards
  • Students receive a high quality academic experience that improves their knowledge and skills, with increasing numbers receiving excellent provision.
  • Students are rigorously assessed, and the qualifications they are awarded are credible and comparable to those granted previously.
  • Providers secure free speech within the law for students, staff and visiting speakers.
  • Graduates contribute to local and national prosperity, and the government’s ‘levelling up’ agenda.
Equality of opportunity
  • Students’ access, success and progression are not limited by their background, location or characteristics.
  • Prospective students can choose from a diverse range of courses and providers at any stage of their life, with a wide range of flexible and innovative opportunities.
  • Providers act to prevent harassment and sexual misconduct and respond effectively if incidents do occur.
  • Providers encourage and support an environment conducive to the good mental health and wellbeing that students need to succeed in their higher education.
Enabling regulation
  • Providers are financially viable and sustainable and have effective governance arrangements.
  • Students receive the academic experience they were promised by their provider and their interests as consumers are protected before, during and after their studies.
  • The OfS minimises the regulatory burden it places on providers, while ensuring action is effective in meeting its goals and regulatory objectives.