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About university title

Some organisations have the right to use the title ‘University’ or ‘University College’ in their name, although they may not always do so.

These terms are protected terms in law, and the Privy Council is responsible for granting university and university college title.

Higher education providers wishing to apply for approval to use the title ‘university’ or ‘university college’ must have been granted powers to award taught degrees. They must also be able to show that they meet the principles of good governance relevant to its sector.

Where the provider is applying for university title only they also must normally have at least 1,000 full time equivalent higher education students. At least 750 of these students should be registered on degree courses (including foundation degree programmes). The number of full time equivalent higher education students must exceed 55 per cent of the total number of full time equivalent students.

Page last updated 2 November 2017