“The quality of student learning opportunities for [LSBF’s] Higher National provision, and the enhancement of student learning opportunities, does not meet UK expectations,” reads QAA’s report.
“The quality of student learning opportunities for [LSBF’s] Higher National provision, and the enhancement of student learning opportunities, does not meet UK expectations”
In addition, the Higher Education Review found that “the quality of the information about learning opportunities requires improvement to meet UK expectations”.
Aside from these areas, the quality of the school’s other course offerings – including awards offered on behalf of degree-awarding bodies – was found to be acceptable.
In a separate review, QAA also said that quality and the enhancement of student learning opportunities at Finance and Business Training Ltd, LSBF’s Birmingham-based subsidiary, also fails to meet UK expectations, and that information about learning opportunities must also be improved.
Meanwhile, the review praised LSBF’s careers service, saying that it “proactively provides careers and job application advice across all sites and contributes to the development of employability in the curriculum”.
QAA’s report was carried out in March this year, before the Home Office suspended LSBF’s Tier 4 licence to recruit international students in early September.
The licence suspension is still in place, and the Home Office is currently reviewing evidence submitted in response by LSBF, which it will use to determine whether to reinstate or permanently revoke the school’s Tier 4 sponsor status.
The Home Office declined to comment on how QAA’s findings would affect its review process, but a QAA spokesperson told The PIE News: “We advise the Home Office on the outcomes of reviews and they use our reviews alongside other evidence to reach their decision on Tier 4 licenses”.
An LSBF spokesperson said the school, which maintains that the licence suspension is based on a “statistically flawed misunderstanding”, expects it to be lifted, but noted that due to the GUS Group restructuring, LSBF will “in any event no longer need a Tier 4 licence”.
In an official statement, LSBF said that it “expresses disappointment at the findings related to its Higher National programmes”, but added that “they largely confirm self-critical judgements reached by the school itself”.
QAA’s review also included recommendations for best practice at LSBF.
“The school has implemented improvement plans that will be pursued further and will continue to meet the high academic standards acknowledged by QAA and comply with best practice”
“The review recommends that LSBF ensure that all students are registered with their awarding body or awarding organisation within the timescales required by those bodies and organisations, and ensure the accurate reporting of enrolled students’ status, and changes of status, within and without the organisation,” it said.
According to LSBF’s statement, “the school has implemented improvement plans that will be pursued further and will continue to meet the high academic standards acknowledged by QAA and comply with best practice in delivering student services and learning outcomes”.
The school declined to comment further on the findings.