Independent Higher Education launches major new survey of independent providers in association with Hobsons

Today (23 February 2017) sees the launch of IHE’s ground-breaking independent sector survey, which is being run in collaboration with our research partners Hobsons.

This major new survey of independent providers aims to deepen our understanding of their position in the sector today and the nature of their provision, with particular focus on their delivery models and institutional missions. We are also keen to find out more about the priorities and plans of independent providers, as well as the challenges that they face.

Independent providers form an increasingly important part of the higher education sector, especially in light of the reforms which the Government is introducing through the Higher Education and Research Bill. Running this survey now demonstrates our commitment to strengthening our understanding and representation of this rich and varied sector.

Findings from the survey will be published in the spring, and will be used to inform IHE's lobbying and policy positions and to improve the services we offer to members and the wider independent sector.

It is the support of individual providers which will enable us to develop the most complete picture yet of independent tertiary education in the UK, and will help us to represent and promote the sector effectively.

We therefore strongly encourage all providers of higher level education and training (i.e. levels 4 and above) not in receipt of direct grant from the UK’s higher education funding bodies to complete the survey, which can be found at the link below.

Alexander Proudfoot, Chief Executive of Independent Higher Education, said:

“Our members come in many shapes, sizes and specialisms, and the sector as a whole is even more diverse. It is this distance from the mainstream which has left independent providers sidelined in past developments of higher education policy and practice. IHE is here now to give these providers a voice, which is why today we are so excited to be launching a major new survey with Hobsons to help us understand the full range of courses and students they teach, establish their current top priorities and challenges, and ensure their views are heard in the implementation of the major regulatory changes this year."

Jeremy Cooper, Managing Director of Hobsons, said:

“We are very pleased to be carrying out this survey of independent higher education providers in association with IHE. This research will provide new insights into the challenges and opportunities faced by this section of the HE sector, further enriching our understanding of a wide range of institutions and the student experience.”

For more information about Independent Higher Education or any queries about the survey itself, please email


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