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Overseas Students: Fees and Charges

Question for Department for Education

UIN HL14295, tabled on 16 March 2021

To ask Her Majesty's Government, further to the Written Answer by Baroness Williams of Trafford on 10 March (HL13719), whether (1) universities, and (2) independent schools, are permitted to accept payment of course fees in cash.

Answered on

26 March 2021

Universities, as autonomous institutions, are responsible for ensuring their compliance with the law. They need to uphold applicable public interest governance principles in order to meet the regulatory requirements of the Office for Students, the independent regulator for the higher education sector in England.

To be registered with the Office for Students, a higher education provider must have in place adequate and effective management and governance arrangements to deliver them in practice.

Whilst universities can accept cash payments, the Department for Education has spoken to representatives of the sector and understands that very few universities do this.

Independent schools are private businesses and, like universities, their handling of cash payments is subject to the same regulation as for all businesses.

The government’s money-laundering regulations require firms to combat money-laundering and to ensure that key professionals identify their customers and understand the purpose behind transactions, including the source of funds. Universities and independent schools are not within the regulated sector, but those most at risk from money-laundering – including banks, money service businesses, lawyers, and accountants – are in scope.