Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Title Contentions: Letters

Magazine article The Times Higher Education Supplement : THE

Title Contentions: Letters

Article excerpt

I wonder whether it is strictly correct for BPP to claim that it is now a university ("And BPP makes two: coalition confers university title on second for-profit", News, 8 August). The decision to allow a company to use in its title a word classified by law as "sensitive" is taken in the case of "university" by "the Registrar of Companies on behalf of the Secretary of State, not by BIS as the specified body". Companies House merely requires confirmation from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills that it has no objection.

I corresponded with BIS about this process late in 2011. The letter I received said that "there are no formal criteria for dealing with such applications". A Freedom of Information request yielded the missive BIS had written in the case of Coventry University College. It seems to have applied only one criterion, that "the title is clear, unambiguous and not otherwise misleading". It accordingly wrote to Companies House that it did not object.

However, the technical consultation published by BIS in August 2011 does identify "formal criteria" and states that they are the same as those governing applications from higher education bodies that have taught degree-awarding powers. …

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