University status for English UK member centre
10 September 2012

English UK member centre Regent's College London is part of the first new private university to be created in Britain for 40 years.

Regent's College in London is now one of only five private institutions in the UK to be able to validate its own degrees, and will shortly change its name to Regent's University London. Its seven specialist schools include two concentrating on business.

Internexus became part of Regent's College in 2008 when then owner Steve Phillips sold it. Since then, he has been director of the centre, which is now generally known as the English Language school at Regent's College. Mr Phillips, an English UK board member, is delighted by the changes and their implications, which will include many more pre-sessional courses for students accepted on to degree courses.

"It opens up lots of markets we previously didn't have access to, China being the obvious one," he says. "The Chinese government only recognises universities in the UK, not private schools, and the Gulf states are similar.

"We've become much more the EL department of university than we were before. We're still very keen to retain our identity as an EL school in our own right and will not stop our focus on general courses, including Business English and summer residential. And we will definitely keep our British Council accreditation.

"Probably most exciting thing is that Regent's College is very forward-thinking so we do a lot of strategy. There are talks of overseas campuses and now we can licence our own degrees we can go abroad, establish campuses and teach degree programmes. We couldn't do that before as they weren't our degrees, but validated by the Open University. The plan is to have three by 2020.

"There are implications for English Language, as these students will have to be tested so we will need to have a presence over there."

Mr Phillips said it had taken three years and around 60 exhaustive visits from the QAA for university status to be granted. " They look at everything, not only systems processes and quality assurance. They visit meetings and committees, look through minutes of meetings,  talk to teachers, talk to students. They do everything.

"Now we can do our own degrees and our students are very excited about it."


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