If you have any queries about the policy or wish to comment on this Information
Notice, please contact the Higher Education Division in writing by email to
If you wish to submit an application for course designation or have any queries about
the guidance and process, please contact HEFCW:

Purpose of designation

  1. This document describes the Welsh Government’s policy for the specific
    designation of higher education (HE) courses for the purpose of attracting statutory
    student support for students who are ordinarily resident in Wales as per the student
    support regulations. It applies from 1 December 2020 onwards. It outlines the
    criteria that will be taken into account when deciding whether to specifically
    designate courses for the purpose of student support via the Student Loans
    Company (SLC). Annex A provides a diagram that illustrates this process.
  2. Providers must have their courses designated via one of two routes to enable
    students to access the financial support available from the Welsh Government: (i)
    automatic designation or (ii) specific designation.
  3. Whilst each route to designation is distinct, the Welsh Ministers’ general
    position is that the same core principles should underpin both. In particular, providers
    of higher education should be financially viable, provide education of adequate
    quality, and make a significant and ongoing contribution to the public good in
    connection with education.
    Routes to designation
    Automatic designation
  4. Certain courses are designated by the student support regulations1
    , so-called
    automatic designation. Definitions of terms can be found in Annex B. Queries about
    automatic designation can be directed to HEFCW.
    Full time courses
  5. Where the course is a full-time course that begins before 1 August 2019 it is
    automatically designated if it is provided:
    (i) by a Welsh regulated institution, a protected English provider, a Scottish
    funded institution or a Northern Irish funded institution (whether alone or in
    conjunction with an institution outside the United Kingdom),
    (ii) by a charity on behalf of a Welsh regulated institution, or
    (iii)on behalf of a protected English provider by an institution that was before 1
    August 2019 a publicly funded institution.
  6. Where the course is a full-time course that begins on or after 1 August 2019
    it is automatically designated if it is provided by: