Value for money – Bloomsbury Institute London

Value for money

2021 – 2022

Below, you can find details of our Value for Money Statement for the 2021 – 2022 academic year. This is divided into 7 sections:

  1. Commitment
  2. How we add value
  3. What our students say about their experience
  4. Where does our money come from?
  5. What do we typically spend our money on?
  6. Investment
  7. How do we ensure value for money?
    1. Governance
    2. Operational practices

You can also view our previous Value for Money Statements at the bottom of this page.

Commitment

Bloomsbury Institute is committed to offering Value for Money (VfM) and maintaining the highest standards of efficiency and integrity in all its operations, both in terms of providing students with a high-quality service in return for the tuition fee they pay, and also in terms of ensuring that all goods and services provided to Bloomsbury Institute are competitively priced. However, VfM is about not only delivering a higher education experience in an efficient, cost effective and sustainable way, but also about adding value to that experience. By adding value, we are able to work together with our students to provide them with an education that is truly transformative.

How we add value

Here are just some of the ways in which we add value:

  • Through the specific design – both contemporary and practice-based – of our undergraduate and postgraduate courses. These were introduced new for June 2022 and are intended to make our students work-ready.
  • Through the flexible study options we offer. These include the option for students to  accelerate their studies, and the addition of a Foundation Year and accessible entry requirements.  For example, we are the only higher education institute to offer a Foundation Year with a 2-year Accelerated Degree offering as it does, the possibility of gaining a degree in 3 years starting with GCSEs only.
  • Through the accreditation of all our undergraduate degrees by relevant professional bodies in order to give our students a competitive advantage.
    • Students who successfully pass any of our Accounting and Finance degrees can gain exemptions not only from 9 Chartered Management Institution (CIMA) papers, but also from 9 Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA) papers. This means that they can save time and money becoming a Chartered Accountant or Chartered Management Accountant.  All our Accounting students can also benefit from free student membership of ACCA and CIMA which gives them access to online communities, free resources and career support services.
    • Students on our Business Management degrees can graduate with a specialised qualification ((BA (Hons) Business Management (Marketing/Entrepreneurship or Human Resource Management)) through the exemption we have secured from the Chartered Management Institution (CMI). They will also have access to hundreds of valuable CMI learning materials to support them in their studies and career aspirations, and will be awarded the following (depending on the course) upon graduation:
      • CMI Level 5 Award in Management and Leadership
      • CMI Level 5 Certificate in Management and Leadership
      • CMI Level 5 Diploma in Management and Leadership
    • Students graduating on our Law and Legal Practice degrees will benefit from satisfying the CILEx Regulation knowledge and skills education standards if they want to qualify as a Chartered Legal Executive, and be prepared for the Solicitors Qualifying Examination (SQE) Part 1 if they want to qualify as a Solicitor as well as the Barrister’s vocational stage of training if they want to qualify as a Barrister.
  • Through exclusive day-time access to state-of-the-art teaching facilities (including dedicated informal co-learning spaces) owned by Birkbeck College.
  • Through free access to Birkbeck College’s Library (complete with borrowing rights) to complement our own online library which accommodates a broad range of general and subject-specific resources. Proquest alone contains in excess of 28 million resources including: books (30,000+); full-text journals (2 million+); dissertations; working papers; trade publications; market research reports and key periodicals.
  • Through our travel bursary scheme (available since September 2021 and one of the most generous in the UK). Through this scheme, students who are funded via the Student Loans Company can access their learning and all that London has to offer free of charge.
  • Through our laptop offer scheme. This scheme ensures that all our students joining from October 2022 have free and easy access to technology both at home and in the classroom throughout their course and afterwards as they can keep their laptop even once they graduate.
  • Through free access to International Students House. International Students House provides a residential, social, and cultural hub that enables our students to enjoy the benefits of belonging to the wider Bloomsbury student population.
  • Through the work experience opportunities we offer at our own professional radio station (Bloomsbury Radio) and our own Law Clinic (Bloomsbury Law Clinic) which provides legal advice on housing law and civil and family disputes.
  • Through the opportunities we offer our students to build up social capital by forging relationships with individuals and bodies from outside Bloomsbury Institute. For example, we have a scheme which matches KPMG Executive Mentors to our Level 5 and Level 6 student mentees.
  • additional wellbeing support for our students through free access to a clinically managed, online community designed to improve mental health.
  • Through a progression agreement with Birkbeck College to some of its Masters’ programmes.

What our students say about their experience

Our students have consistently expressed high levels of overall satisfaction with their experience at Bloomsbury Institute in the National Student Survey (NSS) to the extent that we have outperformed the sector in this area over the last 4 years.  See table below.

 Overall Satisfaction 2022 2021 2020 2019
Bloomsbury Institute 84.87% 88.57% 88.79% 86.59%
Sector 76.29% 75.41% 82.65% 83.65%

We are especially proud that in 2022 when we exclude Specialist and FE institutions, we are ranked in London as follows:

  • 2nd for Overall Satisfaction
  • 1st for Law Degree (7th in UK)
  • 3rd for Business (14th in UK)
  • 3rd for Student Voice
  • 3rd for ‘Feeling part of a community’
  • 3rd for ‘Course is challenging’
  • 3rd for Guild/ Student Union

Where does our money come from?

We have two main streams of income, tuition fee income from our students and funding body grants from the Office for Students. In 2021-22, 95% of our income came from tuition fees (of which 76% was via the Student Loans Company) and the remaining 5% represented Other Income from government sources.

What do we typically spend our money on?

All our income is invested in Bloomsbury Institute and our students – predominantly on the teaching, learning and support services we provide and student bursaries e.g. our travel bursary.

See the chart below for details of how we spent our income in 2021-22.

See below for what is included in the categories above:

  • Teaching and Learning Provision: Academic staff salaries, franchise fees, teaching venue costs, textbooks and eBook charges, library charges and scholarships.
  • Support services: Professional services staff salaries, student expenses, student employability expenses, Student Guild grant, memberships and licence fees.
  • Premises and Administration: Rent, rates, utilities, repairs and maintenance and insurance, advertising and marketing and agency commission
  • Other expenditure: Legal and professional fees, training and development.
  • IT Costs: IT Subscriptions, equipment leasing, computers and software costs.
    The above is based on our 2021-22 audited financial statements

Investment

We invest our income into delivering our purpose and we carefully manage our growth to ensure we do not lose sight of our responsibility to our community, our stakeholders and the environment.

In 2021-22, we invested in:

  • A long-term licence agreement with Birkbeck College for exclusive daytime access to brand-new, state-of-the-art teaching facilities at 393-395 Euston Road.
  • New office space in central London for our academic and support services staff.
  • Our Student Guild to enable the Guild to enhance its provision of social and recreational facilities to our students.
  • A travel bursary scheme for use by our new students joining from October 2022 to enable them to attend campus and participate in all activities without the worry of travel costs.
  • The establishment of our Law Clinic (opened by Lord David Neuberger, the Former President of the Supreme Court).
  • Additional financial support available through our Hardship Fund and a new ring-fenced Disability Support Fund to help our students pay for disability assessments, materials and additional support.

How do we ensure VfM?

The importance of delivering on both our purpose and VfM is embedded within our governance structures and operational practices.

Governance

Our Audit Committee is required to submit to our Board of Directors an Annual Audit Report that includes (amongst other things) an opinion on the adequacy and effectiveness of arrangements to ensure:

  • Funds are used for the purpose
  • Value for money is secured

The above opinion is based in part on an Annual Value for Money Report that is produced by the Deputy Chief Operating Officer and considered also by our Board of Directors.

Operational practices

Our Strategic Framework articulates our approach to VfM as follows:

  • We manage our finances, resource and time appropriately to ensure that we deliver the best possible student experience.
  • We invest our income into delivering our purpose and will carefully manage our growth to ensure we do not lose sight of our responsibility to our community, our stakeholders and the environment.

In addition, the VfM principle (for both students and taxpayers) underpins our Financial Regulations and Procedures as they recognise whole life costing, quality, and running costs.  Responsibility for approving and changing these rests with our Board of Directors.

If any conflict arises between the Financial Regulations and Procedures and the VfM principle, the Chief Operating Officer and Chief Financial Officer is required to make appropriate recommendations and/or seek further advice from the Principal and Chief Executive Officer, and/or the Board of Directors as required.

Note: This Value for Money Statement has been approved by our Board of Directors upon a recommendation from our Senior Management Team and is updated on an annual basis.

Previous Value for Money Statements

We update our Value for Money Statement on an annual basis, you can view previous statements below. For more detailed financial information, you can take a look at our Annual Accounts.

Value for money is about much more than our finances. At Bloomsbury Institute, our students are at the heart of everything we do, and our efforts are geared towards offering students from all backgrounds the opportunity to pursue success through education.

We are committed to ensuring that all our activities represent value for money to our current and future students  and to the Institute.

Our model for ensuring value for money runs throughout our organisation. Our Board of Directors ensure that there is transparency and accountability in guaranteeing value for money for both our students and taxpayers.

Our Strategic Framework includes our commitment to drive Institute-wide sustainability. We invest our income into delivering our purpose and we carefully manage our growth to ensure we do not lose sight of our responsibility to our community, our stakeholders and the environment.

The information below explains how our finances work. It sets out where our income comes from, what we spend our money on and how our undergraduate student fees are typically used.

Where does our income typically come from?

In 2019-20, 99% of our income came from tuition fees and the remaining 1% represented Other Income from government sources.

We currently have two streams of income, tuition fee income from our students and funding body grants from the Office for Students.

What do we typically spend our money on?

Our income is spent on our students – predominantly on the teaching, learning and support services we provide and student bursaries e.g. our travel bursary.

In 2019-20 our income was spent on:

Here’s what’s included in the categories above:

Teaching and Learning Provision: Academic staff salaries, franchise fees, teaching venue costs, textbooks and eBook charges and library charges.

Support services: Professional services staff salaries, student expenses, student employability expenses, Student Guild grant, memberships and licence fees.

Premises and Administration: Rent, rates, utilities, repairs and maintenance and insurance, advertising and marketing and agency commission

Other expenditure: Legal and professional fees, training and development.

IT Costs: IT Subscriptions, equipment leasing, computers and software costs.

The above is based on our 2019-20 audited financial statements.

What have we invested in?

In 2019-20, we invested in a range of initiatives, including:

  • A brand-new, in-house radio station – Bloomsbury Radio. Students took part in a range of radio training sessions organised and ran by the station.
  • Enhancing our academic skills and employability provision – we employed 2 members of staff focusing on delivering embedded curriculum sessions, inviting guest speakers (including CIMA, ACCA, and CMI) and delivering small group and one-to-one support.
  • Our first Advance HE Accredited programme, In-Bloom. This was to award our staff professional recognition.
  • Mentimeter software – to enhance the interactivity of students in classes.
  • Get Ahead – a programme of summer activities, workshops and short courses for students over the summer break.

More recently, in 2021-22, we have invested in:

  • A long-term licence agreement for brand-new, state-of-the-art teaching facilities at 393-395 Euston Road.
  • New office space in central London for our academic and support services staff.
  • Our Student Guild – to enable the Guild to continue to provide social and recreational facilities to our students.
  • A travel bursary for our new students, to enable them to attend campus and participate in all the activities, without the worry of travel costs.

Year-on-year, we remain above the sector average for student satisfaction in the National Student Survey (NSS). In 2019, 87% of our students were satisfied with their overall experience at Bloomsbury Institute – 12% higher than the previous year and 3% higher than the sector average (84%). In 2020 and 2021, student satisfaction hit a high of 89%. This was 14% higher than the sector in 2021.