Subscriptions for 2021

Core subscription fee rates

The information below sets out the core fee rates for 2021. For FE colleges and sixth form colleges which provide HE ("HE in FE Providers") there is a reduction of 30% in the core subscription fee. This is to reflect the different regulatory and funding environment in FE.

The Board agreed an increase in core subscription fee rates for 2021 of 5.0% for all providers.

Core subscription fee rates for 2021 (to be pro-rated for providers joining the OIA Scheme part way through the year)

Student numbers Band

Core subscription fee (£)
(All Scheme members except as otherwise specified)

Core subscription fee (£)
(HE in FE providers)

Up to and including 200 students AA 480 336
201 to 500 students A 991 694
501 to 1,500 students B 2,000 1,400
1,501 to 6,000 students C 10,753 7,527
6,001 to 12,000 students D 21,336 14,935
12,001 to 20,000 students E 35,465 24,826
20,001 to 30,000 students F 53,608 37,526
30,001 to 50,000 students G 63,706 44,594
50,001 to 100,000 students H 78,395 54,877
More than 100,000 students I 120,449 84,314

All providers of School-Centred Initial Teacher Training (SCITTs) pay the same core subscription fee for 2021 of £280.

Providers that are brought into membership of our Scheme because their HE provision is franchised from another provider and are not on the OfS Register, or because they are a provider in England that is not on the OfS Register but is providing a course leading to an award of another member that is in England, pay a core subscription fee for 2021 of £280 per annum.

Data source and period

Where possible we take the student numbers we use to put providers into bands from the most recent relevant published data from HESA or HEIFES data returns. This includes students reported through the HESA Aggregate Offshore record, and from 2021 those in HESA’s alternative provider data. We use the 2018/19 reporting period for 2021 subscriptions.

Where a member does not report their student numbers through these returns we use self-reporting. We reserve the right to review and adjust self-reported figures following a cross-checking process.

Case-related element of subscriptions

Subscriptions may also include a smaller case-related element which is charged where the number of complaints we received from students at the provider in the previous year exceeded the band's point threshold. Each case that students bring to us above that number incurs "points" and then the number of points the provider is over the threshold determines the fee.

For cases received in 2021, there is one point for each case that is not eligible for us to review, two points where the case is settled or withdrawn before it goes to full review and five points where we fully review the case. Where we decide not to review a complaint because, for example, we decide that the complaint is intended to cause disruption or annoyance, it will not incur any points. We may reduce the points allocated for cases that are part of a group complaint or are linked complaints. We will make the final decision about the points allocated to a case. We may need to make some assumptions at year end, which we will change later as appropriate (for example if we find we can settle a case that we had expected to fully review).

From 2021 each point over the threshold is worth £220.


Band 2021 points threshold
AA/Providers not on the banding system 5
A 5
B 6
C 10
D 22
E 39
F 59
G 81
H 151
I 420

We pro-rate the points threshold for providers joining our Scheme part way through the year. However, we do not reduce the points threshold below five points. This is to make sure that no provider pays the case element for the first case we receive during the calendar year.

We normally invoice for the case element each year in the Spring for the previous year's cases. We provide interim statement information in-year to help with record keeping.

If you have any queries about our subscriptions please contact

Non-payment of OIA subscriptions

Under the Higher Education Act 2004, providers that are members of the OIA Scheme are required to pay our subscriptions. In the rare event that a provider does not pay, we will pursue payment in line with our procedure for non-payment of OIA subscriptions.

Non-Payment of OIA Subscriptions
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We are funded by subscriptions from higher education providers that are members of our Scheme. Our Board sets the level of subscriptions each year. There are two elements to the subscription fee, a core subscription and a case-related element.

For the purposes of subscriptions, our year runs from January to December. Where appropriate, rates will be pro-rated, for example where a provider joins our Scheme part way through a year.

If you have any queries, please email 

Our subscriptions

Find out more about how we are funded, details of our core subscription fee rates and information about our case-fee element


Our Scheme

Learn more about how we are funded, the Rules of our Scheme, how we engage and who our members are.

Our members

Find out more about membership and the members of our Scheme.

Our organisation

Learn more about how we are governed, our values, our service and our people.