§ Mr. Kilfoyle
To ask the Secretary of State for Education and Skills what plans he has to allow private organisations to award degrees. 
§ Margaret Hodge
Section 76 of the FHE Act 1992 allows the Privy Council to specify any institution offering higher education as competent to grant degrees. Institutions are required to meet specific criteria, as set out by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, before degree awarding powers are granted. Any institution which believes it fulfils the relevant criteria is eligible to apply to the Privy Council, including private organisations. There are currently two private institutions that have secured degree-awarding powers: University of Buckingham and Henley Management College.