London, England, July 26, 2010 – BPP is the first private provider to become a university college in 34 years.

David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Skills, has today announced that BPP College of Professional Studies is to become BPP University College with immediate effect. This is the first time a private institution has been awarded the University College title since Buckingham University College – now the University of Buckingham – was created in 1976.

The new title ‘University College’ comes three years after BPP was first awarded degree-awarding powers. It is the only private University College in the UK and offers degrees at undergraduate and postgraduate level in Business and Law.

David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science said:

“The Coalition Government is committed to promoting a wider range of educational opportunities, delivering a more diverse higher education system and matching the skills employers want. So I am delighted that, less than four months after coming to office, we are creating the first new private University College in over 30 years.

“It is healthy to have a vibrant private sector working alongside our more traditional universities. International experience shows a diverse range of higher education providers helps widen access, focuses attention on teaching quality and promotes innovative learning methods, such as web-based distance learning.

“We want to see a higher education sector that is dynamic and flexible and focussed on the needs of students and employers. We look forward to working with BPP University College and other private institutions to help achieve that.”

Carl Lygo, Chief Executive Officer, BPP said:

“Ensuring the UK has a high quality private sector for Higher Education is crucial to help provide greater opportunity and choice for students. We are delighted to be at the forefront of these developments with our 34 year history of serving the accountancy and legal professions. Becoming a University College is another major step in our journey, and we have some exciting growth plans for the next 5 years, which include expanding into other sectors, increasing our range of programmes and providing highly flexible methods of study.”

“The education landscape is changing, and over the next decade we will see a different picture emerging, where both students and employers will drive demand for their preferred method of study and training. We see ourselves as a pioneer in this field, and hope that our unique status and self funding model will lead the way in which other providers will be able to operate in.”

As well as creating additional university places for graduates this September, BPP trains over 140,000 professionals worldwide each year. Through its regional network of 14 city centre locations in the UK, it provides education and training to the accountancy, financial services and legal sectors, building on nearly 35 years of expertise.