The requirements for the contents of fee and access plans are set out in sections 4 to 6 of the 2015 Act.
Not only does a fee and access plan have to specify a fee limit to be charged for each course (not exceeding the prescribed maximum) but it must also include provisions relating to the promotion of equality of opportunity and higher education as may be prescribed. The Higher Education (Fee and Access Plans) (Wales) Regulations 2015 (S.I. 2015/1498) make provision about fee and access plans. Section 2 of the 2015 Act provides that fee and access plans may be submitted to the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (“HEFCW”) for approval by institutions which meet the criteria i.e. that they provide higher education in Wales and are a charity. A fee and access plan must specify the period in respect of which it relates but that must not exceed two years.
Approval of a fee and access plan by HEFCW leads to the automatic designation of an institution's courses for the purposes of statutory student support