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Student loans now allowed at Spurgeon's College after previously failing registration

by Tola Mbakwe

The universities regulator turned down Spurgeon College's registration application in August because it didn't meet a financial sustainability test.

The OfS said Spurgeon's was forecasting deficits, cash outflows from its core activities and weak liquidity. In addition, the OfS's view was that the college did not have sufficient financial resources to be sustainable.

The regulator considered that the college's plan to address these issues was not credible and was insufficient to resolve the OfS's concerns about financial viability and sustainability.

Back then, Spurgeon's said it did have enough money to operate and that it "fundamentally disagrees with this financial assessment and believes it has been made on seriously flawed assumptions".

Surgeon's applied again in October with new information about its financial position and has now passed the test.

OfS said the second application contained new information, including evidence of changes relevant to the college's financial position.

Spurgeon's College said in a statement: "We are delighted that following this decision we can continue with increased vigour on our core mission to train men and women for Christian ministry.

"This decision comes off the back of considerable effort from our staff, Governors and wider family. We would like to thank everyone including our friends in Parliament, the House of Lords and the wider Christian community for their efforts and prayers."

The OfS said it remains firmly of the view that its original decision to refuse registration is legally robust and appropriate on the basis of the evidence submitted by the college, including during the representations process and the factual position that existed at the time.

The OfS said it "therefore strongly refutes the public statements made by the college that suggest otherwise".

Spurgeon's thanked the OfS for working with them "in a constructive way on this matter."

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