Section 129 of the Education Reform Act 1988 allows the Welsh Ministers to designate certain institutions as eligible to receive funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales (HEFCW).
To be designated in this way an institution must meet one of the following criteria:
- more than 55 per cent of its full-time enrolments are students enrolled on higher education courses;
- it is, or is to be, run by a successor company to a higher education corporation.
A 'successor company to a higher education corporation' is a company whose founders were all members of a higher education corporation that has been dissolved by order and which has objects which are exclusively charitable and include the running of the institution that was previously run by the corporation.
A designated institution (other than one conducted by a company) will have an instrument and articles of government, which must be approved by the Privy Council.
Where a designated institution is run by a company, the articles of association of the company must include provision for the governing body of the institution (the instrument of government) and for the conduct of the institution (the articles of government).