Educational Licensing: Navigating requirements - YB Case 2024

Educational Licensing: Navigating requirements

Educational Licensing: Navigating requirements

Opening a private university necessitates adherence to rigorous requisites and securing licensure for pedagogical activities. Accreditation furnishes an academic institution the formal entitlement to purvey education in accordance with established national benchmarks.

The licensing of educational institution enables governmental authorities to regulate the calibre of scholarly services rendered and ensure students' welfare and rights. Typically, to obtain sanctioning for academic exertions, an institution must tender documents substantiating its curriculum, faculty qualifications, fiscal stability, and other standards enacted by the appropriate bodies.

The regulation of the educational domain aims to guarantee equal rights for education, safeguard pupils' rights, and maintain the robustness of academic establishments. Licenses to conduct scholarly activities are conferred by competent agencies, usually educational authorities at the national or regional tier. Dissimilar countries and regions impose discrete regulatory requisites, so the process necessitates customization and expert legal backing.

Obtaining educational licence: Prerequisites and procedures

The process of securing academic licensing is fairly labor-intensive, necessitating conformity with ample formalities. While specific requirements may vary by jurisdiction, the pathway typically mandates:

  • Preparing documentation (curriculum and calendar schemas, business plans, faculty rosters detailing qualifications, financial records, and further materials corroborating the institution's compliance with quality standards).
  • Petitioning the appropriate regulatory body, such as the Ministry of Education or analogous agency, via formal application.
  • Evaluation by authorities, encompassing assessments of academic programs, instructor credentials, facilities, financial health, and other elements.
  • Remitting the requisite licensing fees.

Additionally, institutions may face interviews or hearings to discuss the activity plan and confirm their intentions.

To obtain licences for educational services, petitioners must tender certain foundational documents to the apropos regulatory body, including:

  • Application for licensure
  • Articles of Incorporation/Memorandum of Association
  • Certificate of Registration
  • Tax registration certificate
  • Documentation verifying the applicant's rights to utilize any intellectual property required for instructional activities
  • Proof of compliance with standards regarding facilities, technologies, faculty, and other material support.

Typically, officials review applications and attachments within 30 working days of submission. Based on due consideration, authorities will then enact a determination to either confer formal permissions to conduct educational programming or refuse the licence application.

The benefits of securing an educational licence

Obtaining an accreditation for an educational programme confers various key advantages, including:

  1. Licensure endorses the legitimacy of educational activities while certifying alignment with national benchmarks, bolstering reputational integrity.
  2. Approval signifies oversight bodies' corroboration that the educational programme satisfies certain standards.
  3. Licensed educational institutions may issue officially recognized documents and certificates carrying formal authority.
  4. Many students and partners prefer to engage with accredited establishments boasting official status and credentials.
  5. Depending on jurisdiction, licensed entities may qualify for state-sponsored programs, subsidies and other benefits.

Securing licences allows educational providers to operate legally while signalling focus on quality, value, and outcomes to crucial stakeholders.

Obtaining educational licence in Nigeria

Nigeria's academic landscape encompasses both public and private institutions. Applications for licensing educational services are tendered to the National Universities Commission.

  1. Licensees may represent or be sponsored by federal, state, or local government bodies or the following:
    • Nigerian registered companies
    • Groups/individuals who are Nigerian citizens meeting relevant criteria
  2. To secure licences, applicants must demonstrate the institution's provisions for:
    • Adequate capital and operating funds
    • Sufficient academic and support staff
  3. The federal authorities shall inspect:
    • Applicant’s finances, property, equipment suitability and adequacy
    • Proposed type of institution
    • Institution's goals
    • Current cost of services
It is important!
Assets transfer to the institution carried out only after obtaining a licence for educational activities.

Applicants also provide multi-year funding commitments, e.g.:

  • Universities: 200 million Naira (~$219,000 USD) over 5 years
  • Polytechnics: 100 million Naira (~$110,000 USD) over 5 years
  • Colleges: 50 million Naira (~$55,000 USD) over 5 years

In addition, applicants outline 20-25 year master facility/program development plans addressing:

  • Infrastructure and space planning
  • Minimum land areas: Universities — 100 hectares; Polytechnics — 50 hectares; Colleges — 25 hectares

Licensed establishments must accept all Nigerian students, regardless of demographics or beliefs.

Obtaining private university licence in India

A private Indian university must operate as a single integrated entity with ample provisions for instruction, research and advanced training. Licensing confines operations largely within the jurisdiction of the approving state. However, after initially establishing the main campus, exceptional cases may permit additional centres subject to specific conditions:

  1. Off-campus extensions require prior sanctioning by the University Grants Commission (UGC) and intended State Government.
  2. The UGC or designated agency conducts annual monitoring of decentralized centres.
  3. If performing unsatisfactorily, the UGC directs closure per mandatory requirements, while protecting enrolled students.
  4. Foreign campuses necessitate permissions from the Government of India and host country. For overseas centres, financial transfers follow Reserve Bank of India regulations.

Petitions for obtaining a licence for educational activities in India, must evidence minimum criteria across areas like level of educational programs, faculty qualifications, infrastructure, financial health, etc.

Academic councils govern approvals for undergraduate and postgraduate curricula. Degree courses must satisfy UGC or relevant statutory body stipulations.

The private university furnishes all pertinent details regarding academic programs, encompassing parameters like curriculum structures, pedagogy, examinations, eligibility criteria and more to the UGC.

Educational licensing requirements in Ukraine

In Ukraine, the Ministry of Education and Science issues licences for instructional activities to vocational, higher education, and postgraduate institutions.

Licence applicants must have the requisite research, teaching and scientific staff to deliver approved academic programs at the associated credential level.

  • At least 50% of personnel should hold scientific degrees.
  • The Master's programme requires a minimum of 10% doctoral faculty.
  • Each Postgraduate programme necessitates at least two doctors of science.

Technological prerequisites also apply, including:

  1. Ownership or minimum term usage rights for facilities to complete the first full enrolment cycle.
  2. Sufficient classrooms, labs, workshops, computer stations, training grounds, equipment, gym and athletic provisions per approved curricula.
  3. At least 25% of rooms should offer multimedia capabilities.
  4. Per-student space requirements of at least 2.4 sq meters across no more than 3 daily shifts, with minimum total areas of 2,000 sq meters for universities and 1,500 sq meters for satellite campuses.
  5. For second/third level programming, research institutions still require at least 2.4 sq meters per student space.
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Obtaining private school licence in Canada

Given Canada’s decentralized education governance, regulations vary province-to-province and territory-to-territory, each overseeing their standards.

Applications for operating a private Canadian school must include:

  1. Applicant identification details (name, address, contact information)
  2. Financial records
  3. Proof of secured funds per regulation to guarantee:
    • pupil's agreement compliance
    • legislative requirements adherence
  4. Evidence of non-cancellable 30-day liability insurance
  5. Descriptions of offered educational programmes
  6. Admissions prerequisites
  7. Complete schedule of fees and associated expenses
  8. Policies addressing:
    • pupil's assessments and intake
    • academic standing protocols
    • complaint investigations and proposed dispute settlements
  9. Draft apprenticeship agreements for proposed programmes
  10. Programme termination contingency completion plans allowing pupils to obtain equivalent education
  11. Details on premises securing proposed educational activities

Authorities evaluate submissions to determine satisfactory provisions are in place to deliver quality education while protecting consumer interests.

The table below summarizes the key information related to establishing a business in the education sector in Nigeria, Ukraine, and Canada. Keep in mind that this is a concise overview. To obtain detailed legal advice for each specific case, please consult YB Case experts.





Is a licence required?

Yes (offline university licence)

Individual requirements in each province

Is a physical office required?


Yes (the size of the office determines the number of students)

Individual requirements in each province

Educational program approval


Licensing requirements

Must meet requirements for offline and general online universities

Must meet requirements for autonomous university, staff training, local office

Most provinces require program accreditation and local government approval

Basic law

Guidelines for Open and Distance Education in Nigerian Universities

Law on Higher Education

Federal law and state regulations

Other aspects

Option for online university available after qualifying to teach offline

Online learning not completely regulated

Some provinces provide support for online learning


Parties interested in providing private educational services should solicit tailored advice from YB Case specialists regarding navigating their specific licensing and permissions. Our firm possesses specialized expertise steering clients through accreditation protocols while advocating their interests with oversight bodies. We provide experienced support assessing preparatory requirements and liaising with officials to augment prospects for successfully securing formal approval.

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