Business and Technology Education Council
The Business and Technology Education Council (BTEC) is a provider of secondary school leaving qualifications and further education qualifications in England, Wales and Northern Ireland. Whilst the T in BTEC previously stood for Technical, according to the DFE (2016) it now stands for Technology. BTECs originated in 1984 and were awarded by Edexcel from 1996. Their origins lie in the Business Education Council, formed in 1974 to "rationalise and improve the relevance of sub-degree vocational education". It is a wholly owned subsidiary of Pearson plc.
BTEC qualifications, especially Level 3, are accepted by all UK universities (in many instances combined with other qualifications such as A Levels) when assessing the suitability of applicants for admission, and many such universities base their conditional admissions offers on a student's predicted BTEC grades. Currently, Imperial College is the only university in Britain not to accept BTECs at all.
A report by the Social Market Foundation in January 2018 found that more than a quarter (26%) of university applicants in England entered HE with at least one BTEC qualification. The research found that BTECs provide a particularly significant route to higher education for specific groups, with almost half students entering university with a BTEC, alongside large numbers of students in specific regions, including the North West, Yorkshire and the Humber, North East and West Midlands. This followed a separate report published by HEPI in 2017 on BTECs and higher education.