The UK Further and Higher Education Act of 1992 defines Higher Education Institutes as institutes providing education above the secondary school level. This would include all university and colleges providing education to graduates of secondary schools. Any international student with a degree from their home country will have their degree evaluated to being equivalent to the UK degree or not. In the case that the international student’s previous degree is ineligible to him or her to pursue studies in UK then they may be required in a short duration diploma or foundation course before enrolling into the university program.
Higher education in the UK can be obtained by enrolling into University and/or college. It should be noted that colleges are both dependent and independent of the University. For example a university like oxford would have several colleges under it in teach its various academic programs. Whereas London School of Economics would be an independent college. The UK government regularly inspects its academic institutions to ensure the highest level of quality.