First colleges to gain the right to award own degrees

Published on Monday, 08 August 2011 09:27
Posted by Scott Buckler

Two further education colleges have become the first institutions to be given the right to award their own foundation degrees (August 8th)


The Privy Council has granted foundation degree awarding powers to the Corporation of Newcastle College and the Corporation of New College Durham, following detailed scrutiny of their applications by the Quality Assurance Agency.

Business Secretary Dr Vince Cable said:

Foundation degrees have grown in popularity in recent years, with around 100,000 students enrolled in them last year. We want to increase the study choices for students by enabling FE colleges to offer higher education qualifications; they can often do so in a more flexible way.”

Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:

I am delighted that the first two further education colleges have now been awarded foundation degree awarding powers. We want to ensure that institutions offering high quality work-focussed degrees can compete on a level playing field for prospective students.”

New College Durham Principal John Widdowson said:

“We are delighted to have been granted foundation degree awarding powers which acknowledges the role that New College Durham plays in delivering high quality higher education and which gives the College the flexibility to develop new higher education courses to meet the needs of employers and students.”

Newcastle College Corporation and its subsidiary companies trade as NCG. NCG Chief Executive Jackie Fisher said:

We are delighted that Newcastle College Corporation is able to award its own Foundation Degrees. Foundation Degree Awarding Powers create a platform for us to forge ahead with our plans for Taught Degree Awarding Powers and gives us the opportunity to provide students with degrees that will give them the powers to get jobs and progress in their careers."

The Privy Council has also agreed to award the School of Oriental and African Studies, a constituent college of University of London, taught and research degree awarding powers.

Source: BIS

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