NEWS IN DETAIL...
Top results in higher education standards review
Cornwall College, which includes Duchy College and Falmouth Marine School, has been praised for the quality of its higher education (HE) courses by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) – the Ofsted-equivalent for universities and colleges.
The outcome of the College’s Integrated Quality and Enhancement Review (IQER), which took place in March, was published on 6th June. Designed specifically for further education colleges offering HE courses, the independent assessment focuses on academic standards and quality of learning opportunities, both of which the body said it had ‘confidence’ in; the highest of three grades. It was also evaluated on its ability to provide public information about itself, which the QAA said was ‘reliable’, also the highest ruling.
Particular praise was heaped on Cornwall College’s strong employer links, which help students gain work-based and work-related skills and knowledge, backed up by the embedding of a Personal and Employability Skills Development module across all courses. The review noted that employers are also involved in programme development and in some case delivery of modules. Students reported that their ‘learning is shaped and enhanced by the work-based tasks and assessments, which clearly link theory to practice’, and also noted that the work-related opportunities offered boost their employability.
The report noted that many members of staff are still currently working in the industry relevant to the courses they lecture on and many hold senior positions in relevant industry societies. Students commended the quality of teaching and ‘commented enthusiastically on the accessibility of all staff and how they value the prompt responses to their questions and concerns’.
The College’s support for academic activity by many staff was highlighted as good practice as it results in an ‘impressive output of research’. Research throughout Cornwall College matches the diversity of its courses, the local economy and Cornish communities. It ranges from commercial support for businesses to academic research of an international standard.
The HE management structure was deemed to be ‘robust’, offering effective support for the consistency of academic standards, with particular consideration given to this success in light of such a large operation across several campuses.
Cornwall College runs over 60 university-level courses including foundation degrees, higher national diplomas/certificates, bachelor’s degrees and master’s programmes, and has recently added a number of new courses for this year as a result of being awarded more places by the Higher Education Funding Council for England. All undergraduate courses are awarded by Plymouth University as well as the Research Masters. Coventry University awards the Masters in Management. The College has 1,800 students currently enrolled on full-time and part-time HE courses across seven campuses in Camborne, Newquay, St Austell, Saltash, Duchy College in Stoke Climsland and Rosewarne, and Falmouth Marine School.
Dave Linnell, Principal of Cornwall College, said: “We’ve set our fees for higher education courses at £6000 a year for those starting in September 2012 which is considerably lower than many of the region’s establishments. This was a conscious decision to offer as many people as possible the chance to gain a high quality university-level qualification. The report from the QAA proves that our standards match or exceed other institutions. We have been given the highest grading possible in the key areas of academic standards and learning opportunities which reflects our ability to deliver the best possible education.”
Cornwall College is running a university courses open day on Friday 15th June at its campuses in Camborne, Newquay, St Austell and Saltash where prospective students will have the chance to find out more about their chosen subject, tour the facilities, meet current students, discuss finance, accommodation and transport, and have a taste of student life. Places must be booked in advance for the event which runs from 10.30am to 4pm. Please CLICK HERE, call 0845 22 32 567 or email email@example.com for more information.
The full report from the QAA can be seen HERE.