Fifth college given foundation degree awarding powers as moratorium ends

Will Martin

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The Hull College Group has become the fifth FE college in England to be granted foundation degree awarding powers.

Following a consultation process with the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), the group – which consists of Hull College, Harrogate College, Goole College, HCUK Training and University Campus Scarborough – will be able to offer foundation degrees from January. The group said the additional powers would attract learners who needed higher-level qualifications to gain employment or continue their studies.

The four colleges which already have foundation degree awarding powers are: Grimsby Institute, New College Durham, Newcastle College and Warwickshire College. The news comes after the government ended its moratorium on applications for degree awarding powers.

The QAA report said that the group’s “provision for learning, teaching, and student support is well managed and resourced”, and that the provider’s approach to learning was a “strength”.

Hull College Group is already one of the largest FE providers of higher education courses in England, with 1,500 students studying a range of vocational and academic courses.

Chief executive Gary Warke said: “We are delighted that after almost two years, the QAA has recognised the high quality staffing, resources and infrastructure at Hull College Group enabling an outstanding higher education offer to meet the needs of our students, employers and key stakeholders.”

Alastair Thomson, principal of University Campus Scarborough and group director for higher education, added: “With our own foundation degree awarding powers, Hull College Group will be able to make significant improvements in its higher education provision.”

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