Having gained Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) in June 2016, NCG became the first FE institution in the UK ever to be able to develop and award its own honours and masters degrees.
Here we speak to Ann Baxter, Director of HE at NCG, as she explains the benefits of gaining Taught Degree Awarding Powers.
“TDAP represents a great opportunity for students to benefit from a wider range of degree level provision and puts NCG on an equal footing to universities in the degree awarding market.
“It helps us to build on our strengths as a vocational HE provider, developing degrees which are more responsive and meet the skills needs of employers. It also supports the Government’s increased focus on higher level apprenticeships and offers more opportunities for students from all backgrounds to progress into higher education.”
The ground-breaking development followed on from an intensive scrutiny process by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, who recognised that HE provision at Newcastle College, West Lancashire College and Kidderminster College provides a high quality offer to students equivalent to that of a university and that NCG is a mature organisation capable of setting and regulating its own quality standards.
“At an organisational level it also enables greater autonomy and self-governance, gives recognition of the maturity and ability of the organisation and provides increased flexibility to manage opportunities for employer engagement and work based learning.
“It also provides us with HE module certificates, power to validate others, influence at a national level and full control of higher/degree apprenticeship development.
“Our colleges already work closely with employers to develop provision that addresses local and national skills gaps. Degree awarding powers enables us to be more responsive to the demand for higher level skills as well as supporting the local economy and more people into jobs.”
Since being awarded Taught Degree Awarding Powers, NCG has already developed and validated its first BA Hons degree. This is the first full degree award to be validated by a college group in the UK.
The new BA (Hons) online degree in Leadership and Business Management saw its first cohort of online learning students in January 2017.
NCG already offer more than 85 Foundation Degrees and Honours Degrees in a wide range of subjects. It was also one of the first to be awarded Foundation Degree Awarding Powers in 2011 and has a well-established, successful track record of providing learners with a fantastic learning experience. Since 2014 over 1,000 graduates each year have had their degrees accredited solely by NCG and not a partner university.
NCG will enrol students on to a number of new programmes which have recently been validated as part of our Taught Degree Awarding Power. These include: BA(Hons) Dance; Masters in Business Administration; BA(Hons) Fine Art; and a Post Graduate Certificate in Education.
NCG was also recently awarded a Teaching and Excellence Silver award for the quality of its Higher Education teaching. The Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) was introduced by the Government to build evidence about the performance of the UK’s world-class higher education sector.
NCG was awarded the silver award due to its excellent outcomes for students and outstanding progression to highly skilled employment or further study.