NCG becomes country’s first FE provider to be allowed to award own Degrees in historic decision
We are delighted to announce that we are the first FE institution in the UK ever to be able to develop and award its own Honours and Masters degrees.
Granted by the Privy Council, NCG has been awarded Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP). This represents a great opportunity for our 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.
We will use these new powers to build on our strengths as a vocational HE provider, developing degrees which are more responsive and meet the skills needs of employers. It will also allow us to support the Government’s increased focus on higher level apprenticeships and offer more opportunities for students from all backgrounds to progress into higher education.
This ground-breaking development follows on from an intensive scrutiny process by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education, who recognised that HE provision at our Colleges – Newcastle College, West Lancashire College and Kidderminster College – provide a high quality offer to students equivalent to that of a university and that we are a mature organisation capable of setting and regulating its own quality standards.
NCG, which has a nationwide network of colleges and training providers including Newcastle College, West Lancashire College and Kidderminster College already offer more than 85 Foundation Degrees and Honours Degrees in a wide range of subjects. We were also one of the first to be awarded Foundation Degree Awarding Powers in 2011 and have a well-established, successful track record of providing learners with 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 Chief Executive, Joe Docherty said: “Gaining Taught Degree Awarding powers is a landmark development for the sector. It’s a real breakthrough nationally and we are extremely proud to be leading the way for the whole of the further education sector.”
“Our colleges already work closely with employers to develop provision that addresses local and national skills gaps. Degree Awarding powers will enable us to be more responsive to the demand for higher level skills as well as supporting the local economy and more people into jobs.
“We look forward to seeing other colleges following this path and would be happy to share our experiences with others in the sector.”
Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said: “This is a significant step forward for NCG and opens up more opportunities for young people in the local community to enjoy the benefits that higher education can bring.”
Commenting on colleges being able to award taught degrees, Martin Doel, Chief Executive of the Association of Colleges, said: “The ability to award taught degrees is a big step forward in demonstrating the quality of higher education (HE) provision delivered in the sector. Hopefully the Government’s Higher Education and Research Bill will reduce any unnecessary bureaucracy to benefit colleges currently in the application process.
“We predict that more colleges will follow the example set by NCG in the next few years and will provide a distinctive HE service that meets the needs of local employers and communities.”
Chi Onwurah, MP for Newcastle Central said : “This is a fantastic achievement for NCG and Newcastle College. Promoting fair access to higher education and giving local people more choice on where they want to study is vitally important. Our Colleges sit at the heart of our communities providing many opportunities for people of all ages to progress into higher education and employment, as well as supporting local businesses through higher level skills and training.
“As Chair of the APPG on Adult Education and a Newcastle MP I’ve seen first-hand how local colleges can vastly improve lives and support our thriving business community and regional economy.”
Jamie Martin, Chair of Governors, NCG said : “This award is a huge vote of confidence for NCG and its Colleges, and I am delighted at this tremendous achievement. NCG is once again leading the way for the FE sector and breaking new ground. Taught Degree Awarding Powers will enable our Colleges to be more responsive to the regional and national skills agenda through the development of higher level skills and training.
“This is something that the team at NCG have worked towards for many years and will set the bar for the sector as a whole. I very much hope that it will encourage other FE providers to continue the development of vocational higher level skills and training for the benefit of our regional and national economy.”