Important News From University Centre Grimsby
Privy Council grants Grimsby Institute Foundation Degree Awarding Powers
The Grimsby Institute Group is delighted to announce that the Privy Council has granted the college Foundation Degree Awarding Powers. The Institute is one of only a few colleges to gain this status and as one of the largest providers of Higher Education within a college setting, it is now able to develop and award new vocational work-based Foundation Degrees which meet the needs of students, employers and the community.
The Institute started the process in January 2011 and after two and half years of scrutiny by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education it gained the right to award its own Foundation Degrees.
Universities and Science Minister David Willetts said:
"I am delighted that the Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education has become the third college in England to be awarded Foundation Degree Awarding Powers. This is a welcome step towards increasing the diversity and flexibility of higher education and giving prospective students even greater choice. Congratulations to all involved in this successful application."
Foundation Degrees are work-based vocational Higher Education qualifications studied over two years full-time or three years part-time. By gaining Foundation Degree Awarding Powers, the Institute will be able to respond to and support economic growth in the area by developing its existing provision and creating new Foundation Degrees which will enable the student to make real impact within the workplace or progress on to other Higher Education programmes to further develop high level skills and knowledge.
Sue Middlehurst, Principal and Chief Executive of the Grimsby Institute Group, said:
“The Institute is now better placed to respond to the needs of employers by creating Higher Education programmes which support their business needs.
“We are now able to respond quickly, flexibly and effectively to develop Foundation Degree programmes in partnership with local employers and local industry sectors, which means we can award our own Foundation Degrees that enable students and work-based learners to develop high-level work related knowledge and skills. Our Foundation Degrees usually involve work-based study, which can include employer sponsored projects so employers will be directly able to see the benefits of employees or potential employees studying at this level."
“Students equipped with a Foundation Degree are able to make a positive contribution in their job through bringing current and relevant knowledge to their company and are able to share best practice with colleagues.”
The process to gain Foundation Degree Awarding Powers was coordinated by Ellen Thinnesen, the Institute’s Assistant Principal for 14-19 and Higher Education, who said:
“Over nearly three years the QAA were able to assess and judge the Institute’s application for Foundation Degree Awarding Powers. I am delighted that all the hard work by staff has come to fruition. Throughout the process we were supported by students and employers who strengthened our application and I would like to thank everyone involved.
“Our award of these powers means the Institute has been assessed to deliver high-quality Higher Education programmes with the appropriate quality and standards for teaching, learning and assessment and education management.”
The Grimsby Institute has been delivering Foundation Degrees validated by a number of University partners, including the University of Hull for a number of years. Over the past three years more than 400 students have graduated with a Foundation Degree and have either progressed in Higher Education or employment. The grant of Foundation Degree Awarding Powers enables the Institute to respond to regional skills gaps, for example, by developing a specific Foundation Degree for a key employment sector or employer.
Employers and organisations, such as the CBI, have often talked about the challenges of equipping businesses with the skills they need to prosper; staff achieving Foundation Degrees is a recognised way to bring new skills and thinking in o the work place. The Humber Local Enterprise Partnership has recently published its skills strategy for the area which outlines the skills challenge for the Humber. Chief Executive of Humber LEP, Kishor Tailor, said:
“I am delighted with the announcement that Grimsby Institute will be able to award its own Foundation Degrees. This is a real step forward for the Humber region at a time when a number of major developments are beginning to take shape in creating Humber as the UKs Energy Estuary. The degrees offered will give students the skills that they require to gain employment in our major sectors, as well as up-skilling the current workforce."
The Institute has over 1850 Higher Education students studying at its University Centre who are studying a range of Higher Education qualifications in 15 programme areas. The granting of Foundation Degree Awarding Powers will enable the Institute to award its own Foundation Degrees from September 2014.
The grant by the Privy Council supports the Institute’s vision for outstanding, inspiring and innovative learning and its mission to deliver accessible and high-quality learning. It highlights the commitment to developing flexible and responsive Higher Education provision for its University Centre. The Institute has a longer-term vision to achieve full Taught Degree Awarding Powers.
As well as awarding its own Foundation Degrees from 2014, the Institute’s commitment to providing accessible education and training means that current and future Higher Education students will continue to benefit from the Institute’s stance on low cost fees; the fees for Higher Education at the Institute are around £3000 less than similar qualifications at other Universities.