Letter: No China crisis

January 11, 2002

Phil Baty's interpretation of the Quality Assurance Agency report on the University of Wales College, Newport's collaborative links with China is different from mine ("QAA wary of China ambitions", THES , January 4). The report states broad confidence "that quality of provision and academic standards are being maintained in the current model".

The audit team does not warn that success relies on "an individual member of staff" but rather acknowledges that the university is involving more UWCN staff in the programme.

To date, ten members of academic staff have visited China and contributed directly to teaching the MBA.

The QAA report was fair and balanced. It alerted institutions to the need for careful planning of collaborative activity in China. This is precisely what UWCN has accomplished since first offering this programme in 1997.

The MBA is the only programme UWCN offers in China. It is delivered at three carefully selected partner institutions, and we have no intention of scaling this up to a more extensive operation that might jeopardise standards. The growth in numbers achieved thus far has been steady and carefully controlled.

The THES article demonstrates how easy it is to take issues out of context and give a misleading impression. I am confident that the QAA will continue to have broad confidence in the collaborative activity of the University of Wales College, Newport.

Peter Noyes
Deputy principal and deputy chief executive
University of Wales College, Newport.

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