The bestowment of official awarding body status to Network Rail, Flybe and McDonald's by the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority represents a significant step towards developing the skilled workforce that the UK needs to compete in the global economy.
Quality education is not the sole preserve of publicly funded universities, and any suggestion that this initiative will devalue academic qualifications is severely misinformed and ultimately counterproductive.
As the first UK "for-profit" private-sector company to be granted degree-awarding powers, we are aware of this sort of institutional discrimination. That both the CBI and the Opposition recognise the positive potential of employer engagement in education illustrates the growing disconnect between some ivory towers and the real drivers of tomorrow's economy.
We applaud an initiative that has at its heart the objective to deliver better education and skills for this country's workforce.
Peter Crisp, Chief executive, BPP College of Professional Studies.