Private medical college decries poor diagnosis

University of Buckingham says academic standards at Medipathways College, whose courses it validates, ‘remain strong’ despite QAA report

November 6, 2014

A university that validates courses at a private medical college has insisted that academic standards and teaching at the institution “remain strong” despite its being criticised by the higher education watchdog.

In a report published earlier this year, the Quality Assurance Agency said that Medipathways College – a small London-based institution that has been offering university-level courses for aspiring medical and dental students since 2011 – was failing to meet expectations in two key areas.

These included the expectation that degree-awarding bodies should take “ultimate responsibility for academic standards and the quality of learning opportunities” and that education providers should “produce information for their intended audiences about the higher education they offer that is fit for purpose, accessible and trustworthy”. Both of these failures were deemed to cause a “serious” level of risk by the QAA.

According to the review, Medipathways was formed in close association with the University of Buckingham. All current Medipathways programmes – of which there are three – are validated by the university.

The report accepts that the college, which utilises teaching and laboratory facilities at Birkbeck, University of London, was taking action to improve.

A spokesman for Medipathways said that the college was a “very young institution offering unique pathways into arguably the most competitive degree courses such as medicine and dentistry”, and was proud of its record in this area.

He added that the institution was “confident” that the outcome of its next review, due to take place in February, would confirm that the issues had been addressed.

“As a result we will be able to develop and build on our achievements and continue to assist our students, always keeping their interests as our principal focus,” he said.

A spokeswoman from Buckingham added: “After careful consideration of the report, we are confident that the academic standards and teaching at Medipathways remain strong. This is reflected in the career paths of the students, as Medipathways students have an excellent track record of going on to study dentistry and medicine both in the UK and abroad.

“We are actively working with Medipathways to address the areas for improvement identified in the report.”

chris.parr@tesglobal.com

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