University of Wales pulls in its tentacles

The University of Wales has pulled degree accreditation from all courses except those designed and fully controlled by the institution.

The decision, announced yesterday, comes after it was exposed as having suspect links to foreign colleges, including an institution run by a Malaysian pop star with bogus degrees.

In a statement, the university says: “The transformed university will cease to be an accrediting body for other universities in Wales.

“It will instigate discussions with these universities to withdraw from awarding degrees to their students. The university will also bring to a close validated programmes offered at centres in the UK and overseas and introduce a new academic model.”

It says it has a “duty of care” to students on existing programmes and will honour its current commitments to them.

“However, from next year, all universities in Wales will either have to use their own degree-awarding powers or make other arrangements for the courses they run both locally and on a transnational basis,” the university adds.

Other institutions affected will have one year to prepare for the changes.

The move follows criticism from Leighton Andrews, the Welsh education secretary, who said the institution had let down Wales following the foreign accreditation scandal.

Peter Noyes, vice-chancellor of the University of Wales Newport, said his institution might have to use its own powers to fill the gap.

“This is of deep regret to me and it now seems inappropriate for the University of Wales to hold the title that it does,” he told the BBC.

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