Validation wrangle over new degrees

June 16, 2000

Further education colleges' hopes for a national validating system for foundation degrees are likely to be dashed.

The government-appointed group considering responses to the foundation degree proposals is expected to reject calls for the Open University to provide a national framework for the qualification.

The national validation framework has been proposed by the Association of Colleges as an alternative for FE colleges that do not want to be tied to the requirements of their local university.

The AoC is concerned that foundation degree students wishing to progress from college to an honours degree will be restricted to moving to the local university validating the qualification under a consortium arrangement.

Colleges will lose the current flexible arrangements for higher national diplomas and certificates that have national awarding bodies and so are not tied to local higher education institutions.

The so-called "mixed economy" group of colleges, which have a high proportion of higher education work, had also been pinning their hopes for moving to polytechnic status on an OU-validated national framework.

The foundation degree group is considering responses, in preparation for publishing a prospectus in July containing possible models, funding arrangements, and criteria for the qualification. Tenders for up to ten pilots will be invited in September.

Government officials are understood to be wary of putting in place a system that might encourage FE institutions to move independently towards offering more higher education.

In its response paper, the AoC also argues for funding for foundation degree programmes to flow direct to provider colleges, rather than through the validating institution.

It says: "Within a consortium arrangement, although the HEI will be responsible for validation and quality assurance, funding should go direct to the providers."

Already registered?

Sign in now if you are already registered or a current subscriber. Or subscribe for unrestricted access to our digital editions and iPad and iPhone app.

Have your say

Log in or register to post comments

Featured Jobs

User Acceptance Testing Technician CAMBRIDGE ASSESSMENT
Director of Teaching and Learning UNIVERSITY OF THE WEST OF ENGLAND
Director of Learning and Teaching UNIVERSITY OF GREENWICH (MAIN ADDRESS)

Register to continue  

You've enjoyed reading five THE articles this month. Register now to get five more, or subscribe for unrestricted access.

Most Commented

Globalisation

Times Higher Education World University Rankings data reveal the top 200 most outward-looking institutions

Common cactus finch (Geospiza scandens)

Tiffany Taylor on a thought-provoking view of the forces acting to ensure survival

Stressed businessman answering four telephones

Some surveys show faculty putting in at least 60 hours a week, but research casts doubt on whether this is a productive routine

Student asking question during class

University of Reading research finds link between undergraduate satisfaction and ethnicity of lecturers

Level of quality compass

Authors argue this means universities should spend less on senior academics and give promising younger scholars more of a chance