New College Durham, the largest provider of Higher and Further Education in County Durham, has become one of the first institutions to be granted Foundation Degree Awarding Powers by the Privy Council.
It was the first College in the region to embark on the lengthy and intense scrutiny process by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA) for Higher Education, to award its own Foundation Degrees. The criteria for a successful application had to establish that New College Durham was well-founded, cohesive and a self-critical academic community that demonstrates firm guardianship of its standards.
John Widdowson CBE, Principal and Chief Executive of New College Durham said: “We are delighted to have been given Foundation Degree Awarding Powers which acknowledges the role that New College Durham plays in delivering high quality Higher Education and which gives the College the flexibility to develop new higher education courses to meet the needs of employers and students.”
He continues: “We will develop our Foundation Degrees as valuable qualifications in their own right that will provide the students with the necessary skills and knowledge for employment or progression on to other programmes. Given the changes currently being experienced in Higher Education, we will look to develop the opportunities Foundation Degree Awarding Powers provides and consider the other options open to us as the situation within Higher Education develops”.
New College Durham has over 1,500 Higher Education students and as more students are staying local rather than leaving home, the prospect of joining a Higher Education programme at New College Durham, with affordable tuition fees, will have considerable appeal. New College Durham has a high quality portfolio of over 30 Foundation Degrees and other Higher Education provision, including Honours Degrees, in a wide range of subject areas.