New College Durham has reached another milestone in its University Centre Provision as it has received the rare honour of being granted indefinite powers for awarding foundation degrees by the Office for Students.
Fewer than 10 of the 180 further education providers in the UK have the right to award their own named foundation degrees and New College Durham is proud to be among that exclusive group. The College was originally granted time limited degree awarding powers in August 2017, allowing it to create bespoke programmes and award its own degrees up to level five. Over the past five years, the Office for Students (OfS) has been so impressed by the excellent range of high-quality foundation degrees on offer, it has removed the time limit giving the University Centre the power to award degrees indefinitely.
This prestigious development now allows NCD to award foundation degrees on an indefinite basis and authorise other institutions to grant foundation degree awards on its behalf. This will give the college's University Centre greater flexibility and the ability to plan longer term, benefitting the region’s employers and the local community.
Alison Maynard, Deputy Principal of New College Durham was delighted that the new indefinite foundation degree awarding powers will give the college the chance to expand the range of courses it offers. She commented:
“At New College we love to see people graduate and we’re thrilled that we’ve been granted the ability to do so forever! At our graduation ceremony in July, over a third of the students graduating had studied New College Durham foundation degrees. This shows how important our provision is to the local community. These new powers will allow us to plan long term so we can respond to new technologies, address rising green skills needs and work with employers to help plug skills gaps. Students will benefit from a first-class learning experience, developing work skills that are relevant to high quality careers and the needs of local businesses.”
Vice Principal for High Education, Peter Morrison, said the new development was the product of years of hard work, adding: “We are extremely proud of this achievement which demonstrates our commitment to building partnerships with employers, investing in staff and financing cutting edge facilities and resources. Our new building, the Higher and Technical Education Hub, which is opening later this year is just one example of our commitment to providing state of the art facilities for higher technical and professional education.”
The University Centre currently offers 16 NCD foundation degrees in a range of subjects including art, design and media, computing and digital, health and social care, tourism, sport and uniformed services. The higher education provision also includes degrees, top up degrees, higher apprenticeships and professional qualifications.