Cardiff and Vale College has become the first college in Wales to gain the green light from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) enabling it to offer and award more Higher Education courses following a successful Gateway Review.
In a report, following an earlier review, the QAA has confirmed that CAVC’s provision meets all the expected academic standards. The Agency noted that there can be confidence that the student academic experience meets the quality standards.
The largest college in Wales, and one of the largest in the UK, CAVC already offers a broad range of Higher Education courses to hundreds of people each year, which it runs in partnership with subject-leading universities.
QAA approval will mean that the College can now offer and award its own vocational Higher Education courses at Levels 4 and 5. It will expand upon its work with employers across the Capital Region to identify areas of need and skills shortages and develop bespoke provision to address them and boost economic development.
Cardiff and Vale College Principal Kay Martin said:
“The College already has a strong network of university partners with whom we offer a broad range of university qualifications, from foundation degrees through to full degrees and postgraduate qualifications. We will continue to work closely with these universities as we expand our Higher Education courses.
“QAA approval will allow us to expand this crucial provision yet further. It allows us to offer more affordable, vocational courses as students will be able to save by studying locally, rather than incurring the costs of moving to university. Employers will also benefit as CAVC’s ability to develop bespoke vocational programmes at Level 4 and 5 will help fill skills gaps and bolster our commitment to developing higher level skills to meet needs and build economic development.”
Education Minister Kirsty Williams said:
“Congratulations to Cardiff and Vale College in its successful bid to deliver more Higher Education qualifications, which is an endorsement of the College’s high academic standards.
“The wider breadth of qualifications the College can deliver is good news for students, staff and employers who recruit skilled workers from the College, which will now include vocational degree or HND level candidates.”
What QAA approval will mean
For Cardiff and Vale College staff: Staff will have the opportunity to teach higher level courses. Staff delivering on Higher Education courses will be supported to become Fellows of the Higher Education Academy (Advance HE) and have the opportunity to complete small research projects.
For CAVC students: More HE courses which will be more affordable, saving learners money when compared to studying an undergraduate university degree. Students will also be able to access student finance to cover costs and be able to study full or part-time.
For employers in the region: By being able to broaden its development of bespoke programmes at Levels 4 and 5, the College will be better placed to respond to meet the needs of employers and develop courses that suit their needs at a competitive rate. The College will map this against its apprenticeship framework, allowing for more flexible delivery of provision.