In a major boost for businesses and learners in the South West, The Cornwall College Group (TCCG) has secured foundation degree awarding powers.
As the only FE college in the region and one of nine in the entire country, TCCG now has the authority to co-create bespoke higher level courses with key employers efficiently and quickly to the requirements of each business.
TCCG Chief Executive and Principal Raoul Humphreys said the Group was “proud and delighted” to be given the backing to further help learners and employers progress onto greater achievements.
“This is testament to our maturity as a provider of Higher Education in FE for over 20 years,” he continued.
“We have been quietly achieving a mini revolution in building skills locally and have helped hundreds of thousands of learners into fulfilling and rewarding careers.
“Our ability to create bespoke foundation degrees is a powerful tool we can use to continue to widen participation in education, facilitate the strategic priorities of Cornwall and Devon through encouraging the development of higher level skills in county, retain talent where appropriate and improve productivity, all of which build economic prosperity in the South West.”
Toby Parkins, director of one of the region’s leading tech companies Headforwards, welcomed the news.
“The South West is our home and from here we outsource software development across the world,” he explained.
“Having an education provider like The Cornwall College Group able to provide bespoke Foundation Degree training is a huge boost, not only for people looking to start rewarding careers, but the companies who operate in the region.”
Dr Mark Nason, Director of Higher Education at the College agreed and said the Privy Council’s approval of the College’s application for Foundation Degree Awarding Powers was “a prestigious milestone for education in the South West”.
“Foundation Degrees are two year programmes with a substantial amount of employer engagement, work experience and entrepreneurial activity,” he continued.
“They prepare learners well for their careers or for further study – in fact the proportion of our graduates progressing to employment, skilled employment and further study is significantly above benchmark. Gaining Foundation Degree Awarding Powers is no mean feat and is the culmination of several years of intense scrutiny. We are intensely proud of this achievement, which is due to the professionalism and passion of our HE staff and students.’’
HE Development Director, Tessa Counsell, spearheaded the application and said receiving the status was a major milestone for education in the South West.
“We have achieved a huge amount in widening participation locally and we have made a significant contribution to the growth of working age adults who hold degree qualifications in Cornwall and the Isles of Scilly through our partnership working with universities,” she explained.
In 2014 there were more than 105,000 working age adults with degree qualifications, a 43,000 rise on figures from 2004.
“The new awarding powers will enable us to build on the solid foundations of our excellent record, good QAA report, TEF Silver and recent good provider review,” Tessa added.