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East Midlands Chamber News

Praise for Derby College Higher Education Programme

Derby College’s work to improve the employability of local people through its extensive range of Higher Education programmes has been praised by inspectors from the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) in a report published this week.

Inspectors visited the College in May to look at various aspects of its work. The report commended the quality and enhancement of student learning opportunities and said that academic standards and information about learning opportunities met UK expectations.

Derby College offers a wide range of HE courses at its campuses in Derby, Morley and Ilkeston which are focused on key vocational areas highlighted as growth employment areas by D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.

Inspectors also highlighted several areas of good practice including the governance, support for and investment in professional development of teaching staff, the extensive links with employers, involvement of students in the College and the proactive approach to creating a higher education community within the organisation.

The report said: "The College states its main reason for the delivery of higher education is to offer vocationally relevant courses which allow students to become more employable. The College strategy is focused on improving the life chances of people and businesses in the community it serves.

“Employers and students are involved in the development and reviews of programmes are well-informed and enthusiastic about benefits of the College’s provision."

There are currently 419 higher education studying at the College who work alongside the 6,000 full time students and a further 20,000 adult, part time and apprenticeship learners.

Part time courses aimed at people who are combining studies with full time work include programmes in construction management, construction and the built environment, business, children’s and young people’s services and education.

All the programmes were commended for the quality of teaching, small class sizes, excellent facilities and positive relationships between lecturers and students.

chief executive Mandie StravinoDerby College Chief Executive Mandie Stravino said: “We are obviously delighted with the QAA report and affirmation that it gives to the quality of our Higher Education programmes and the learner experience.

“Our focus is to prepare individuals for the next phase of their lives and I am particularly pleased that the report recognises the work we do in partnership with employers. This ensures that the HE programmes are concentrated on the skills that employers have identified as needed in the workplace and are providing local people with better opportunities to find and progress in sustainable, well paid jobs.

“We are committed to expanding the breadth of our HE programmes and providing a quality progression both for our students as they leave further education and for staff working at local employers who want to further their careers.”