Derby College offers a wide range of HE courses at its campuses in Derby, Morley and Ilkeston which are available full or part time and are focused on key vocational areas highlighted as growth employment areas by D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership.
Inspectors visited the College in May to look at various aspects of its work and the report particularly commended the quality and enhancement of student learning opportunities and said that academic standards and information about learning opportunities met UK expectations.
QAA chose a particular theme for each inspection and focused on the College’s work around student employability and commended the expansion of the work with businesses and its partnership working with degree awarding bodies including the University of Derby, Nottingham Trent University and Sheffield Hallam University.
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 says: ‘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.
New courses starting in September include Foundation Degrees in Special Educational Needs and Disability and Integrated Engineering.
Full time courses for young people and adult learners returning to education are already established in Animal Management, Security and Offender Management, Sport Coaching, Integrated and General Engineering.
New full time courses will start in September in Engineering and Mathematics, Paralegal Services, Criminal Justice, International Hospitality Management and Computing.
All the programmes were commended for the quality of teaching, small class sizes, excellent facilities and positive relationships between lecturers and students.
More than 90% of HE students successfully gain jobs or progress into further learning and 87% of students have said that they have used the higher skills gained at the College either in work and further learning.
Derby College Chief Executive Mandie Stravino said today:
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 our 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.”