WCG has become the first college group in the country to be granted a duo of degree awarding powers.
The college group, which has sites across Warwickshire and Worcestershire, will now be able to design and award full three-year honours degree courses and has pledged that all of its degrees will have a technical or professional focus.
It has been granted Bachelor Degree Awarding Powers by The Office for Students, as well as having its Foundation Degree Awarding Powers now extended indefinitely.
A very small number of UK colleges hold degree awarding powers but WCG (formerly Warwickshire College Group) is the first in the country to receive this new status of Bachelor Degree Awarding Powers.
The first three-year Honours degree courses will be offered from September 2021 and include BA (Hons) in games art, BSc (Hons) in computer networks and cybersecurity, BA (Hons) in digital film production and BA (Hons) in counselling and psychotherapy.
In 2014 WCG became was one of the first colleges in the UK to hold Foundation Degree Awarding Powers, allowing students to study at Level 4 and 5 with WCG, often topping up to a full Honours degree in the final year with a Level 6 award from a partner university.
Students will now be able to study with WCG and complete either a Foundation degree or an Honours degree awarded directly by WCG.
WCG prides itself on offering qualifications and apprenticeships aligned to key industries and jobs, and now it can apply this to its own degree courses.
The college has been running higher education for more than 30 years and these powers are awarded following a rigorous assessment process spanning several months.
The college is also now able to work in partnership with other institutions to award foundation degrees.
The college group will use the new powers to help support the Government’s latest skills policy and focus degrees on developing highly technical individuals and support the up-skilling of individuals in professionally focused subject areas.
Angela Joyce, CEO of WCG, said: “It is a great honour for our college group to have been awarded these powers and it will enable us to deliver further on our commitment to develop well-rounded, skilled individuals to support economic growth locally, regionally and nationally.
“As a college group we have prioritised the expansion of our strong links to industry and we will continue to do so in our new three-year Honours degree courses, with every course boasting a great connection with businesses in the associated industries.
“Previously we could develop and deliver qualifications to Foundation degree level, meaning that students seeking to top up to an Honours degree were required to transfer to an award with a partner university – though in almost all cases we have been delivering these ‘top-up degrees’ on behalf of the universities right here in our colleges.
“But with the new Bachelor Degree Awarding Powers students joining us for these subject areas can be certain of being able to complete a full Bachelor Honours degree, wholly developed and delivered by us.
“We look forward to curating our own degree courses, which will be ready for September, that will respond to the priorities of businesses in our area and contribute to bridging the skills gap identified by Government.”
Visit www.wcg.ac.uk/study for more information.