Writtle College granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers

March 2015

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(NOTE: This is an archived press release.)

Writtle College is pleased to announce today that it has been given the power to award its own degrees.

The Privy Council has written to the College to confirm that it has been granted Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP), which means that, from September 2017, students will be able to study for a degree awarded by the College.

The first students will graduate with Writtle College qualifications (Higher Education Certificates and postgraduate taught Masters) during the College’s 125th year in 2018, with the first Bachelors degrees awarded in 2020.

Principal Dr Stephen Waite said: “This is a significant milestone in the College’s history and shows how we have grown and progressed as an institution. We have offered specialist courses for over 120 years and we are pleased that students will, in future, graduate with a degree that is awarded by Writtle College.

“We are grateful to the University of Essex for a long-standing partnership that has been successful and productive; the College will still maintain close ties to the university, which will continue to validate our Research degrees.

“The TDAP process has recognised our strong governance, academic standards, scholarship and teaching as well as the environment supporting the delivery of taught Higher Education programmes.

“The process has involved considerable work from all members of staff for nearly four years and the whole College has been scrutinised rigorously against national criteria. I would like to take this opportunity to credit them for this major achievement.

“These are exciting times for the College and this marks a new era for our fantastic institution.”

Lise-Lotte Olsen, Chair of Governors, added: “Writtle College is well-known as one of the oldest providers of specialist education in the UK and our courses at both Further Education and Higher Education levels have a strong reputation in the industries we serve.

“We offer students a university-style campus set in a 220-hectare estate, a heritage stretching back over 120 years, a close community and the highest standards of teaching on our portfolio of specialist courses, which will all continue through this smooth transition to TDAP.

“The ability to validate our own degrees will give us the flexibility to respond quickly to changes in the industries related to our subject areas and student feedback. With this new status, we will be able to offer taught degrees independently, without requiring a university partner, adding weight to all qualifications offered here and enhancing students’ career prospects, whether that is in industry or academia.”

Up until now, the College’s degrees have been validated by the University of Essex and students receive their awards from the partner institution at the College’s graduation ceremonies in September.

Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex, Professor Anthony Forster, said: “Our higher education partnership with Writtle College has flourished over nearly 20 years and we congratulate the College on being granted degree-awarding powers. We will continue to work closely with the College during this exciting transition and through our research degree programme partnership.”

The move to gain the power to be its own degree awarding body comes after the government made it easier for specialist institutions with a smaller student community to apply for TDAP.

Alex Bols, Acting Chief Executive of GuildHE, said: “Many congratulations to Writtle College on achieving Taught Degree Awarding Powers. TDAP is a long and rigorous process and Writtle should celebrate this richly deserved recognition of their excellent teaching and student experience.”

Writtle College is now consulting with key stakeholders, including students and staff, to determine the most appropriate name for the institution to reflect this academic development.