3 August 2016

The national authority on quality and standards in higher education has awarded Northampton College with the highest possible rating on the way it delivers higher education programmes.

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) protects academic standards, the quality of student learning opportunities, and the quality of information provided by universities and colleges delivering higher education.

Northampton College delivers a range of Higher National Certificates and Diplomas, teaching qualifications and Higher Level Apprenticeships accredited by the University of Northampton, the University of Warwick and by Pearson Edexcel.

A team of QAA reviewers visited the college and delivered its endorsement of the way the college manages academic standards, quality and information.

In addition, the college was singled out for praise for best practice in its effective relationship with the University of Northampton that helps provide a distinctive experience of higher education for students at the college’s state-of-the-art Booth Lane campus.

QAA reviewers highlighted the college’s key strength in providing employability skills for students that are embedded throughout their experience.

Reviewers found that the college works actively with the Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) and engages with a number of employment and enterprise panels to input directly into the strategies for developing skills in the region.

Employers are involved in the development of new programmes and teaching teams are encouraged to ensure skills based assessments are included in the overall learning outcomes of programmes.

Teaching teams work with local employers to enhance the student learning experience through work placements, master classes, workshops and live briefs. In addition, the college has a commitment to employing industry professionals and to offer them support to gain qualifications in developing their teaching practice.

Principal Pat Brennan-Barrett said:

"This is an endorsement of the high standards that we are proud to have attained. The judgement is particularly welcome at this time when many students are considering studying higher education in further education settings.

"To be assured that the quality of the provision is high as well as being able to study locally and usually with lower fees to pay is attractive for many people. This report should be welcomed by students making decisions about their next steps at this crucial time of year."

Northampton College specialises in higher education in the arts and engineering with a range of routes available including part-time and work-based options.

Arts subjects range from performing arts and music to digital fashion and millinery. In the field of engineering, there are options to gain higher qualifications in manufacturing and building services engineering. Further courses are in development and expected to become available for 2017.