12 August 2015

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).

Derby College, one of emfec’s member colleges, 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, published on the 12 August, particularly commended the quality and enhancement of student learning opportunities.

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.”

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.

Derby 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 our lives and I am particularly pleased that the report recognises the work we do in partnership with employers.”

“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.”