The role of universities in validating degrees - rubber stamping degrees which are achieved at a different college or institution - will be more important than ever in the emerging Higher Education landscape.
So says Phil Berry, Director, OU Validation Partnerships, who reflects on the place of validation in UK universities. Writing on the HE policy comment site WonkHE , he says that the process for new entrants into the sector is likely to be brought back into focus shortly and means a fresh look at what it means for universities to validate degrees.
He also looks at the ongoing appetite for high quality validation services from partner providers and considers the OU’s commitment to delivering this service.
The Open University has seen a growth in this area, thanks to its thorough and efficient validation service. Now even more partners have joined the OU, including: Ada, the National College for Digital Skills; The City of Liverpool College; London College of International Business Studies; and South Essex College. Partnerships have now reached 35, with more applications being close to approval.
Expanding the OU reach
These new validation partnerships show a continuing trend for the OU. This trend is supported by the OU's participation in a pilot scheme with alternative provider representative body Independent Higher Education and the QAA, to create an exemplar validation model for the sector. The aim of this joint project is to further increase efficiency and remove barriers to institutions seeking validation, whilst upholding the necessary quality and standards.
In addition to supporting income diversification, working with validated partners allows the University to expand its reach enabling more students to receive an OU qualification, supports a high quality UK HE sector and gives us the opportunity to learn from other organisations.