Partners K College – South and West Kent College is a result of the merger of South and West Kent College about two years ago, it has a footprint that spans South East Kent from Tonbridge to Dover. It is a large FE College aiming to widening participation and support the skills required for the local economy; it has an established and growing HE provision.
Canterbury Christ Church University – Is a highly reputable Higher Education Institution providing training, education and skills to public service, professional education, spanning across a range of subject sector and skill areas.
East Kent College - East Kent College is a medium sized college of further education. The college offers a wide range of courses to provide opportunities for all levels of ability from school links and more recently to higher education.
Introduction This initiative brings together the strengths and expertise of three organisations, with geographic reach across Kent, to co-design and co-deliver a high-quality flagship curriculum for learners to make the progression routes to HE more easily navigable, improve the alignment/coherence of FE and HE systems and develop jointly recognised a credit system.
Barriers Participation on ‘Access to HE courses’ and other L3 programmes, frequently does not lead on to progression on an HE programme. This is due to limited support and diversity of single unit offer for younger adults needing L3 (or lower) modules in their programme. In general the curriculum offer is not tailored to the needs and opportunities of the region - a credit transfer offer that would guarantee progression opportunities from L3 (HE 0) to HE L4 would address this issue. There is a lack of established and coherent ‘collating systems’ for Personalised Learning Records (from L1 onwards) to help formulate relevant progression opportunities for learners this would help to give coherence to a recognised credit transfer system.
Proposition A qualification-focused curriculum developed by the partnership and validated by Canterbury Christ University will be supported by a suite of co-owned teaching materials, including eLearning materials. Co-developed marketing materials would underpin recruitment to the courses, with a blended delivery approach that would see College staff delivering at the start of the course, and University staff involved increasingly as students progressed.
Rationale Progression would be supported by offering students a guaranteed route to continue their studies at CCCU with a seamless transition. Students would have familiarity with university staff, access to and familiarity with shared facilities and systems. Subject areas for this initiative would have relevance and impact on the regeneration and the socio-economic needs of the region. The new credit based provision would be validated as credit bearing, and developed to include L4 credits, smoothing progression to undergraduate study. These approaches will ensure the HE/FE partnership creates solutions to the perceived mismatch between QCF and HE-credits.
Evaluation We have appointed joint independent evaluators; Learning and Skills Improvement Service and the Higher Education Academy, to evaluate the pilot, both have excellent resources and track records in evaluation of innovative programmes. We will invite evaluation of the development process as well as the outcomes achieved. Key findings and recommendations from stakeholders will be disseminated to partners, funders and other interested parties
Transferability We intend to roll out the model to other institutions using existing relationships and to capture the processes and outcomes of our work and share these findings. CCCU’s membership of the PASCAL international network and of the South East Coastal Communities project will provide dissemination and good practice sharing. We intend to host dissemination events for sector colleagues to share our experiences and successes. We are committed to becoming a Centre of Excellence for others seeking to adopt the model. The model could offer ‘credits’ and/or supplement current vocational qualifications in particular the L3 Certificate and Diplomas and Access and other credit based qualifications (QCF).