FE to HE: Black Country University Technical College Higher Level
Engineering Skills Credit Transfer Pilot
Partners Walsall College - a leading provider of vocational courses in the West Midlands, supporting young people, adults and local businesses to develop their skills and achieve success. University of Wolverhampton - a learning community promoting excellence, innovation and creativity. Black Country University Technical College – new type of school offering 14-19 year olds the opportunity to take a highly regarded, full time, technically-oriented course of study in institutions equipped to the highest standard, sponsored by a university and/or college. Accredited Skills for Industry - an Ofqual recognised Awarding Organisation that develops accredited, recognised and industry-benchmarked qualifications. By combining expertise in vocational education and qualification development, ASFI provides a high quality bespoke service in the key provision of the assessment materials that support its programmes.
Introduction The BCUTC specialist subject is Engineering, chosen to reflect the evolving skills needs of local employers and the economically valuable heritage of Engineering within the region. The specialism of Engineering lends itself to project based learning that, as well as building skills and knowledge in the vocational specialism, is underpinned by employability and entrepreneurial skills.
Barrier Lack of a clear and managed mechanism for the formal recognition in HE of achievements in FE via the BCUTC.
Proposition In order to ensure true portability of credit a number of Level 3 projects that have been developed specifically for the BCUTC be accredited through ASFI at level 4. The University of Wolverhampton Engineering Department will devise and agree mechanisms for the APL of the new level 4 curriculum into its own provision in line with the University’s regulations governing credit. The pilot will afford its opportunities to an initial cohort of approximately 50 learners.
Rationale The commitment of the Government to expanding participation in higher education. A view supported under the New Challenges, New Chances segment ‘Opening up Higher Vocational Education’ Of particular significance within the West Midlands region where the proportion of the working age population who have achieved qualifications at level 4 and above is less than 30%.
Evaluation The pilot is concerned to ensure that learners’ progress is expedited through the fulfilment of CAT and that the benefits of their progress and success are enjoyed by their employers and industry. The project evaluation will benefit from oversight and well-informed, up-to-the-minute and objective external advice from SEMTA (the Sector Skills Council for the science, engineering, manufacturing technologies), whose role will be to ensure the continuing employer relevance of the curriculum developed, as informed through their contemporary engineering employer networks and their strategic labour market intelligence; and to ensure that the evaluation provides useful and accurate reporting from which all the partners and participants can benefit.
Transferability Once the partnership has thoroughly evaluated the pilot, we believe there will be a market for such accredited level 4 provision amongst the wider UTC community as well the emerging Free School market and other Academies.