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Opportunities for our students to engage with employers highlighted in QAA review

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) visited Plymouth College of Art and commended the college for the enhancement of student learning opportunities, which is the highest level of award that the QAA can grant and a benchmark of exceptional quality.

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) visited Plymouth College of Art and commended the college for the enhancement of student learning opportunities, which is the highest level of award that the QAA can grant and a benchmark of exceptional quality.

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Enhanced student learning opportunities at Plymouth College of Art include scope for all students to innovate and enhance their creative work through interdisciplinary studies, exploring different materials and developing techniques in other programmes and disciplines outside their main study areas.

The team of visiting QAA reviewers confirmed the quality and standards of provision at Plymouth College of Art, following its review in November 2015.

In addition to the enhancement of student learning opportunities, the college was also judged to meet UK expectations in the other three key areas examined, including its academic standards, the quality of its student learning opportunities and the quality of information about its learning opportunities.

“The QAA singled out the extensive opportunities for our students to engage with employers, something that is of vital significance to the people studying with us."
— Steve Trotter, Registrar at Plymouth College of Art

The QAA review highlighted a number of examples of good practice at the college, such as the extensive opportunities at Plymouth College of Art for students to engage with employers and professional practice.

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Other areas of good practice identified by the external reviewers included the comprehensive programme review and monitoring process that effectively captures and responds to emerging issues, and the proactive and collaborative approach to the design and development of programmes.

The review made two recommendations for improvement, strengthening procedures to enable institutional oversight of work placement and improved accessibility of information to identifying the college’s awarding body.

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Speaking of the results of the assessment, Steve Trotter, Plymouth College of Art’s Registrar, said: “This strong endorsement from the QAA of our academic standards and the quality of our undergraduate and postgraduate degree provision in art, design and media education is a credit to all of our staff and students, who work so closely together to create an environment that nurtures creativity and equips learners with the skills to succeed within their professional industries.

“The QAA singled out the extensive opportunities for our students to engage with employers, something that is of vital significance to the people studying with us. At a time when students understandably expect the best value from their education, it is essential that we equip them with the skills necessary to progress into professional employment within the creative industries, which are one of the fastest-growing sectors in the UK, employing over 2 million people.”

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QAA's Higher Education Reviews are carried out by experts from other universities and colleges. Every review team includes a student reviewer, because QAA believes that students should be partners in the quality assurance of their education.

The successful review means that the college continues to display the QAA Quality Mark, indicating to UK and international students that the college meets national requirements for standards and quality.


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The report on Plymouth College of Art was published on 19 February 2016. It is available at: www.qaa.ac.uk/reviews-and-reports/provider?UKPRN=10005127.

The related Quality Enhancement Action Plan can be viewed on our Quality Reports webpage.

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