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Pioneering International Pathway College passes its full review with flying colours

De Montfort University’s (DMU) Leicester International Pathway College (LIPC) has received praise from the higher education standards agency with two of its strengths being singled out as ‘features of good practice’.

The independent review of the college by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) highlighted the effective way staff support the specific needs of the international students as well as the strong “collegial” relationship between DMU and the centre.

about-lipc

LIPC, which is based at the heart of the DMU campus, helps prepare international students for entry on to DMU degree programmes with students enrolling from some 58 different countries from across the globe.

The comprehensive review, which saw a QAA panel visit the college on March 2 where they interviewed staff and students, was published today. It concluded that the college was compliant in all areas – academic standards, quality of learning opportunities and the information LIPC produces for its intended audience.

The landmark review is a first for the sector, as LIPC was one of the first two ‘embedded college’ institutions in the country to undergo such a review since new QAA guidelines were introduced recently. LIPC and Bath Spa University were both reviewed by the QAA during the same week.

College Director Philip Moere said: “The successful outcome of the QAA review is testament to the commitment and hard work of LIPC and DMU colleagues over the three years since the college was established. 

“We can all be particularly proud of this positive report as we believe LIPC was the very first institution to undergo the newly-established Higher Education Review for embedded colleges offering integrated programmes.”

Two facets were commended as ‘features of good practice’. Praising the way that staff support the specific needs of their students, the QAA review states: “LIPC effectively supports the continuing professional development of all staff through an extensive range of staff development, training and mentoring activities…new staff undergo a detailed induction programme which introduces them to the college and the specific needs of LIPC students.”

It added: “The quality of teaching is monitored through annual teaching observation of all tutors by programme leaders. This process is designed to help tutors to develop their teaching practice and enables LIPC to ensure teaching is effectively supporting learning opportunities.”

The review summary also applauded the ‘strong and collegial’ relationship that exists between DMU, LIPC and Oxford International Education Group, which runs the centre on DMU’s behalf. This relationship “contributes to the enhancement of learning opportunities” and is an area of good practice, the QAA said.

In other highlights, the report says:

  • Class sizes are small [a maximum of 18] enabling staff to identify the strengths and weaknesses of each student and work with them individually to develop the skills they need.
  • It has put in place a range of measures to effectively support international students in their transition to the UK higher educational system.
  • LIPC effectively uses a range of metrics to monitor and track student engagement and progression.
  • Tutors contribute to the maintenance and enhancement of the quality of teaching and learning by completing evaluation forms at the end of each module.
  • LIPC effectively uses the university’s quality assurance processes to monitor and enhance the student learning experience at the module and programme level.

To read the review in full, click here.

Posted on Friday 26th May 2017

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