Partnerships and Collaborative Provision
The QAA UK Quality Code Advice and Guidance section on Partnerships defines a Partnership as “Partnership: An arrangement between two or more organisations to deliver aspects of teaching, learning, assessment and student support. It refers to collaborative arrangements involving students and/or awards which include those involving guaranteed progression and sharing of services. Partnership arrangements may apply to the delivery of whole courses of study or to elements of courses, individual modules, or self-contained components of study. Alternative sites and contexts for learning or assessment, or specialist support, resources or facilities for learning, may be provided, for example, by organisations offering work-based or placement learning opportunities, or employers supporting employees on higher education courses where the workplace is used as a learning environment. They may operate either within the UK or transnationally and include, for example, different modes of delivery such as online, validation arrangements, franchised courses, branch campuses, multiple awards, apprenticeships and provision by ‘embedded colleges’ of integrated foundation courses.”
Collaborative Provision is traditionally defined as learning opportunities leading or contributing to the award of academic credit or a qualification that are delivered, assessed or supported through an arrangement with one or more organisations other than the degree-awarding body. The QAA UK Quality Code notes collaborative arrangements involve students and/or awards. The following partnerships are traditionally known as Collaborative Provision. The University will maintain the use of the term ‘Collaborative Provision’ where helpful to describe these types of partnerships:
- validated institutions,
- partner colleges – franchised model, validated plus model, validated model,
- dual/joint awards,
- articulation arrangements,
- external teaching contribution,
- award of specific credit/credit rating,
- academic centres/delivery by a partner,
- co-supervision of research degrees,
- joint research awards.
For a full description of the types of partnerships operated by the University, see Appendix A: Typology of Partnerships and Related Approval Processes.
The University enters into a range of collaborative partnerships with UK and overseas institutions.
Collaborative Provision Register
The Quality Assurance Office keeps an up-to-date register of collaborative partnerships and collaborative programmes operated by those partners.
Before Kent enter into legally binding agreements with institutions a process of due diligence is carried out to ensure itself of the good standing of the prospective partner. Memorandum of Agreements detail how academic standards of collaborative programmes will be managed. The University has a set of procedures for ensuring that programmes delivered under collaborative arrangements meet the expectations of the UK Quality Code.
Types of Collaborative Provision
The University has several arrangements with Validated Institutions. A Validated Institution is an institution which has received approval from the University of Kent to offer programmes devised, delivered and assessed by the institution but approved by the University for University of Kent credit and academic awards. The programmes are delivered by the validated institutions to the validated institutions own students. The University is responsible for the standards of awards and quality assurance of the University approved programmes at the validated institution.
The University has a number of arrangements with local Further Education Partner Colleges. There are a number of models within these arrangements:
a) Franchised - Where the University franchises University of Kent student numbers and funding to its Partner Colleges. This means that the students are registered students of the University of Kent. The Partner College is responsible for the delivery of their programmes to registered students of the University of Kent. As students of the University, the students will receive full access to the University’s resources. Students will receive an award of the University of Kent.
b) Validated Plus – Where the Partner College uses its own student numbers and funding for the students. This means that the students are not registered students of the University of Kent. The Partner College is responsible for delivering their programmes to their own students. As the students are not the students of the University, the students would not usually have access to the University’s resources, however under a Validated Plus arrangement the Partner College will have agreed with the University for access to specific University resources for the students, subject to conditions and charges. Students will receive an award of the University of Kent.
c) Validated - Where the Partner College uses its own student numbers and funding for the students. This means that the students are not registered students of the University of Kent. The Partner College is responsible for delivering their programmes to their own students. As the students are not the students of the University, the students will not have access to the University’s resources. Students will receive an award of the University of Kent.
Partner Colleges are subject to Annex O of the Code of Practice for Quality Assurance of Taught Programmes of Study.
The University works in collaboration with one or more collaborating partners to offer students one single award. Students complete one academic programme, but their degree certificate shows the award is given jointly by the partners.
The University collaborates with a number of partners whereby students study for a single programme of study but receive two awards, one from each partner institution. In most cases the students spend half their studies at one institution and then half at the other.
The University has several progression agreements in place, whereby students are guaranteed entry to the start of a University of Kent programme as a result of prior study at a partner institution, which may involve gaining a particular qualification (possibly with specified marks). Articulation Agreements, which allow for a cohort students from a partner institution to be admitted with advance standing onto a Kent programme, are less common, but might be established as per the guidance set out in the Collaborative Provision Policies and Procedures.
External Teaching Contribution
The University collaborates with a number of partners where the partner contributes to the delivery of a University of Kent programme normally by delivering a module(s) or part of a module(s). Such contributions normally include input from the partner organisation into the design of the module(s) and/or the use of the partner organisations' premises.
Award of Specific Credit
The University collaborates with a number of partners where the partner delivers a module which does not sit within a University programme, which is deemed and approved as appropriate for the award of University credit.
The University will collaborate with partners where the partner is approved to host the delivery of a Kent devised or Kent approved programme leading to a University award and/or the award of Kent credit. The Academic Centre provides facilities and tutoring, but has limited or closely supervised engagement with assessment.
The University collaborates with a number of partners whereby students on research programmes study and are given supervision at the University and a partner organisation leading to dual awards.
Joint Research Awards
The University works in collaboration with a collaborating partner to offer students one single research award. Students complete one academic programme, but their degree certificate shows the award is given jointly by the partners.
The Quality Assurance Office has two posts specific to the approval and management of Collaborative Provision.
Please contact Tina Hagger, Quality Officer: New Collaborative Provision, for queries regarding the approval of new collaborative partnerships/programmes.
Please contact Matthew Redmond, Quality Officer: Established Collaborative Provision, for queries regarding the ongoing management of collaborative partnerships.
For Partner College queries, please contact Vanessa Nedderman in the Partnership Development Office.