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UKHE: QAA inquiry into London campuses

The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) is conducting an independent inquiry into higher education delivered via London branch campuses, after an investigation by the Home Office found that some 45,000 immigrants may have fraudulently obtained English language test certificates.

The University of Liverpool is one of 14 universities in the inquiry.

'The findings of this review will inform the way in which QAA's approach to the quality assurance of partnership provision develops"

Results of the inquiry will be used to determine whether further action is to be taken against any of the branches’ parent universities.

“This rise in the number of London campuses has prompted QAA to check on the arrangements in place to safeguard students’ learning experiences”

The watchdog has written to 14 universities requesting information about their London operations, including the University of Liverpool, Bangor University and Glyndwr University, which was stripped of its ‘highly trusted sponsor’ HTS status after the test scores of more than 230 students it sponsored were identified as being invalid, with a further 120 as questionable.

Glyndwr is one of three universities that were sanctioned after the investigation, which uncovered more than 29,000 invalid results and 19,000 questionable results of ETS tests taken in 2012 and 2013, as reported in our main story here.

The University of West London (UWL), which yielded 210 invalid and 70 questionable results, and the University of Bedfordshire have been temporarily barred from sponsoring new international students and will be investigated by UK Visas and Immigration (UKVI) in order to decide whether they will also be suspended.

QAA has been in discussion with the Home Office about how best to ensure immigration regulations are being adhered to and students’ interests protected.

“This rise in the number of London campuses has prompted QAA to check on the arrangements in place to safeguard students’ learning experiences,” a spokesperson said. “London campuses are home to a high proportion of international students, and QAA has been in discussions with the Home Office over the best way to protect their interests.”

During the inquiry, the agency will examine how satellite campuses are run and and how partnership arrangements are managed.

“Partnership provision through London sites and campuses has grown significantly recently,” commented QAA Chief Executive Anthony McClaran. “We wish to understand better the trend of institutions from outside London setting up a presence in the capital and the implications for the assurance of quality and standards.”

“‘The findings of this review will inform the way in which QAA’s approach to the quality assurance of partnership provision develops,” he added.

Full list of universities included in the QAA inquiry:

Anglia Ruskin University
Bangor University
Coventry University
University of Cumbria
University of East Anglia
Glasgow Caledonian University
Glyndwr University
University of Liverpool
Loughborough University
Northumbria University
University of Sunderland
University of Ulster
University of Wales Trinity St David
University of South Wales

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8 Responses to UKHE: QAA inquiry into London campuses

  1. When I am counselling students who wish to study in London. I always point out the difference between a fully functioning university, for example, London South Bank University (LSBU) and the difference between an out-of-Capital University’s London Campus. I point blank refuse to represent a franchise London based organisations. I work on the principle, ‘would I send my son or daughter to some of these institutions who have no awarding powers?’ The answer is NO. So I don’t represent them. I am a Higher Education Consultant working mainly in Sub-Sahara Africa.

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