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Furness College recognised for high quality university programmes

Degree programme students Nadine Farley, Rachael Tomlinson and Michael Hibbert.
Degree programme students Nadine Farley, Rachael Tomlinson and Michael Hibbert.

[T]he high quality of teaching and learning at Furness College was today recognised with a silver award for higher education.

The college achieved the award for ‘consistently exceeding’ rigorous national quality requirements under the new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).

It scored an excellent rating for ensuring students go into highly skilled employment after their studies and for the academic support it offers.

The framework has been introduced by the Government to measure the performance of the UK’s world-class higher education sector.

A panel of experts looked at the range of courses offered at the Channelside campus – from HNC and Foundation degrees to full Honours degrees – to rate the teaching quality, learning environment and outcomes for students.

Furness College Director of Higher Education Jo Anson with Principal and Chief Executive Andrew Wren
Furness College Director of Higher Education Jo Anson with Principal and Chief Executive Andrew Wren

Furness College Director of Curriculum for Higher Education Jo Anson said she was delighted with the grading, which also measures student satisfaction with their courses, retention and progression.

“These awards are about teaching excellence and ensuring that our students get the very best education they can to help them meet their career goals.

“What is particularly pleasing to see is the excellent scores for the academic support we offer and the students progressing to highly skilled employment.

“We are seeing increasing numbers of students in this area progressing to higher education to move up the career ladder and the advantage of our provision is that you can achieve a university-accredited degree here in Barrow without having to travel.”

Furness College offers wide range of higher education courses in subjects ranging from IT, engineering, health and social care, business, construction, art and teaching.

There are around 500 students currently on its programmes, which offer both full-time and part time study options for those already in employment.

Principal and Chief Executive Andrew Wren said to be considered for a TEF rating, providers needed to meet demanding national quality requirements.

“It is fantastic that the higher education provision we offer at Furness College has been recognised nationally after thorough assessment by experts including academics, students and employer representatives.

“This is testament to the work that has been put in by staff to ensure the ongoing quality of our higher education programmes to meet the needs of our students and the future workforce.”

Professor Chris Husbands, Chair of the TEF assessment panel and Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: “The Teaching Excellence Framework results offer – for the first time – an overview of teaching excellence across the entire UK higher education sector. It has been a privilege to chair this ambitious and ground-breaking assessment.

“Alongside the headline results, we are publishing all the data and submissions, and statements of the assessors’ findings. Taken together, this is a set of material on teaching excellence which goes further than has been possible for any other university system in the world.”

Madeleine Atkins, Chief Executive of the Higher Education Funding Council for England, said: “Students invest significant amounts of time and money in their higher education. They rightly expect a high-quality learning experience and outcomes that reflect their potential. The UK already has a high bar for quality and standards, which all universities and colleges must meet. But the TEF judges excellence above and beyond this, clearly showing the highest levels across the sector.

“The TEF measures the things that students themselves say they care about: high-quality, engaged teaching and a supportive, stimulating learning environment which equips them with the knowledge and skills they need to achieve their potential, and then to progress to a good job or further study.”

The TEF results and the evidence used in the assessment can be found at The TEF awards will also be published on Unistats and the UCAS website, alongside other information, to help inform prospective students’ choices.

Universities, colleges and alternative providers of higher education voluntarily took part in the TEF. Each provider was rated Gold, Silver or Bronze, or received a Provisional award where there was not enough data for a full assessment.

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