The Department for Education and Skills (DfES) has released a consultation with propsals to change the regulations regarding degree awarding powers and granting the title of University to higher education institutions. The consultation, which can be viewed here has an outline of the requirements that are set for taught degree awarding powers and research degree awarding powers.
While regulations on governance, academic standards and quality assurance may be all very well, the NPC has identified that research degrees are considered by DfES as only doctoral degrees. In our response we have expressed concern in terms of the fact that some Master level degrees are research and a vast proportion of taught postgraduate degrees require either access to or engagement with research. It is of concern that teaching institutions that are granted such awarding powers may be awarding taught postgraduate degrees without sufficient research resources.
With regards to research degrees, the emphasis is on the research quality of the institution with one small reference given to the standards of their research degree programmes. NPC has pointed out that this is of importance to effective delivery of research degree programmes and asks that awarding powers include evidence of suitable supervision and training of research students.
Finally NPC Re-iterates its opposition to the title of University being granted to teaching only institutions, with its contradction to the Bologna declaration as outlined in its response to the higher education white paper. Also NPC is concerned about reducing the number of subjects for granting University title since it could take away the meaning of University.
The response to the consultation can be viewed here.