of the region’s university courses.
Over 30 key members of staff from the universities of Wolverhampton, Staffordshire and Keele, as well as representatives from nine of the region’s further education (FE) colleges, attended the formal signing of a progression agreement at the Moat House, Acton Trussell, Staffordshire. The event was organised and supported by the Staffordshire, Stoke-on-Trent, Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin Lifelong Learning Network (LLN).
Attendees signed a progression agreement, which aims to support students who are enrolled on Access to Higher Education (HE) courses within the region’s FE colleges.
A progression agreement is an arrangement between local private training providers, colleges and universities to provide learners with an understanding of the routes they might take from further education – or the workplace – into higher education. The agreement might guarantee an interview or a place on a higher education course for a student who achieves the necessary UCAS points or who completes a particular course of study successfully.
Ian Hart, Director Schools and Colleges Liaison, Education Partnerships, at the University of Wolverhampton, said: "The University of Wolverhampton is delighted with the development of progression agreements with schools and colleges. These agreements make it absolutely clear to learners what University courses will be most suitable for them and usually guarantee a place on a course. The big advantage is that students know well in advance that they have a place reserved for them at the University while they are studying in a school or college and this helps them to plan for the future with confidence and self-belief."
The attendees were supported by the CEO of the Open College Network West Midlands (OCNWMR) Christine Assheton and the LLN’s Director, Jill Ward.
Christine Assheton said: “OCNWMR is very pleased to be able to support the development and implementation of the progression agreements. Whilst many Access to HE learners in the West Midlands region do already progress on to university, these new agreements will be a further encouragement to those who may be struggling with the demands of studying to continue, achieve and progress.”
The LLN has helped over 500 learners to date, aged 18-19 to mature students, to gain work-related qualifications and skills by establishing a range of network-wide pioneering and flexible courses.
Progression agreements take into account the needs of the region’s employers, identified skills shortages and a clear demand for workers with higher level qualifications. They offer learners routes that are linked to real working opportunities.
Anyone who has studied work-related courses like BTEC and NVQ, or anyone who has furthered their career to date without gaining recognised qualifications for such professional development along the way, stands to benefit from progression agreements, designed to help them in their search for the route into higher education that’s best for them.
Picture: Representatives from universities and colleges sign the progression agreement
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