Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

College Celebrates First Home Grown Graduates

Newspaper article Evening Chronicle (Newcastle, England)

College Celebrates First Home Grown Graduates

Article excerpt

Byline: Kate Proctor Reporter

THE first ever "class of 2014" has graduated from Newcastle College.

Almost 900 students donned caps and gowns in the college's new colours of red and grey for the ceremony at the Civic Centre in Newcastle.

The presentation was the very first time staff have been able to hand out degrees accredited solely by NCG (Newcastle College Group) and not a partner university.

Principal Carol Kitching said she was delighted to see so many students being awarded foundation degrees under the Newcastle College name and she hopes the institution will eventually become the first in the country to award full three-year honours degrees.

Gowns were trimmed in the traditional colours and crest of Rutherford College Secondary School for Boys, which merged with the Charles Trevelyan Technical College to form Newcastle College in the 1970s.

Carol Kitching said: "This is a really special year as we have nearly 900 foundation degree students who are graduating with the NCG.

"It's a real breakthrough nationally for the whole of the further education sector as it's about parity between technical and vocational qualifications with academic qualifications."

The college was granted permission to award foundations degrees to students by the Privy Council and the Quality Assurance Agency two years ago.

The education watchdog, which governs universities in the same way Ofsted does schools, put the college through an extensive scrutiny programme to ensure the qualifications they run are of a higher education standard.

She said: "We are working towards accreditation for three years and that process is at least a year long and is about halfway through. We hope very much in the next 18 months that we would achieve it. We would be the only college in the country to do that.

"External academics have said that Newcastle College is breaking new ground nationally in developing research based activities which are vocational and technical. …

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