John Moores university
LIVERPOOL John Moores University came under fire last night after announcing it is no longer prepared to authorise degrees taken by hundreds of college students.
College chiefs and concerned staff said the decision was tied into the university’s decision to charge the maximum £9,000 tuition fees next year.
They claimed JMU was “scared students could do degrees on the cheap” at North West colleges.
The row erupted after the university confirmed from 2012 it would no longer be validating honours degree programmes taken by hundreds of students at colleges including St Helens College, Wirral Met and Stockport College.
Instead it will take the degrees, which cover subjects as diverse as graphic design to fine art, in-house at its Liverpool campuses.
It said this would allow more students to benefit from its World of Work programme which sees every student assessed by companies themselves.
The university also pledged it would continue to validate foundation degrees at the colleges which are often taken over two years to allow students to follow this up with an extra year’s ‘top-up study’ to secure a full degree.
St Helens College offers around 10 honours degrees validated by the university.
A furious college source last night said staff feared it would be hard for colleges to recruit students without the degree offer and the option to stay on at college – rather than go to LJMU – to turn foundation degrees into a full degree.
He said: “John Moores clearly don’t want students to be able to do a John Moores degree on the cheap. The loss of the honours degrees would be bad enough, but if students doing foundation degrees don’t have the chance to stay on at colleges and do top ups, they are less likely to come.
"We are already going through redundancies and this is just fanning the flames.”