Extract from Court Paper (16 February 2011)
1.1.1 School of Education – Open Programme and Certificate in Higher Education
The University would like to consider withdrawing from some or all Open Programmes Courses and the associated Certificate in Higher Education.
The School of Education runs a suite of Adult Continuing Education (ACE) courses. Most of the courses have no entry qualifications, no formal examinations, and usually no requirement of previous subject knowledge although many do feature an assessment option which, if passed, awards credit towards an Award in Continuing Education. The courses also act as a foundation for Certificate of Higher Education courses. ACE courses generate some income but they are also underpinned by SFC income that could be deployed elsewhere in the University where there are seen to be opportunities to grow research excellence and expand international recruitment.
The Strategy for the School of Education is to drive forward the frontiers of learning knowledge, curriculum and assessment in education from pre-5 to higher education. The School has plans to expand and diversify civic and community education programmes including the revitalization of the Masters programme in Community Development to attract home and international students.
Significantly there are other, and larger, providers in the City of Glasgow of courses similar to those offered under the Open Programme.
Detailed calculations are required but it is envisaged that closing the ACE courses will reduce salary costs, offset by the loss of income. In addition removing the need to provide space for some of the courses and staff will facilitate reduction in Estate footprint.
One large aspect of the Open Programme is the provision of “recreational” language courses. The review of the Open Programme would need to interact with the review of School of Modern Languages and Cultures to determine whether new opportunities exist in this area. This was flagged by the review of SMLC that reported in January 2010.
The consultation would ensure that appropriate alternative paths were available to the relatively small number of students who use the Open Programme and Certificate in Higher Education courses as a means to accessing full undergraduate degree programmes.
Many students on the Open Programme only commit to study for a semester at a time. The consultation would need to ensure that appropriate processes are adopted to look after students with longer term commitments.