A NEW partnership was launched last Friday between The Open University in Scotland and Angus College which will give local people access to one of the country’s most flexible and comprehensive learning packages.
The partnership agreement links the college’s suite of higher education qualifications to The Open University’s extensive range of courses and qualifications to create progression routes between the two learning providers. This means that local people will be able to benefit from multi-optional learning programmes that offer them a range of ways to develop their skills at different stages in their lives.
Anyone studying a HNC, HND or a range of other courses at the college will be able to count credit points from their studies towards an Open University degree. This will help them to build on the knowledge and skills they’ve already gained, and in many cases to reduce the length of time it takes to get a degree.
Dr James Miller, director of The Open University in Scotland, explained the rationale behind the partnership. He said: “In today’s economic climate lifelong learning is an essential tool in helping people to stay one step ahead in the labour market.
“They need to have access to flexible and affordable ways of up-skilling and re-skilling in order to ensure their competencies stay current and relevant.
“This partnership gives us the opportunity to bring together Scotland’s leading provider of part-time university education with the college at the heart of the Angus community.
“This gives us the reach and the expertise to contribute directly to the skills and learning needs of individuals and employers throughout the area.”
Many college/university progression partnerships link to a limited number of specific learning pathways. The OU/Angus College agreement gives current and former college students access to the OU’s entire range of nearly 600 courses.
From this they have the option of working towards a degree in a specific subject area, or they can tailor a qualification profile to suit their individual interests.
The flexibility of OU study means that it is likely to offer particular benefits to people who have studied part-time at the college to fit round their other commitments, or who are looking to commence or remain in employment while they work towards a degree. The progression opportunities offered through the new partnership are open to former Angus College students irrespective of how long it is since they studied at the college.
The partnership also offers considerable benefits for local employers by offering a one-stop-shop for many of their training needs and supporting their employees to develop their skills ‘on-the-job’.
John Burt, principal of Angus College, commented: “I welcome wholeheartedly this agreement which will open up new progression routes to degree studies for current, past and future students of Angus College.”
“Potentially our students can study further in their chosen vocational area or widen their choices in the vast range of OU courses. More importantly they will be credited for their past studies and achievements and be able to complete their degree in a much shorter time period.
“This is a great deal for the Angus community.”