Hull College’s part I and II courses no longer prescribed

Update October 1: Statement from Hull College

During the ‘teach-out’ of the programme, we will provide all students with the financial support needed to take Arb’s Prescribed Examination, currently set at £1671 per applicant. The Hull School of Art and Design will fund one opportunity for all remaining Architecture students on the BA programme until the programme is complete in July 2021, we will also provide financial support for travel to London to take the Prescribed Examination.

The Head of Architecture and the Programme Team will provide all students with the necessary support and advice during their studies to prepare students for any examinations and criteria set by Arb for the Prescribed Examination. We are also hopeful that Arb will provide advice and guidance for all students in the lead up to any assessment conditions set by Arb for the examination.

Both the Head of Architecture and the Programme Team have had an excellent year in 2018/19 and they have ambitious plans to open up partnerships again with the external accreditation bodies.

The Arb has stripped a troubled further education college of its power to offer architecture qualifications.

The official regulator revoked the prescription of Hull College’s part I and II courses which are validated by the Open University.

shutterstock_Hull College

Source: Shutterstock

Hull College

It said the college failed to comply with annual monitoring requirements and it no longer had confidence the college had “adequate resources to deliver the qualifications in a way which ensured all our criteria would be met”.

The Arb’s announcement coincided with reports that the college was being investigated by the further education commissioner amid allegations of inappropriate use of funds.

The college has been struggling financially for some years. Last year it received a £34m bailout from the government while also cutting more than 230 jobs as part of a restructure aimed at securing its future. In 2017, after the college was issued with a “notice of concern for financial health”, the then skills minister Robert Halfon said the college had suffered “significant failures in financial management”.

The Arb’s decision will be a further blow to the college which says it runs 1,000 courses for 26,000 students a year.

The regulator said staff had cooperated fully with the process and that it had listened to representations that the college was making improvements.

Emma Matthews, Arb’s head of qualifications and governance, said: “Such decisions are undertaken after careful consideration of the issues and are not made lightly. Revocations are rare.

“However we take our duty to ensure standards are maintained very seriously and are willing to make such decisions when necessary to ensure trust is maintained in the profession.”

Matthews said: “The decision for the revocation to take effect from October 31 was made on the basis that while the students who will graduate in October were exceptionally able to achieve the required standards, evidence gathered as part of our review processes did not provide assurance that the institution’s systems and resources would be sufficient to enable future students to meet the required standards.”

She said this year’s graduating cohort were individually of a high standard with no pass at less than an upper second.

She added: “We understand there are 11 students currently undertaking the qualifications who will not have graduated before revocation. We have offered to provide our support and advice on the options available to this group.”

The qualifications in question are the BA (Hons) Architecture at part I and the Master of Architecture MArch at part II. Both qualifications were initially prescribed in 2016 with a renewal date in January 2020.