The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA) has published its findings from an investigation into concerns raised over aspects of the former relationship between the University of Wales, Finance and Business Training Ltd (FBT) and the London School of Business and Finance (LSBF).
QAA took the decision to carry out a full investigation under its concerns scheme and the investigation team identified a number of weaknesses on the part of FBT/LSBF, including institutional immaturity and inadequate understanding of the expectations of a UK higher education provider.
The University of Wales initially failed to recognise these weaknesses and exercise proper oversight in its programmes at FBT/LSBF. All parties therefore bear responsibility for the issues identified in the report.
In the light of the findings, QAA has made the following recommendations.
The University of Wales should:
- strengthen its monitoring of collaborating organisations' student registration practices
- strengthen its monitoring of collaborating organisations' websites
- establish and enforce minimum requirements for the provision of library and other learning resources at all collaborating organisations' campuses
- ensure the continuing stability of all its collaboration arrangements
- approve, formally and in advance, all staff hired to teach on its programmes, and communicate its decisions clearly and in a timely fashion to the collaborating organisation concerned.
- ensure that both the provisional nature of programme pathways and full details of bottom-line programme costs are transparently explained, both in all published materials and individually to potential students
- ensure the precise accuracy and consistency of awards and award titles cited on its website and in all other published materials
- strengthen its managerial oversight of admissions procedures.
The University of Wales and FBT/LSBF now have six weeks to draw up an action plan to address the findings of QAA's investigation and confirm how they intend to put the recommendations into practice.
The summary concerns report is available at www.qaa.ac.uk/Publications/InformationAndGuidance/Pages/concerns-university-of-Wales-FBT-LSBF.aspx.