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Consultation on new Characteristics Statement for International Pathway Courses

Date: October 8 - 2021

QAA Members, employers, students and other higher education stakeholders have the opportunity to comment on a new draft Characteristics Statement for International Pathway Courses (IPCs), which is currently open for consultation. 

International Pathway Courses provide an important entry route onto undergraduate or postgraduate degree programmes for international students who don’t possess qualifications that are eligible for direct entry to these programmes. They also serve as a means of supporting students in making the transition from their previous studies and academic culture into UK higher education.  

Characteristics Statements are produced by QAA on behalf of our members. They are used by higher education providers in the design and development of new courses and as a reference point when reviewing or revalidating existing courses. They provide general guidance for the distinctive features and structures of types of courses and qualifications, allowing for flexibility and innovation in design within a framework agreed by the subject community.   

The draft Characteristics Statement for International Pathways Courses describes some of the typical structures of IPCs which relate to academic skills provision, subject modules and modules in English for Academic Purposes. The Statement also outlines some of the distinctive features of these courses - describing common course structures, accessibility provisions and typical progression routes. 

The draft Statement was developed by an Advisory Group working in collaboration with QAA. The Advisory Group comprised representatives from QAA Member institutions from the public and private sectors across the UK, and was chaired by Dr Anthony Manning, Dean for Internationalisation at the University of Kent.  

Commenting on the draft Statement, Dr Manning said:  

‘This Characteristics Statement provides a comprehensive overview of the traditional features of International Pathway Courses which we hope will be of huge benefit to QAA Members in undertaking design and review of IPCs at an institutional level.  

‘This is an excellent opportunity for those involved in overseeing and delivering programmes of this nature to contribute to the development of this resource and ensure that the document reflects the breadth of provision across the UK higher education sector and works to the benefit of all QAA Members.’ 

How to respond 

The consultation document is available below and responses should be submitted via our online survey

A Microsoft Word version of the consultation questions is also provided for those who would like to prepare their answers before submitting the online survey. 

The closing date for responses is Friday 19 November and we plan to publish the final agreed Statement towards the end of 2021. 

Characteristics Statement for International Pathway Courses - Version for Consultation

Publication date: 08 Oct 2021

Consultation on Characteristics Statement for International Pathway Courses - Survey Questions

Publication date: 08 Oct 2021