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Discover more about International Pathway Courses: Characteristics Statement available

Date: October 25 - 2022

International Pathway Courses provide an opportunity for international students to adapt to UK academic culture, develop core skills, subject knowledge and confidence in a safe and supportive environment which emulates the experience of studying in a higher education institution. Our new Characteristics Statement for International Pathway Courses (IPC) provides an overview of the typical features and purposes of these courses.

Characteristics Statements 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 structure of types of courses and qualifications, allowing for flexibility and innovation in design within a framework agreed by the subject community. They are published in our capacity as a membership organisation. This activity will continue once we have demitted our role in England as the Designated Quality Body.

The Characteristics Statement 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.

It was developed in collaboration with an expert advisory group made up of representatives from QAA Member institutions from the public and private sectors across the UK.

Dr Anthony Manning, Director and Dean for Global & Lifelong Learning at the University of Kent and Chair of the IPC Advisory Group commented: 'This Characteristic Statement draws on a broad range of sector expertise in the design, delivery and assessment of pathway courses which create access routes to higher education for international students. It has been an honour to oversee this co-creation process and collaborate with many experienced and committed colleagues who represent different delivery models and contexts. I hope the resource will be widely used to support our diverse community of learners and course providers in our shared mission to sustain and enhance positive international student transitions and experiences in higher education.'