College of Technology London
In Blog No.7 I explained how I had started investigating the collaborative relationships of the University of Wales in October 2011 and that I had then found that the University of Wales: Trinity Saint David (UW:TSD) also had numerous similar relationships with private colleges. In particular, I investigated the relationships with “College of Technology London” and “Grafton College” where UW:TSD was validating degrees. I wrote to the TSD Vice-Chancellor, Prof Medwin Hughes, raising issues regarding these relationships.
In a letter dated 21 November 2011 Prof Hughes stated that one of his first actions on taking the post of Vice-Chancellor in November 2010 was to examine and shut down these partnerships. However, this would be a process that would respect the legal agreements and the need to ensure that the interests of the students were protected. He said that the process had started in 2010 and that the partnership with these colleges had now come to an end. I welcomed this and felt that Prof Hughes had taken the correct decision.
I happened to look at the “College of Technology London” (CTL) website again towards the end of January 2012 and was surprised to find a declaration, dated 5 December 2011. This statement declared that it was CTL who decided to terminate the agreement with UW:TSD and did so on 16 November 2011. This was contrary to what I’d been told and the reason for the termination, according to CTL, was:
“For over 18 months CTL has expressed its concerns over poor quality assurance and administrative standards at TSD. TSD has been unable to provide adequate explanations for its poor standards or give CTL any confidence in adequate future improvement.”
The declaration goes on to expand on this and the Statement ends:
“Eventually CTL was forced to conclude that the University was unable to deliver an acceptable level of performance and that in order to safeguard its own standards and commitment to students, there was no alternative but to bring the partnership with the University to an end.
“CTL would like to sincerely thank its staff for all their support and hard work throughout this partnership. CTL will now seek a new academic partners, and trusts that TSD honours its obligations to its existing students at CTL.”
There are always two sides to every story but clearly there was a bitter end to this relationship.
In October 2012 there was a merger between UW:TSD and Swansea Metropolitan University. In their preparations for this merger the relationship between UW:TSD and CTL was one of the issues that was examined by the Board of Governors of Swansea Metropolitan University. In the minutes of the Board’s meeting on 11 April 2012 under the heading “Due Diligence Considerations” it was reported:
“That the concerns re. UWTSD College of Technology London had been resolved”
This gives confidence that Swansea Metropolitan University was investigating all the implications before committing themselves to the merger.