TDAP Update to the School Community

At Eva’s State of the Association address last week she mentioned that we were preparing a short update for all of you on our Taught Degree Awarding Powers (TDAP) application. So here we go:

  • The AA submitted an application for TDAP to the Privy Council on 29th July 2015 and a decision on that application will be taken by the QAA’s Advisory Committee for Degree Awarding Powers (ACDAP) at their meeting on 9th May 2019. If successful, it is anticipated that the decision will be included on a Privy Council agenda before December 2019 for ratification of the Award.
  • Our final stages of preparation included a submission of evidence on 14th December 2018 and a Post-TDAP scenarios paper (focused on possible outcomes of the ACDAP decision, their implications, and recommended ways forward) that was presented to the School’s joint Academic Board and Academic Committee meeting on 28th November 2018 and to the AA Council AGM/OGM meeting on 21st January 2019. Its key contents include:
  • AA AS A TDAP INSTITUTION
    • Immediate Benefits
      • Strengthening the AA’s academic independence within the frameworks set by the Office for Students (OfS) and the QAA in their regulatory roles.
      • Being able to award UK government recognised academic degrees, which it is hoped to be at the end of the 2019/20 academic year.
      • Parity between AA students and those of other UK Higher Education Institutions (HEIs), including parity with Tier 4 visas rights.
      • Re-opening the AA's Foundation Course to international applicants as it will satisfy the condition of being an accredited offering.
      • Enabling internal management of our entire taught academic provision according to the School’s own academic regulations, policies and codes of practice.
    • Student-specific Benefits
      • All students: Greater ease when qualifying/validating their academic qualifications (including exit awards) internationally and demonstrating academic progression when applying for postgraduate courses.
      • Home and EU students: Continued access to student loans from the UK government.
      • International students: Permission to undertake work during studies and vacation periods; permission to sponsor dependents; greater access to international scholarships/loans; equal recognition with all UK university degree awards.
    •  Immediate Actions
      • To consolidate the existing provision by validating the Foundation Certificate, BA (Hons) and MArch degrees in time for graduating students in 2019/20 and to align with applications for the 2020/21 admissions cycle.
  • FAQs

    Q: Can TDAP be retrospective?
    A: Typically, Degree Awarding Powers are not issued retrospectively.

    Q: What will happen to the AA Diploma if we give out other qualifications?
    A: Instead of being only an internally recognised award, the AA Diploma will become an internationally-recognised and validated award (MArch).

    Q: What if the AA does not get TDAP?
    A: The immediate concerns are to consider the impact on 2020-2025 Strategic Plan; assess impact on student recruitment and financial management; address questions over the future regulation of private providers of higher education; and to consider the existing AA-OU partnership.

    Q: Will the AA be able to issue degree awards in any subject area?
    A: Yes. With the AA’s TDAP application there is no restriction of any future degree areas provided that we maintain robust validating and monitoring processes for all courses.

    Q: What have been the changes at the AA as a result of this process?
    A: The AA has established a robust academic and corporate governance structure with clear protocols, methods and procedures in line with UK HEI standards. This has involved producing essential documents, committees and practices for developing and delivering a more effective and higher-quality education. Along these lines, the AA is already considering the necessary steps to apply for Research Degree Awarding Powers (RDAP).

Our energies continue to be focused on a successful TDAP outcome and the implementation of all the opportunities that success in this process will bring to the AA. We’ll be back in touch as soon as we receive any further news. In the meantime, please do not hesitate to contact Christopher Pierce, QA Facilitator, directly if you have any questions connected to TDAP. 

Watch the School Director's State of the Association presentation

Date Submitted: 5/3/2019

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