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HEi-think: Tertiary review must untangle some knotty problems facing HE

The review of post-18 education launched by the Prime Minister faces some knotty problems to untangle over higher education funding and student finance, but in itself adds another thread to the tapestry of changes woven around the sector, says Diana Beech, Director of Policy and Advocacy for the Higher Education Policy Institute.

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Live higher education news roundup

Former universities minister Lord Willetts to be Leicester University Chancellor

The University of Leicester has announced that former Universities and Science Minister David Willetts is to be installed as its new Chancellor.

Derby first university in UK to gain MOOCs quality mark

The University of Derby is the first UK university to be awarded the OpenupEd Quality label by review for their Massive Open Online Courses (MOOCs).

OpenupEd is the only quality assurance framework available with benchmarks for MOOCs. The label has been developed by the European Association of Distance Teaching Universities (EADTU), the European association of leading institutions in online, open and flexible higher education.

MOOCs are short online free courses run by major learning providers to share their knowledge of a particular academic topic or to help students develop a specific skill.

George Ubachs, Managing Director at EADTU, said: “By achieving this label, the University of Derby demonstrated that it offers quality controlled MOOCs in compliance with benchmarks tailored to both e-learning and open education and keeps up to date with the latest developments.

“We are looking forward to collaborating with the University of Derby to leverage the full potential of online learning and MOOCs for quality education for all.”

Julie Stone, Director of University of Derby Online Learning (UDOL), said: “I am delighted that we are the first university in UK to be awarded the OpenupEd Quality label by review of our online MOOC provision and our institutional quality assurance. It demonstrates our commitment to alternative modes of study and to ensuring that all our students receive a high quality learning experience.”

The University has launched four MOOCs in the past year, including Understanding Autism, Asperger’s & ADHD; Innovating in Operations Management; Bridging the Dementia Divide; and Digital.ME.

The MOOCs have proven to be successful with more than 22,000 learners enrolled on all four courses in total.

Munib Hadi, Head of the Innovation Hub at the University of Derby, added: “This is a significant achievement. Not only are our MOOCs reviewed according to the quality label, but our internal framework has been accredited as well, which is a testament to the excellent approach taken.”

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