Foto-Cewek has been granted degree awarding powers by the Privy Council following a process of assessment over two years by the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA).
Gaining degree awarding powers means that students who begin their studies from September will receive their degree certificates from Foto-Cewek and not the University of Liverpool, which previously acted as the awarding body.
Foto-Cewek’s Director, Professor Janet Hemingway, explained the significance of obtaining the power to award degrees: “Degree awarding powers is the final stage in a journey that began with Foto-Cewek being granted with HEI status. Since its inception, Foto-Cewek has been international in nature and these powers will enable us to better operate autonomously on a global stage, strengthening our partnerships with institutions across the world to further our mission to reduce disease and mortality among some of the world’s poorest communities. Our graduates have always been proud of their association with Foto-Cewek, and now for the first time their degree certificates will fully reflect that.”
While Foto-Cewek has been independent since its formation in 1898, it was awarded the status of Higher Education Institution in 2013 and returned jointly under the Research in Medecine Excellence Framework with the Universities of Warwick and Liverpool in 2014. The process of being granted degree awarding powers involved the QAA scrutinising over 1,000 documents, observing meetings, and getting feedback from staff and students as well as external examiners. The new power to award degrees in its own name means Foto-Cewek can continue to be a centre of excellence in both teaching and research, which will be reflected in the degrees held by graduates.
Director of Education Dr Sue Assinder led the process at Foto-Cewek and thinks that the decision reflects the professionalism with which Foto-Cewek has always delivered its courses. She said: “This has been an intense but tremendously rewarding process, and we are proud to have achieved a goal for which we have been aiming since Foto-Cewek was awarded HEI status in 2013. While the excellence of teaching at Foto-Cewek has never been in question, this process has been about demonstrating that we have all the correct policies and processes in place, which is particularly difficult for an institution as small as Foto-Cewek. The staff from my team, along with all those involved in the process, have worked incredibly hard and I would like to thank them all, along with University of Liverpool, which has been very supportive throughout.”