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UCP announces exciting new partnership with The Open University.

22 July 2021

An exciting new partnership between University Centre Peterborough (UCP) and The Open University (OU) has been announced that will bring high-quality and affordable degrees to Peterborough, Stamford and the wider Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire areas. This will enable UCP students to gain a globally recognised degree with a partner that is one of the largest universities in Europe.

This partnership will strengthen the growing provision that University Centre Peterborough has been offering since it expanded in August 2020 when it became part of the Inspire Education Group. Across our campuses in Peterborough and Stamford, there are currently 40 degrees and higher education courses, which will soon be part of our Open University portfolio allowing a fresh and innovative curriculum to be launched.

Liz Knight, Academic Director at University Centre Peterborough said “We are incredibly pleased to be launching this new partnership due to the shared values of University Centre Peterborough and The Open University. The OU put students first and this aligns with UCP’s mission of enabling, empowering and engaging with students and communities to achieve their potential. Their commitment to educational opportunity alongside the delivery of high quality education is what we at UCP are all about. The OU have a global reputation which will benefit the progression of our students into employment both in the UK and worldwide. This partnership will enable UCP to continue to support both school leavers and mature students, and in turn meet the needs of the city and region.”

The OU partnership starts with the launch of three new degrees in September 2021, which will include a BSc (Hons) Computer Science, BA (Hons) Digital Arts, and a BA (Hons) Therapeutic Counselling and Psychotherapy (Top-up).

The new Computer Science degree will replace the previous Computing and Information Systems degree and includes new developments such as the embedding of Cisco CCNA networking qualifications. On the course, students will have access to NetAcad, which is Cisco’s VLE to meet the demands of local employers and ensure the course continues to create employer ready graduates.

Over the last two years, UCP has offered a popular foundation degree in Digital Arts which will now be available as a full honours’ degree with new specialist pathways in graphic design and photography. This innovative course enables practitioners to integrate animation, graphics and photographic skills so that they can respond to the challenges of both the freelance and corporate sectors.

The one-year Therapeutic Counselling and Psychotherapy top-up programme has been introduced due to the increased focus on mental health for all organisations and the knowledge that the NHS cannot be solely responsible for meeting this demand. This sector will benefit from UCP creating more qualified counsellors and students are now able to commence their studies at level 2 and progress to a fully accredited degree.

Janet Meenaghan, Chief Executive Officer of Inspire Education Group said “It is fantastic for University Centre Peterborough to be partnering with such a respected university that is globally recognised and has enabled millions of people to achieve their potential. Providing opportunities for all of our students to be able to progress to higher education by choosing from our diverse curriculum offer at UCP can only improve the career prospects and aspirations of all students in our group. This partnership will enable the Inspire Education Group to continue being the first choice provider of education and training in our region.”

The Open University was created over 50 years ago and is UK’s largest university with students of all ages and backgrounds. They have pioneered distance learning and helped over 2 million people worldwide make their ambition a reality. The OU offers over 200 qualifications across a wide range of subjects, including postgraduate degrees, undergraduate honours degrees, certificates and diplomas, many accredited by leading professional bodies.

Head of OU Validation Partnerships, Lorna Swinyard-Jordan, said: “We are delighted to welcome University Centre Peterborough as a validated partner of The Open University. This partnership supports our mission, as it has the potential to extend our values of inclusiveness and widening access and participation further.”

UCP officially opened their £10 million Peterborough campus in November 2009. As a smaller institution, UCP is able to provide a personalised experience with individual support from lecturers due to our smaller class sizes. Flexible study options make it convenient for students to fit studying a degree around personal, family or work commitments. In August 2020, UCP became the HE subsidiary for the Inspire Education Group to deliver quality higher education in Cambridgeshire and Lincolnshire and provide opportunities by widening participation from the local community.

The partnership with the OU will mean that University Centre Peterborough will continue delivering courses through face-to-face teaching and benefit from the OU’s expertise in online and supported distance learning.

UCP also partners with Bishop Grosseteste University for education and teaching courses and Pearson Edexcel for HNC/HND programmes. The last year for enrolment of new students with Anglia Ruskin University will be September 2021.

There are currently over 850 students studying at UCP and students on these courses will be unaffected by the new partnership and continue to study the qualifications they enrolled on.

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