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Collaborative Approval - Factors for Consideration

The guidance set out below is designed to assist departments in considering whether the approval processes for a course falling into one of the collaborative categories will need to include approval by the Collaborative, Flexible and Distributed-Learning Sub-Committee (CFDLSC). As agreed by CFDLSC, this guidance is available only to employees of the University of Warwick.

(a) Franchised Courses

Much of Warwick’s current franchised provision relates to courses developed by the University and delivered at local Colleges of Further Education. This and any other type of franchising arrangement will routinely require approval through the Collaborative, Flexible and Distributed-Learning Sub-Committee.

(b) Validated Courses

Warwick does not operate an extensive portfolio of validated courses, and does not offer a general validation service. Where a validated course is proposed, however, this will require careful scrutiny of the partner through the Collaborative, Flexible and Distributed-Learning Sub-Committee.

(c) Distance Delivery Courses

A number of departments in the University offer distance delivery courses, which will generally require approval through the Collaborative, Flexible and Distributed-Learning Sub-Committee but, in some unusual circumstances, this may not always be a requirement. Factors to be considered when assessing whether a particular course falls within the definition of collaborative might include:

  • Is a contract being entered into for provision of facilities and resources for distance delivery?
  • Is a partner organisation providing any further services in addition to facilities, or would this include learning resources?
  • What is the level of risk associated with the proposal, which might be influenced by the proposed location of the distance-delivery i.e. within the UK, in Europe or beyond, and whether the course is being delivery predominantly by Warwick or external staff.

An example of distance delivery provision which would routinely require approval includes courses for which a partner organisation provides facilities and resources, some on-site student administration and pastoral support. In such collaborations, course delivery is almost entirely undertaken only by Warwick staff. Where the course delivery is undertaken predominantly by none-Warwick staff, such a course might be more appropriately considered as a validated course.

An example of distance delivery which would not require approval as a collaboration is the delivery of a Warwick course in independent venues around the country where there are no partner organisations involved which provide support for students and the course delivery is undertaken entirely by Warwick staff. However, in a situation where the course were to be delivered outside the UK, the level of risk might be considered greater and thus require approval via CFDLSC.

(d) Joint, Dual/Double or Multiple Awards

Any collaborative course leading to a joint, dual/double or multiple awards with one or more other degree awarding institutions will require careful scrutiny of the partner through the Collaborative, Flexible and Distributed-Learning Sub-Committee.

(e) Other Collaborative Courses

Another substantial category of course which might be considered a collaboration, which would not fall strictly within the definitions of franchised provision, is where a Warwick course contains a large proportion of teaching undertaken by individuals external to the University. Where the course leads to a Warwick award and is taught on campus, this would not generally be considered a collaboration that would require approval through CFDLSC, although the input of the external members of staff would need to be approved as part of the normal course approval process. However, in certain circumstances, approval through CFDLSC may be necessary. Issues to consider in such situations are:

  • Is there a partner organisation or is it an open course?
  • If teaching is being delivered by staff who are not employees of the University of Warwick, is their contribution in a personal capacity or as part of an agreement with another organisation?
  • What is the extent of the delivery by staff who are not employees of the University?