National regulator Ofsted has praised De Montfort University Leicester’s (DMU) “skillful” lecturers and “valuable” student support after inspecting its degree apprenticeships and education for young people.
Over the course of several days, inspectors visited DMU’s Leicester campus and met with students and staff on a number of courses.
They looked at the quality of teaching, support for students with different needs, the relationship DMU has with employers and the safeguarding practices in place on campus to protect learners.
As a result, the watchdog has awarded DMU a ‘good’ rating, with particular praise for the expertise of lecturers, student support and industry collaboration.
“Lecturers are highly qualified in their subject specialisms,” inspectors wrote. “They use their expertise to teach curriculums well.
“Lecturers…skilfully ask questions in class and manage online discussions to check apprentices’ knowledge of challenging topics. The majority of lecturers also provide learners and apprentices with helpful feedback.”
Professor Katie Normington, Vice-Chancellor of De Montfort University, said: “We are all very proud of this result.
“Degree apprenticeships and foundation courses are a big part of our strategic aim to build strong partnerships with purpose around the local region.
“Our Foundation Diploma in Art and Design gives students a much-needed pathway into the creative industries which so enrich our society.
“And with our degree apprenticeships, we are working all the time with more employers and businesses to craft courses which give students the skills they need to develop their careers, so it is very gratifying to hear this work cited by Ofsted in this way.”
DMU currently offers more than a dozen degree apprenticeships, with more in development. In all, around 600 learners are currently studying on the courses.
The courses provide businesses with the opportunity to train individuals who work full-time in their organisation, while studying for a university qualification that is relevant to their job. Course time comprises of 80% on-the-job training and 20% off-the-job training.
February 6-12 this year marks National Apprenticeship Week, with the theme ‘Skills for Life’. DMU is holding a series of events which highlight the positive differences that apprenticeships can make to individuals, employers and the wider economy.
Ofsted inspectors praised the way DMU’s degree apprenticeships were developed in conjunction with local employers to make sure students were getting the skills needed in industry.
They said: “Leaders and managers work well with local employers to plan course topics so that they equip learners and apprentices with the skills and knowledge they need.”
Inspectors also looked at the quality of student support offered on the apprenticeship courses.
They said in the report: “Learners and apprentices have access to a wide range of resources to support their mental and physical health. This includes on-site health and welfare services, guidance on diet and wellness, and access to specialist external help.
“Apprentices benefit from guidance, with job interviews and CV writing, as well as on specialisms that relate to their future careers.”
There was also praise for DMU’s approach to safeguarding, which inspectors described as “effective”.
The report said: “Safeguarding staff respond effectively to any concerns that learners and apprentices raise.
“They offer a specific support unit to help learners and apprentices who have experienced sexual violence or harassment.”