For the second year in a row, we’re delighted to announce that ICMP has been commended by the Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA). The QAA is an independent body responsible for safeguarding standards and improving the quality of UK higher education. They visited us in March and have now published the report of that visit.
Notably, their report highlights that: “Policies and procedures for ensuring the maintenance of academic standards and the enhancement of the student experience operate within a culture of improvement, which is critically reflective, evidence-based and effective.” They also highlighted that we’ve made commendable progress on our already impressive standards of Higher Education provision in the year since their last visit.
A number of key developments were noted by the QAA. Specifically, they recognised the benefits our students have received since the opening of our brand-new campus, which has consolidated our facilities into a single, state of the art building. Students now have access to extended library facilities, improved equipment loan services and longer opening hours, and can access academic and associated support easily and directly. Our staff numbers have increased too, enhancing the level of engagement with our students, with newly appointed specialist roles including a part-time Subject Specialist Librarian and full-time Student Engagement Administrator.
Our visitors also reacted positively to news of the launch of our dynamic and focused new BA (Hons) in Music Business and Entrepreneurship course, which is already enrolling strongly for this September.
The QAA team praised our student learning opportunities and employment prospects as being “effectively enhanced through extensive industry links and the provision of employment and careers services, which now include skills and careers planning tutorials embedded in all programmes”.
They expanded on this by commending our ‘Careers and Industry Hub’ for providing “mentoring, events and networking opportunities for students”.
They gave examples of our “breadth of engagements with the music industry” by stating that “the awarding bodies and external examiners comment positively on ICMP’s links with the industry and the use of industry guest sessions and the availability of opportunities for students to engage with companies and eminent entrepreneurs in the field”.
Our students were described by the QAA as “actively engaged” and they applauded the “varied and effective lines of communication which exist between students and staff which include a regular cycle of surveys, meetings with programme teams, tutors fast response time to emails and queries, and the availability of academic support staff”.
ICMP’s tutors were also celebrated for their “wide-ranging experience” and it was noted that ICMP “provides high levels of support for continuous professional development for all staff” and is “currently working to further develop teaching and learning underpinned by research and scholarly activity”.
ICMP’s Chief Executive, Paul Kirkham, says he’s thrilled to be commended by the QAA for a second year running:
This latest QAA report mirrors the goals all the staff here at ICMP have been working towards. To have successfully built an institution where students are at the heart of everything we do, bringing their creativity and potential and discovering how to build a successful and rewarding career in the industry, is a real achievement for everyone involved.”
ICMP’s Dean of Academic Studies, Dr Tony Harris, adds:
I’m proud that ICMP is a music college where students and teachers collaborate and can inspire each other. We believe in real-world experience, effective communication and new ideas – and it’s great for our hard work to be recognised once again by the QAA.”
Here at ICMP, we’d like to say a huge thank you to all our tutors, staff members and students for helping to make our music college the friendly, creative, relevant, inspiring and academically rigorous place it has become. It’s truly been a group effort!