First FTSE 100 degree claimed

Pearson, the international publisher and education firm, is to launch a private degree course. It has announced the opening of Pearson College in September, which it claims will make it the first FTSE 100 company has directly delivered a degree course in the UK.

The degree will focus on business and enterprise and ‘preparing students for the world of business’. It has been validated by existing London universities and developed in conjunction with a number of other businesses, including BT, Cisco and Atos.

The firm is aiming to recruit the ‘brightest and most entrepreneurial students’ and the hands-on BSc will include an internship and company-based mentoring. To gain a place on the course, students will need to achieve at least an A and two Bs at A-level or equivalent and undergo an assessment day.

The new Pearson College does not have the right to award the degree itself. It will be validated instead by Royal Holloway and Bedford New College, part of the University of London.

Roxanne Stockwell, managing director at Pearson College said, ‘Given its academic publishing heritage and business orientation, Pearson is uniquely placed to develop and deliver degrees that combine an academic foundation with business and employer needs.’

She continues, ‘Our degrees are designed by business, delivered with business, for students who are serious about succeeding in business. We have a network of blue chip industry relationships, many of whom are working with us on the design and delivery of our degree programmes.’

The move comes at a time when the Government are allowing more private firms to enter higher education. It puts further pressure on universities already battling the challenges of increased tuition fees and competition from online and distance learning degree courses.

Last month Fast food giant KFC announced that it is partnering with De Montfort University (DMU) in Leicester to offer its restaurant general managers a degree course. It is expected 60 KFC managers will study a bespoke BA Hons management course at starting in January 2013.

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