International study centers
In the United Kingdom, Study Group has entered into agreements with a number of universities, whereby students are taught at an “International Study Centre” by Study Group staff on the university’s premises. These “foundation” courses are designed to prepare students for a regular undergraduate and postgraduate degree courses. The company website lists such arrangements at the following ‘host’ universities: Heriot-Watt (Edinburgh), Keele, Kingston, Huddersfield, Lancaster, Leicester, Lincoln, Liverpool John Moores, Strathclyde (Glasgow), Surrey, and the Sussex. The group has also had centres at University of Wales, Newport and the University of Stirling which have closed.
Under these arrangements, the Study Group programmes are validated by the host university and are marketed alongside the host university’s own degree courses. On each university’s website, information about Study Group courses are contained on Study Group web pages (such as this example from Kingston) with the identical appearance to the university’s own Web pages.
Brighton-based Study Group established one of the first of these arrangements at the nearby University of Sussex. These partnerships are attractive to UK universities as they provide a way of increasing numbers of overseas students, whose fee income is important. Equally, they attract criticism on the basis that students do not expect a British university course to be provided by a commercial company, that the course quality is not accredited within the university system, and that staff transferred to Study Group employment may lose the pay and pension benefits associated with university employment.
Study Group has made the same arrangements with a number of United States universities, which have received similar comments. The company website lists such arrangements at the following universities: JMU, LIU Post, Roosevelt, UMaine, Vermont, Widener