QAA logo and Student at graduation and awards

Wales' largest FE college recognised for quality academic standards

20 March 2024

Wales’ largest further education college, Coleg Gwent, has been recognised for its high academic standards, a recent industry review has revealed.   

Led by The Quality Assurance Agency for Higher Education (QAA), Coleg Gwent was praised across all UK academic requirements with no identified areas for improvement or development. 

Following its undertaking in November 2023, the review expressed full confidence that both the quality of the student academic experience and the college’s academic standards met UK regulatory requirements.  

Conducted on a standard four-year basis, the review offers the Higher Education Funding Council for Wales an expert assessment of providers’ preparedness to sustain operations within the higher education domain. 

Carolyn Watkins, enrolled on a Foundation degree in Childhood Studies, has recently returned to Coleg Gwent after first studying Business and Art at the college back in 1999. Reflecting on the findings from the QAA’s report, she said: “As a busy mum of four boys alongside working full-time, I didn’t see further education in my future — but, Coleg Gwent has supported and enabled me to work towards gaining a new qualification. 

I looked at various providers, but none of them felt right for me until I went to an open event at the college and instantly felt welcomed and valued. This gave me the confidence to enrol and start my higher education academic journey.” 

Having studied her current course since 2021, Carolyn continued: “I recently had the opportunity to become both a class representative and a higher education ambassador for my course, and I’m now part of the QAA student representative team.  The staff at the college have been great, offering unparalleled guidance and support as I took on these new responsibilities.” 

Guy Lacey, Principal and Chief Executive of Coleg Gwent, said: “The results of the QAA review are fantastic news for the College and our higher education team. We are proud of the educational opportunities we offer, and the collaborative partnerships we’ve established to ensure we can deliver top-tier degrees and other higher education credentials that are affordable and flexible. 

“Our staff work hard to ensure that our learners receive nothing short of exemplary teaching, guidance, and support aligned with industry standards, and empower them to reach their goals — it’s fantastic to see this being recognised by the QAA.” 

Coleg Gwent boasts five primary campuses — located in Newport, Torfaen, Usk, Crosskeys, and Ebbw Vale. The college offers an extensive array of higher education courses spanning a wide range of subjects that learners can study full time or part time. 

Providing advice to those looking to embark on a journey into higher education, Carolyn shared: “I would wholeheartedly recommend the college for higher education — the support you receive during your course goes above and beyond.  

“You are given the confidence needed to complete the course, and there is always someone to turn to for help and support — whether this is academically or personally.” 

To find out more about the higher education courses available at Coleg Gwent, visit: