Pearson launches college with Royal Holloway degrees

Education company Pearson has launched a college that will offer degrees through the FTSE 100 company's partnership with Royal Holloway, University of London.

Pearson College will take a "small cohort" of "pioneers" in September and then fully open its doors to students in 2013.

Its business and enterprise degree will be validated by Royal Holloway. It has been designed by organisations including BT, Cisco, the Peter Jones Foundation and Atos.

Pearson's attempt to win degree-awarding powers of its own appeared to have stalled after the coalition government shelved plans for a higher education bill that would have changed the law to make this possible.

The company had already announced last year that it would form a partnership with Royal Holloway to offer degrees.

The firm, which also owns qualifications company Edexcel and the Financial Times, made £1.2 billion in pre-tax profit in 2011.

The cost of the degree will be £6,500 a year, and Pearson said students would be able to receive state-backed loans subject to approval from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

The entry requirement will be ABB grades at A level or its equivalent, and applicants will go through an "Oxbridge-style assessment day" that includes an interview and an aptitude test.

Students, who will study in Pearson's offices in London or in Manchester, will have a "guaranteed internship programme" and a "company-based mentor" each, the firm said.

The degree can be studied over two, three or four years.

Roxanne Stockwell, managing director of the college, said that Pearson was "uniquely placed" to develop and deliver degrees "given its academic publishing heritage and over 150 years of commercial experience".

"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. This gives us an inherent understanding of the modern business environment and employer needs," she said.

"Our degrees will therefore embed professional work experience, business skills and etiquette, with significant and relevant input from our industry partners," she said.

david.matthews@tsleducation.com

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