The beginning – 2004(Acton)
ABI College, originally founded as Queensland College London (QCOL), is an independent college of higher education which was established in 2004 in Acton, West London by the current proprietor (Chief Executive Officer) in order to provide high quality international education.
In 2006 a second campus was established in London Street, Reading, partly to accommodate the College’s expanding portfolio of provision and also to cater for international students who prefer to reside and pursue their studies outside the Capital.
During 2008, the Acton Campus was relocated to a building conveniently situated at The Mount in Central Acton and in
2009 the College acquired additional spacious premises in London Street, Reading, adjacent to the existing Campus building. Both of these centres are close to good transport links and a range of amenities. Over this period the College made extensive investment in both its estate and educational technology.
In 2012 the College changed its name to ABI. This new title incorporates the three core elements of our educational provision: Academic, Business and Innovation under which banner the College looked forward with confidence to an exciting future and an expanding range of courses to cater for the needs of both home and international students.
Recognition and Accreditation
During 2004 and 2005 the College offered a range of professional certificate and diploma courses, validated by professional bodies such as the Association of Chartered Certified Accountants (ACCA), the Association of Business Executives (ABE), and The Institute for the Management of Information Systems (IMIS), OCR (Oxford, Cambridge and Royal Society of Arts).
In 2007 the College received accreditation from the British Accreditation Council (BAC) and in 2012 following changes to the regulatory framework for private providers the College was successful in its application for educational oversight from the Quality Assurance Agency (QAA). The review team found that confidence could be placed in the College’s management of its academic standards and learning opportunities (www.qaa.ac.uk). Additionally the College gained UK Border Agency Highly Trusted Sponsor (HTS) status.
In 2012 ABI College in common with other private provider was required to undergo a review for Educational Oversight from the Quality Assurance for Higher Education (QAA) which is the “watch dog” for Higher Education in the United Kingdom. The review was successful and the report confirmed that the review team had confidence in the College’s management of it’s responsibilities for the standards of its awards and learning opportunities and that reliance could be placed on the accuracy and completeness of the information that the college published about itself and its programmes of study. The report is available in full on the QAA’s website.
Since 2012 the College has had successful annual monitoring reviews conducted by the QAA (www.qaa.ac.uk) and in 2016 participated in a Higher Educational Review for alternative providers which was also positive in its outcome (Click here to read full report).
The 2017 QAA annual monitoring report concluded that the College was making commendable progress in the enhancement of its academic standards and learning opportunities.
Since 2008, the College has had Pearson Edexcel as an awarding organisation for its Higher Education provision. By September 2010 the number of student enrolments steadily increased, as its provision expanded and the College’s reputation became established. At that time, the number of students enrolled in higher education programmes (Levels 4 – 7) exceeded 400, drawn from forty-three non-EU countries.
An important development in 2012 was the establishment of a collaborative partnership with a UK HEI – St Mark and St John Plymouth (now Plymouth University Marjon). This has enabled the College to expand its range of educational provision to include undergraduate and postgraduate degree programmes. Its first master’s students in Leadership and Management graduated in November 2013.
In 2012 the College was successful in having its undergraduate level courses designated for student finance which increased the accessibility of its programmes to an increasingly diverse range of students drawn from UK/EU. In 2017 this was extended to its postgraduate programmes which also then included an MBA programme for the first time.
In 2011 the College established a Governing Council with external membership drawn from academia and the professions and chaired by a scholar of international standing and with experience of both the private and public higher education sectors in the UK, USA, Canada, Australia, and the United Arab Emirates. The council has proved highly valuable in extending the range of expertise available to the College and student representation on this body was recognised as a feature of good practice by the QAA.
The College is currently updating its strategic plan for the period up to 2020. This includes the addition of a foundation degree in Health and Social Care to its provision and expansion of the number of students studying on its MBA programme.