UEA will begin to validate degrees at South Essex College starting in September, the university has announced.

This means that degrees awarded by the college in several areas will bear the UEA logo and will be of a rigorous academic standard, approved by UEA.

UEA’s process is currently underway to validate the courses and ensure they meet the university’s requirements. The courses, designed by South Essex College, will be examined by a UEA Validation Panel with members including academics from the university and elsewhere.

Initial plans predicted that almost 300 students would take advantage of the different programmes to be offered, including BScs in Psychology and Sociology, Accounting and Finance, and Criminology plus BAs in Early Years Education, Special Educational Needs and Counselling.

The announcement will come as little comfort to students in Norwich a year after their on-campus postgraduate Counselling courses were axed despite protests.

UEA’s Academic Pro Vice Chancellor, Prof Neil Ward, said in a statement: “UEA is delighted that South Essex College is joining our established network of academic partners and we look forward to the College’s first students studying towards UEA awards starting in September 2018.

“This new partnership reinforces UEA’s commitment to higher education in our region and we are excited to be working with the College to support the further development of its provision.”

Art and design courses at South Essex College, which has sites in Southend, Basildon and Grays, are already validated by University of the Arts London.

Most famously, in partnership with the University of Essex, UEA has validated degrees at the University of Suffolk.

Other colleges which offer degrees validated by UEA include Norwich’s City College, Easton and Otley College and UEA’s own INTO program.