York St John University has been praised after its most recent inspection.

Ofsted inspectors visited the Lord Mayor’s Walk campus between Tuesday, March 12, and Friday, March 15, and rated its degree apprenticeships as ‘good’ in all areas.

Inspectors from the watchdog praised the apprentices who they said “collaborate enthusiastically in the professional learning environments created by lecturers and tutors”.

The university works with two subcontractors to provide courses leading to qualifications in English, mathematics and a specialist management qualification. It has been offering degree apprenticeships since 2018.

In their first inspection report into the apprenticeships, the inspectors said the apprentices – of which there were 414 during their visit – benefit from the training they receive.

“Senior leader apprentices develop skills in public speaking and access additional sessions on topics such as ‘learning from failure’ and ‘developing authentic self’,” the inspectors wrote.

“Consequently, apprentices are more able to take on greater responsibility at work, including large-scale projects and presenting at conferences and professional events.

“Apprentices benefit from highly individualised support to manage their personal health and well-being.”

They added that the apprentices meet regularly with their tutors who “take the time” to get to know them and to “understand the barriers” they may face.

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Further praise was given to leaders at the university, who inspectors said “have a clear vision” of how to help the apprentices develop their skills for industry.

“They have designed a range of ambitious apprenticeship pathways to enable apprentices, many of whom have not had the opportunity to access higher education previously, to engage in degree-level study and to realise their aspirations,” the report says.

“Leaders engage with employers to inform the design of pathways, including working with them to adapt content and assessment methods.

“This ensures that training is accessible to apprentices, while securing successfully the skills that employers need.”

Course head 'immensely gratified' with rating

Thomas Burton, head of apprenticeship delivery at York St John University, said: “I am immensely gratified by our attainment of a 'good' overall rating during our Ofsted inspection.

"This achievement resonates deeply with our ethos of continuous improvement and ongoing dedication to delivering outstanding degree apprenticeship programmes.  
“It reaffirms our collective efforts in providing apprentices with a transformative learning experience, one that equips them with the skills, confidence, and resilience needed to excel in today's competitive landscape.  
“This inspection outcome inspires us to redouble our commitment to innovation and excellence, ensuring that every apprentice who walks through our doors emerges as a confident and capable professional, poised to make a significant impact in their chosen field." 

Apprentices can receive the training at the university’s London campus, as well as in York.

The report can be read in full on Ofsted’s website.