Case studies

Mediating to resolve the breakdown in the relationship between two HE providers


As most privately owned colleges cannot award their own degrees or qualifications, an effective strategy to attract foreign students seeking internationally recognised qualifications is to enter a collaborative relationship with a university or other accreditation body to provide these.

Our client, a private college offering technology courses, agreed a contract with a university to provide accreditation for their courses. This relationship helps both parties – the private college can attract students who do not have a high enough tariff score to obtain a place at university while the university can earn revenue from licensing the rights to its qualifications.

The university subsequently decided that, to ensure a high standard of quality control over courses provided by our client and to protect the integrity of its qualifications, it would attempt to purchase the college. Our client did not welcome this approach and the college was sold to a third party.

In spite of its new ownership, the college wanted to continue the contract with the university to provide accreditation. However, the university wanted to terminate the contract leaving the college with the potential situation where it would have to transfer its students to another university in order to fulfil its obligations to its students.

The Penningtons dispute resolution team set up a day of mediation between the two parties in a bid to resolve this situation but negotiations are still ongoing.


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Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP is a limited liability partnership registered in England and Wales with registered number OC311575 and is authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority.

Penningtons Manches Cooper LLP