ICON College

A Message from Lord Pickles and Lord Blunkett, followed by ICON College's best practice article

The ability to listen and learn from one another has always been vital in parliament, in business and in most aspects of daily life. But at this particular moment in time, as national and global events continue to reiterate, it is uncommonly crucial that we forge new channels of communication and reinforce existing ones. The following article from ICON College is an attempt to do just that. We would welcome your thoughts on this or any other Parliamentary Review article.

Blunkett signature Rt Hon The Lord David Blunkett
Pickles signature Rt Hon The Lord Eric Pickles


Recent graduates
ICON College premises
ICON College was founded in 2003 with a mission to meet
the demand for affordable, high-quality education and make
world-class British higher education more accessible for
international and local students. The founding members pride
themselves on providing support to help all students reach their
maximum potential, and preparing students for roles in their
career of choice while offering an inclusive, cultural experience
to help them become productive members of society. Principal
Professor Nurun Nabi and Managing Director Azizur Rahman
The Parliamentary Review
Our higher national diploma programmes are awarded by Pearson, formally known
as Edexcel, and prepare students for the ever-changing employment opportunities
of the modern world.
Grounded in theory and practical experience alike, this diverse range of courses
helps students to ready themselves for the world beyond education. They are
taught by our highly qualified and experienced base of teaching staff, who have
expertise acquired from years in their academic disciplines and the professional
Some of the areas that we offer courses in are:
»Principal: Professor Nurun Nabi
»Managing Director:
»Established in 2003
»Based in London
»Services: Higher education
»No. of employees: 12 full-
time academic, 51 part-time
academic, 18 administrative
»Overall student satisfaction at
ICON is 90 per cent, based on
the NSS 2019 survey
ICON College
of Technology and Management
»Healthcare practice
»International travel and tourism
»Hospitality management
Highlighting best practice
Partnering with universities
The quality of teaching at our college
is only further highlighted by the fact
that we have partnered with a variety
of universities to deliver level 6 and 7
qualifications on their behalf.
Between 2004 and 2010, we had a
partnership with London South Bank
University allowing students who had
completed HND programmes at ICON
to enter into the final year of a relevant
honours degree.
In 2007, we delivered a joint level 7
master’s degree in mobile commerce
for pupils who wished to split their
time between ICON and LSBU, and
from 2004/05 to 2010/11 we provided
a supported LLB open learning
programme in conjunction with
Northumbria University.
Finally, we have worked with
Manchester Metropolitan University
and the University of the West of
England to provide a number of level 6
“top-up” courses for students wishing
to proceed from completion of level
5 HND programmes to a degree-level
qualification through Management
Development Partnership. These
included business management and
tourism and hospitality management.
The college also delivered a Pearson
BTEC level 7 professional diploma in
management from 2005 to 2011.
Student support and guidance
We recognise that the next step in
education is not always an easy one,
and as such we provide a variety of
student support services across the
college. Through these, we provide
guidance, information and support for
those who require it.
Chief among these is our personal
tutoring service; each student is
allocated a tutor at the beginning of
their course. This individual is a great
point of contact who ensures the
student has access to necessary advice
and resources, supports their academic
progression, identifies any problems and
acts as a first port of call for pastoral,
professional and academic concerns.
We also have a dedicated student
career advisor, as we recognise that
life beyond education can often be
daunting. They provide support for
career development, guiding students
through university applications and CV
writing at a time that suits them.
Finally, we provide a suite of counselling
services through private therapy
clinics to help students deal with
the stress that can sometimes result
from further and higher education.
These services are flexible, available
both face to face and over Skype or
FaceTime, and are grounded in a range
of research-proven approaches to help
with psychological issues including
depression, anxiety and self-esteem.
Recognition, regulation and
We are subject to regulation from a
variety of external bodies, including
the Office for Students, the Quality
Assurance Agency for Higher
Education and Pearson.
We were QAA reviewed in June 2012
and 2013, and reviewers expressed
their confidence in our academic
standards as well as the quality of
Induction session
Grounded in
theory and
alike, this
diverse range
of courses
helps students
to ready
themselves for
the world
teaching and learning opportunities
available at the college. In 2014, we
were judged to have a commendable
outcome after a QAA monitoring visit.
The college has also had a QAA Higher
Education Review in July 2017, as well
as a partial review in July 2018 with
positive outcomes.
This dedication to excellence is also
reflected in surveys conducted of
students past and present; our student
satisfaction level is an average of 90
per cent across all departments.
Fine-tuning in line with our
shifting student demographic
When we established ICON College in
2003, our main focus was on students
from the international market,
especially with regard to the Indian
subcontinent and Afro-Caribbean
countries – many of whom found it
difficult to enter universities through
traditional means.
This focus continued until 2011, where
we saw something of a change in our
intake; we began looking more heavily
at enrolling local students, from both
the UK and beyond, who had found it
difficult to enter university.
Some of them had worked up to GCSE
or A level, with the equivalent of an
NVQ level 2 or 3, but bringing their
approaches in line with the standards
that higher education demands was
not an easy process. Areas we found
to be challenging included study skills,
retention and work completion.
We also found that some students
had family and health issues that
affected their ability to work. As such,
we have fine-tuned our in-house
support network to effectively address
the problems that present a barrier
This has not been easy, but through
external support from associated clinics
and the construction of a network to
help with stress-related problems and
foster better wellbeing, our students
continue to attain at amazing levels.
The future for ICON College
Going forward, we will look at
expanding the number of students
we enrol and potentially growing
the already-diverse range of courses
we offer. Future partnerships with
universities and other higher education
institutions are also something we’re
looking at.
For the time being, however, our
focus remains on bringing accessible
education to our current student
base. Through high-quality provision,
outstanding teaching and learning and
a balance of theory and practical work,
we will continue to prepare them for
the world of modern employment.
Our focus
remains on
education to
our current
student base
Graduation ceremony,


This article was sponsored by ICON College. The Parliamentary Review is wholly funded by the representatives who write for it. The publication in which this article originally appeared contained the following foreword from Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss's Foreword For The Parliamentary Review

By Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss

Even by the standards of the day –this has been one of the most exciting and unpredictable years in British politics.

The leadership election we’ve just seen marks a huge moment in our country’s history. This government is taking a decisive new direction, embracing the opportunities of Brexit and preparing our country to flourish outside the EU.

As international trade secretary, I’ll be driving forward work on the free trade agreements that are going to be a priority for the government. Free trade isn’t just an abstract concept bandied around by technocrats. It is crucial for a strong economy and for the ability of families to make ends meet. Free trade benefits people in every part of our country, as British firms export to new markets and people doing the weekly shop have access to a wider choice of goods at lower prices.

The essence of free trade is in the title: freedom. It’s about giving people the power to exchange their goods without heavy government taxation or interference. Commerce and free exchange are the engine room of prosperity and social mobility. I’m determined to tackle the forces who want to hold that back.

One of my priorities is agreeing an exciting new free trade deal with the US, building on the great relationship between our two countries and the Prime Minister and US President. But I’ll also be talking to other partners including New Zealand, Australia and fast-growing Asian markets.

And with the EU too, we want a friendly and constructive relationship, as constitutional equals, and as friends and partners in facing the challenges that lie ahead – a relationship based on a deep free trade agreement. Our country produces some of the world’s most successful exports, and the opportunity to bring these to the rest of the world should make us all excited about the future. It is this excitement, optimism and ambition which I believe will come to define this government.

For too long now, we have been told Britain isn’t big or important enough to survive outside the EU – that we have to accept a deal that reflects our reduced circumstances. I say that’s rubbish. With the right policies in place, we can be the most competitive, free-thinking, prosperous nation on Earth exporting to the world and leading in new developments like AI. To do that, we’ll give the brilliant next generation of entrepreneurs the tools they need to succeed. Since 2015, there has been a staggering 85 per cent rise in the number of businesses set up by 18 to 24 year olds – twice the level set up by the same age group in France and Germany. We’ll help them flourish by championing enterprise, cutting taxes and making regulation flexible and responsive to their needs.

As we do that, we’ll level up and unite all parts of the UK with great transport links, fibre broadband in every home and proper school funding, so everyone shares in our country’s success.

2019 has been the year of brewing economic and political revolution. 2020 will be the year when a revitalised Conservative government turbo charges the economy, boosts prospects for people across the country, and catapults Britain back to the forefront of the world stage.

Rt Hon Elizabeth Truss
Secretary of State for International Development