A ROW has broken out between two further education centres after a decision to terminate a longstanding relationship between Middlesbrough College and Teesside University was announced on Wednesday night.

The college announced a ‘groundbreaking’ scheme with the Open University to bring ‘affordable’ and more ‘job-focused’ degrees to students, which brings to an end its 20-year partnership with the university from next July.

The university says it was “disappointed” to learn about the decision to withdraw from the partnership from the college’s board of governors, without it being consulted.

Zoe Lewis, principal and chief executive of Middlesbrough College, said: “The Open University shares our ambition to deliver flexible learning that equips students with the skills and knowledge that employers need.

“The partnership means we can provide courses that are better suited to the needs of students – that means more contact time with tutors, more flexible learning hours and better value for money."

A spokesman for the University said: “The University has enjoyed an extremely successful partnership with Middlesbrough College and will continue to work with staff to ensure that students currently enrolled on courses at Middlesbrough College receive the highest quality teaching and support throughout their studies."