Andrew Quinn – Director @ PAT Fintech

June 19th 2023

The 3 year anniversary of my starting at PAT Business School is a natural time for reflection, and to say it has been a journey travelled – a journey only really beginning – would be an understatement.

Not so coincidentally this is also the time of the year for Exams Boards and experiencing the pride we feel with the progression of our current learners and seeing the names of our new graduates.

This combination of emotions led me to re-ask the fundamental question I have sometimes struggled with since first stepping into a classroom to lecture 10+ years ago.

As what I sometimes refer to as an ‘accidental (& very fortunate) educationalist’ I have always questioned what really constitutes ‘good outcomes’ from the various programmes I have lectured, designed and delivered.

How do you measure this?

The answer is not necessarily – and I will narrow the scope for the purpose of this blog to part-time learners – the overall grade, although this is an indicator of sorts, and clearly critical in professional (for example: ACCA) exams.

If I look specifically at the nearly 150 graduates from our Diploma in Fintech Risk & Compliance over the past 20 months, I can cite many statistics I believe evidence the quality of our faculty and our commitment to our learners’ learning journey.

For example:

  • 91% completion (graduation from initial registration);
  • 8% withdrawals;
  • Less than 1% of fails from active learners;
  • Almost 50% of our graduates receiving a 1st class honours award.

All these numbers are a source of pride, but the REAL outcome for me, correlated somewhat to the above, is the impact we have on our learners career path.

It is measuring the journey from the initial recruitment, application and acceptance of an offer, to joining the programme and then to ‘where’ are graduates now?

So, a question – honest question: have we made a difference, and how do we quantify this beyond often very generous testimonials?

To answer this and bring me back to my beginning – what are we trying to achieve as educators?

So, we recently set aside some time and conducted some analysis to see the journey travelled by our graduates.

It was interesting.

Of the nearly 130 graduates we have so far tracked, we asked a simple question: are they in a better place on their career path now from where they started on the programme?

This – not grades – is the answer I am looking for.

Of course, there are other factors, we cannot ‘claim’ the Diploma in Fintech in Risk & Compliance was the sole determinant, but the ‘outcomes’ are still interesting, if not compelling.

With a lag to the time since graduated – the longer learners have been graduated the higher the probability of seeing a positive outcome – we can quantify that (at the time of writing) 70% of this sample of graduates have either been promoted internally or moved on to a demonstrably better role since they started the programme.

70% positive outcomes.

Virtually all of the balance (30%) are in unchanged roles.

In truth I would want this number to be even higher but mitigating for a somewhat ‘volatile macro’ environment over the past 12-18 months this is still something we as a team at PAT Business School are very proud of.

We can now demonstrate, the classic ‘show don’t tell, we have, with some statistical confidence, made a difference.

Beyond the very apparent qualitative outcomes we see in our learners – the evolution of the applied skills, the amazing network and community of peer-to-peer learning/support – we can now quantifiably demonstrate we have made or ‘helped’ to create a positive impact on our learners careers, and to some degree their lives.

I believe this now creates a new standard in how we should measure the ‘outcomes’ of what we are committed to achieving as educators.

This will now be the benchmark at PAT Business School, and I would like to believe other providers will also adopt the same standard.