I was always impressed by the system in the UK where large universities ‘validated’ the programs of smaller non-chartered schools and issued their degrees. As long as the arrangement wasn’t abused, it seemed a win-win: small schools could continue focusing on what they did well instead of having to risk losing focus by expanding and broadening to try to meet requirements for a royal charter, and large universities could include unique ‘added value’ programs in their lineup. The cases I was familiar with were partnerships between chartered universities and established theological schools that were recognised for their rigor and their faculty, like St. Johns College/University of Nottingham and Trinity College Bristol/ University of Bristol. In these cases, the faculty with expertise and ‘cachet’ that research students would want to study under are actually at the validated schools, not the validating university. Now I am not so sure. 1. The University of Wales validation of numerous improperly screened schools revealed how the system could be manipulated to produce a cash cow for the university. The “BBC/Dragon’s Eye” expose of this led directly to the breakup of the University of Wales system, with the largest universities departing. Threads here and here. 2. Some UK universities are validating corporate vendors rather than existing schools. There’s a recent thread on the validation of Laureate Online Education by the University of Liverpool. 3. The now-victorious conservative party in the UK had stated their intent if elected to pull university status from the upgraded former polytechnics - some of which engage in the validation process of other schools. One wonders what will happen to students at validated schools if their university loses its university status. I am curious how other people see it. Since the poll feature is a bit reductionist, comments on your reasoning are appreciated.