New College Swindon is delighted to announce that its Higher Education programmes, including those offered in the Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology, have been granted University Centre status by the Department for Education. An accolade that validates the College’s position at the forefront of higher education growth across Swindon and Wiltshire. With immediate effect, the College’s Higher Education Centre as you know will be re-branded as the New College Swindon University Centre.
In response to the news, Lynne Plested, Vice Principal for Higher Education and Curriculum, said: “For many years, we have been delivering higher education with first-class teaching and excellent facilities. Gaining this new title of University Centre highlights that New College Swindon University Centre is the provider of higher and degree level study for the town and surrounding area. Swindon is often cited as the largest town without a university, but Lynne and her team are keen to rewrite that narrative: “We want to raise local aspirations and make people realise that they don’t need to move or travel out of the area, or pay excessive fees in order gain a university-level qualification. At the New College Swindon University Centre, there are local, affordable opportunities right here on their doorstep. I am incredibly proud of our higher education management team and lecturers, whose hard work and skills ensure we secure great outcomes for our students”.
The qualifications offered across our North Star and Queens Drive Campuses, including the state-of-the-art Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology, open up a wide range of career opportunities in areas such as creative arts; media; science and healthcare; engineering and construction; teaching and childcare; business and ICT. In response to growing demand, the University Centre is already looking to expand its provision, with new qualifications in Esports, Animal Management and Mental Health in development.
New College Swindon is at the centre of a collective effort between, Swindon Borough Council, the Swindon and Wiltshire Local Enterprise Partnership, local, schools, universities and employers, to open up access to higher education and address key skills gaps in the area. Carole Kitching, College Principal and CEO said: “We are in a period of substantial reform for the higher education sector and it’s thanks to this collaborative approach that we are able to think creatively and more expansively about the way we deliver higher education skills to our local community.”
Carole has overseen significant investment in higher education at the College over the past few years and when talking about this latest milestone she said: “Following the opening of our Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology in 2021, bringing a University centre to Swindon is another important step forward when it comes to increasing and widening participation in higher education locally. This achievement is a sign of our commitment to deliver an innovative and responsive curriculum that meets the changing needs of individuals and employers.”