We are delighted to announce that today, Monday 17th August, New College Swindon and Swindon College have merged.
Throughout the process there has been strong support for the merger amongst stakeholders and local communities. Feedback from the public consultation held in April demonstrated that respondents believed that the merger would raise quality and standards through the sharing of expertise and best practice; provide expansion of business training, apprenticeships and higher education and provide a coordinated approach to the strategic direction of further and higher education in Swindon. The college will continue to operate on the North Star and Queens Drive campuses, along with the Adult Learning Centre now relocating to Focal Point.
Carole Kitching, Principal and CEO of the newly merged college (and former Principal and CEO of New College Swindon) says,
“This day of merger is a great day for Swindon and one that we should rightly celebrate. Our vision has always been to be a beacon of academic and technical excellence for the region and we will never lose sight of that. Access to the very best A Level, technical and professional education for residents of Swindon and the region has never been more important than in these very challenging times. Swindon now has a single institution offering the widest range of high-quality courses for young people and adults including employers and apprentices for more than fifty miles. We will be offering progression from Level One to Level 6 (degree level), more than 60 Apprenticeship routes, support for unemployment, re-skilling, professional and technical training and 38 A level subjects. The merger will enable the work on the building of the fabulous Swindon and Wiltshire Institute of Technology to commence, which will provide local access to a much wider range of degree level programmes. Students will have access to the very best facilities on both campuses and we are already seeing a sharp rise in applications for September.
I must be clear however, that our top priority at the moment is supporting A Level and Level 3 students to appeal their grades and secure their places at University, on Apprenticeships and in employment. In this very challenging time, we also want to provide reassuurance to GCSE students that the College will guarantee them a place on a suitable course, that will help them get to where they want to be.’
Martin Wyn Griffith, Chair Designate of Governors for the merged college says,
“I’m delighted to help steer the development of a single college for Swindon, which will offer a wide range of learning opportunities for young people and adults as well as an easier point of engagement for local businesses to provide the best training and development for their workforce. The merger of New College and Swindon College has been supported by our stakeholders, employers and the local community. This will ensure that Swindon gains a college fit for the 21st century.”
The Swindon College Corporation has now dissolved as a legal entity as part of the formal process of joining New College; but of course both college sites at Queens Drive and North Star are continuing to accept applications from students of all ages for study from September.