Swindon's newly-created college

By Barrie Hudson - 17 August 2020

College & Higher EducationEducation

New College and Swindon College have officially merged.

  • The former New College has become a campus of the merged one

    The former New College has become a campus of the merged one

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.

The principal and CEO of the newly-merged college is Carole Kitching, who formerly had the same role at New College.

She said: “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 50 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 reassurance 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.’

Martyn Wyn-Griffiths,  Chair Designate of Governors for the merged college said: “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.”

College chiefs say feedback from a public consultation held in April showed a belief 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.

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