03 December 2009

Southend partner college to merge

Jan Hodges (far right) with Diana Hale of Thurrock and Basildon College and Peter Pickford, Chair of the Corporation South East Essex College

The University’s partner college in Southend, South East Essex College of Arts and Technology, is to change its name in January following Government approval for a merger with a neighbouring institution.

The College will merge with Thurrock and Basildon College on 1 January 2010. The newly created college, to be known as South Essex College of Further and Higher Education will cater for 20,000 students across three sites.

The University’s partnership with the College will remain unchanged and the merger will not affect those students (approximately 1,000) studying for University of Essex-validated degrees at the College.

Jan Hodges, Principal and Chief Executive of the new South Essex College, said: ‘The new College, specialising in both further and higher education, will bring so many more learning and career opportunities to young people and adults, to businesses and to staff across south Essex. Our focus will be on our learners and on delivering excellence in teaching and learning.’

The new College aims to improve participation amongst young people and adults across Basildon and Thurrock, areas which currently have low rates of participation post-16 and in higher education. It intends to create centres of excellence with links to the new National Skills Academies in sectors key to the future of the local and regional economies such as retail and customer service, creative and cultural skills including digital media, advanced manufacturing, construction, logistics, hospitality, leisure and tourism, and business and financial services

South Essex College will be the largest college in the eastern region and will make a significant contribution to the south Essex economy with 1,500 members of staff and an annual turnover of approximately £60 million.

Further information is available on the South East Essex College website.

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