The RNN Group, whose £10.5m University Centre Rotherham was officially opened last month, has been named one of the highest performing HE providers in the South Yorkshire and North Notts region.

The Rotherham-based Group is the only higher education provider in South Yorkshire to receive a ‘Gold’ award from the Teaching Excellence and Student Outcomes Framework (TEF), which measures excellence in HE tuition.

RNN Group met the gold standard because rates of progression to employment or further study, and levels of satisfaction with assessment, feedback and academic support, are exceptionally high for its students.

The TEF Panel highlighted a number of areas for praise including:

• highly effective support for students progressing on to HE courses

• an outstanding personalised approach to learning and academic development

• embedding of key vocational and sector-specific skills and knowledge most highly valued by employers

• a wide range of opportunities for students to engage directly in developments at the forefront of professional practice.

Support for students progressing from Level 3 courses to higher education includes summer tutorial sessions prior to starting their programmes covering research and writing skills and weekly one-to-one meetings with tutors.

HE curriculum development is carefully designed to ensure it meets the higher level skills requirements of the Sheffield City Region and North Nottinghamshire, with the input of employer advisors to ensure all courses are relevant and up to date.

Undergraduates, who study at both University Centre Rotherham (UCR) and the Group’s campuses in Worksop and Retford (North Notts College), Dinnington (Rotherham College), and Wath-upon-Dearne (Dearne Valley College), are also offered superb work experience opportunities, both in the UK and internationally.

Jason Austin, CEO and Principal of the RNN Group, said he was delighted at the award. He said: “I want to pay tribute to the exceptionally hard work of all higher education staff and students across the Group which has led to this well deserved national recognition.

“People in our region can now study degrees at a new £10.5m dedicated state-of-the-art facility right here in the centre of Rotherham and HE courses at all our other campuses, and external validators have found our success rates and levels of student satisfaction are exceptionally high.

“The timing of the announcement could not be better, with HRH The Duke of York having officially opened UCR last month. After the Royal visit this news is the icing on the cake!”

UCR is open to the public on Wednesday July 10th from 3pm to 6pm, when tutors will be available to offer advice and information on all available higher education courses.

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