From education to employment

Multi-million pound award to boost student places by 4,000 at Anglia Ruskin University

A university in the East of England has been awarded £20 million to help improve skills and raise the region’s HE provision by up to 4,000 student places.

Anglia Ruskin University received the £20 million pound grant, supplied by the board of the East of England Development Agency (EEDA) and the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), to help improve skills across the east of England. The funding will support the construction of two new buildings at Harlow College and Peterborough Regional College.

Professor David Tidmarsh, Vice-Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University, said: “We are delighted to have reached outline agreement on the funding of the new facilities. This is a major step towards the creation of self-sustaining university centres, which will help to widen higher education participation and underpin the economic growth and change planned within the region”.

“We look forward to the challenge of meeting the targets we”ve set and are very grateful to EEDA for the support they have given to the project so far”, he added.

These new facilities will allow the two campuses to work closely with local industry, allowing expertise and skills to be transferred directly into business activities, helping to grow the regional economy.

By 2012 the number of students studying at the each of the campuses will look to increase from 900 to over 3,000.

Alison Lys, head of skills at EEDA said: “EEDA is very proud to have been a leading force in driving forward this innovative project, we have successfully helped bring together a number of partners to turn what was once a dream into a reality. This is a major step forward for the region in terms of developing a region-wide skills base that can support a world-class economy”.

Through Anglia Ruskin University’s partnerships with business, industry and the public sector it aims to become an economic, social and cultural hub for the east of England. All Harlow College and Peterborough Regional College higher education students will have access to Anglia Ruskin resources and facilities as part of the new joint venture partnership agreement.

Alison added: “Not only will these two new centres increase participation in higher education in the region, but also they will provide essential links with businesses that will help improve workforce productivity and business development.”

Tiffany Dickinson.

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