Askham Bryan College has been awarded a government grant of over £1 million to refurbish and develop its main teaching block in preparation for the delivery of T Levels.
The funding will be used to continue the College’s sector leading approach to digital learning and innovation and to enhance its Digital Skills Academy.
Tim Whitaker, Chief Executive Officer and Principal, Askham Bryan College, said:
“This is brilliant news.
“We are committed to providing students with an exciting, industry relevant curriculum that enhances their skills and careers and meets employers’ needs.
“The grant will enable the creation of a new CyberScape concept at the College and builds on our award winning virtual and augmented reality developments.”
He added: “As one of the first colleges in the UK to use metaverse technologies, the funding will enable us to combine the many early technologies that we have invested in such as virtual reality, drone technology and data capture.”
The CyberScape project involves creating a new augmented and virtual reality space and a simulator lab as well as digitally enhancing six existing classrooms.
The funding will also be used to launch a sustainable data collection hub, where students will develop ‘micro farm’ resources.
Students will learn about artificial intelligence and machine learning, and work with atmospheric and environmental sensors to develop understanding and decision making.
The government cash injection will support the creation of individualised learning spaces focusing on student work experience, progression and employment opportunities.
This latest news comes hot on the heels of the College’s recent Educate North Award win for digital education and development in May 2023.
The latest funding bid secured by Askham Bryan College is from the government’s T Level Capital Buildings and Facilities Improvement Grant.
It is part of the government’s investment in the development and delivery of T levels, which are two-year technical qualifications that are equivalent to A Levels.
The government has confirmed today, July 7th 2023, that 108 T Levels projects at further education providers nationally have been successful in their bids for specialist equipment.
Robert Halfon, Minister for Skills, Apprenticeship and Higher Education, said:
“This boost of over £100 million is our latest investment in T Levels.
“These are robust, high quality technical qualifications providing a unique ladder of opportunity for students to gain both classroom knowledge and on-the-job experience.
“From robotics suites that support digital T Levels to simulated health wards where students can get a real sense of what it means to work in Healthcare Science, T Levels will support young people into rewarding careers and back businesses with the skills of the future.”
Designed and delivered with employers, students completing T Levels spend 80% of their learning in the classroom and 20% on a 45-day industry placement.
The £1 million Digital Skills Academy opened at the College’s York campus this academic year. The academy focuses on equipping students, and those already in the workforce, with enhanced skills in line with emerging digital technology industry trends.
It has been made possible by the Yorkshire and Humber Institute of Technology, which Askham Bryan College is part of.
The academy has been funded by York & North Yorkshire Local Enterprise Partnership through the government’s Getting Building Fund to develop capacity in digital teaching, learning, assessment and upskilling.
Askham Bryan College is offering T Levels in agriculture from September 2023 and animal and equine from September 2024.