Newcastle College has celebrated a successful first half-term for its newly launched University Centre, following an application to the Department for Education.
The college is able to develop and award its own degrees in response to demand from local industry, with access to NCG’s Taught Degree Awarding Powers and currently offers more than 70 degree courses from Foundation to Masters.
The launch of a University Centre follows recent recognition for the College’s higher education provision. In June of last year, it was awarded the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Silver Award, a government initiative which recognises excellence in teaching at higher education level. At the beginning of this year it also received the Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Further and Higher Education, the most prestigious national recognition open to a UK academic or vocational institution.
The University Centre is designed to offer a real alternative to university for students; mixing a higher level of study within an FE environment and guarantees progression to its successful Level 3 students.
To support the launch, the College has developed a brand new HE Hub, exclusive to those studying for a degree. It will provide a central support unit for higher education students including a dedicated IT and study facility, as well as a licensed bar and café, with leisure areas to socialise and study. The look and feel of the Hub has been designed by the College’s Interior and Spatial Design degree students, as part of a collaborative project.
An exclusive higher education area in the College’s multi-million pound Parsons Building has been updated and improved, while other designated University Centre spaces are being created across the campus to provide supportive learning and study areas for degree students.
Explaining the significance of the name change, Nicky Turnbull, Director of Higher Education at Newcastle College said:
“As a higher education skills provider, we’re really proud to be able to call ourselves a University Centre.
“The degree provision at Newcastle College is larger than many people may realise and with the launch of the University Centre, combined with our access to Taught Degree Awarding Powers, it has the potential to grow even further.
“The change will offer our current degree students a note of separation while continuing to offer them the benefits of studying in a college environment, particularly the vocational and support based learning they value here.
“It’s important to the College as it will help establish us as a trusted provider of higher education and allow us to grow that provision, cementing Newcastle College University Centre as an institution which offers the same level of education as a university.”