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Further afield

Size matters as Leeds City College continues to grow

Leeds City College has completed the takeover of Joseph Priestley College, just weeks after it also took ownership of Leeds College of Music. The two acquisitions mean the college is now the third largest in England by revenue, having just overtaken Cornwall College and lying behind The Manchester College and Newcastle College. Joseph Priestley College sites will now be known as Leeds City College sites, with only the campus in Morley, south-east of Leeds, retaining the name of the locally born scientist and co-discoverer of oxygen. Leeds City College principal Peter Roberts said: "The merger will build on the strengths of both colleges and aims to make significant developments in terms of curriculum planning and improved choice, resources and facilities, and enhanced progression opportunities, as well as driving up standards by pooling talents and expertise."

Stafford College to replace workshops gutted by fire

Stafford College is to start work on a new pound;13 million building to replace workshops damaged by fire three years ago. The workshops will be demolished and replaced with a new Learning Resource Centre, with teaching areas for catering and beauty therapy, and training restaurants and salons open to the public. Principal Stephen Willis said: "The new build provides a real opportunity for bringing in new technology that mirrors that of the modern, well-equipped workplace. The new facilities will support the national policy and our own target to grow the numbers of young people engaged in apprenticeships. It will provide resources that will benefit all our students." The redevelopment was one of the projects that missed out on funding in 2009, and is now being paid for with the college's own resources.

Dragon breathes life into Enterprise Academy offshoot

Solihull College has joined Dragon's Den star Peter Jones (pictured) to form a new branch of his Enterprise Academy. The college will teach the academy's new enterprise qualification, as well as encouraging other providers to offer the course with masterclasses and business networking events. Kate Angel, business enterprise manager for the academy, said: "We will be giving young people the chance to study a new enterprise qualification, designed to help them realise and achieve their business dreams. As part of the course, students will work on real-life business challenges and interact with employers to prepare them for their entrepreneurial careers." Mr Jones has denied claims from the academy's former chief executive, Tom Berwick, that its pound;9 million of public funding was "hard to justify" because it was not producing results. He said it had met its targets for student achievement.

Students sail to success with yacht gift

South Devon College has been given a 22ft sailing yacht for students at its Marine Academy to restore and sail. The yacht was handed over by Baltic Wharf, a nearby boatyard, after it had been abandoned. Students on boatbuilding courses will clean and overhaul it before yacht operations degree students are able to sail it. Adrian Bevin, programme co-ordinator for marine engineering and boatbuilding at the Marine Academy said: "This is a remarkable demonstration of how the marine industry is pulling together. It is fantastic that local industry recognises the value of the college in marine training."


FE Focus reported last week that NCG - formerly Newcastle College Group - had applied for the power to award honours degrees in arts and sciences. In fact, it has won the right to award foundation degrees, but has not applied for the power to award honours degrees. We would also like to point out that NCG has 3,500 HE students, not 50,000 as reported last week.

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