West Nottinghamshire College is to transfer most of its higher education provision to Nottingham Trent University, it has been announced.
The university will take over responsibility for the majority of the college’s HE provision, according to the plans, and have sole use of its £6.5 million University Centre in Mansfield, opened in 2016.
West Nottinghamshire College has repeatedly hit the headlines due to its financial difficulties.
West Nottinghamshire College restructuring
In April, it was reported the college had begun a consultation on the final phase of a restructuring plan which would involve it losing 55 staff. A previous restructuring programme meant that more than 70 staff left the college.
This came after the college was issued with a financial notice to improve last year. Former principal and CEO Dame Asha Khemka subsequently resigned, weeks before a report by the FE commissioner cited significant "corporate failure" at the institution.
As part of the new partnership, the university will work closely with the college, local authorities and employers, and provide a range of programmes, including full and foundation degrees and continuing professional education.
Initially, these programmes will encompass nursing and allied health, health and social care, business, early years and childhood studies, sports science, youth justice, computing and technology, and engineering.
The plans also include opening a new facility at the college’s Derby Road campus, offering degree courses in nursing and allied health disciplines in conjunction with Sherwood Forest Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust.
Courses are due to launch in September 2020, with students being offered access to Nottingham Trent student support services and students’ union. All students currently studying an HE programme through the college will complete their qualifications as planned through the transitional arrangements, and their learning will not be affected.
'A meaningful presence'
Professor Edward Peck, vice-chancellor of the university, said: “By partnering with West Nottinghamshire College, we will be able to realise our aim of creating a meaningful presence for Nottingham Trent University in Mansfield and Ashfield. Not only will we be offering education that will support and shape a prosperous future for the local economy [but] this development will enable us to play a role in creating initiatives that will transform the towns over the next 10 years.”
Andrew Cropley, principal and chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College, said: “We are delighted to welcome [the university] on to our campus and bring their very successful courses in easy reach of the people of Mansfield and Ashfield. The combination of sincere community outreach, high-quality teaching, and strong focus on progression to employment aligns very closely with our vision and makes them a great partner. Furthermore, the partnership will provide enhanced opportunities for our own students to progress into quality higher education."