Record enrolment bucks national trend
02/11/2011 20:57 - Return to press releases
East Riding College is bucking the national trend by recording its seventh consecutive increase in full-time 16 to 18-year-old students.
With more than 1,100 now enrolled, the College is expecting to beat the growth targets set for this year. It means the number of full-time 16 to 18-year-olds attending the College has increased by 30 per cent since the 2004/2005 academic year, the year Principal Derek Branton took up his post.
In addition, it is expected a large number of young people who have not gone into work or study straight from school will sign up at the College in due course.
This goes against national trends. Figures provided by FE Week in mid-September suggest enrolments at further education colleges could be down by nine per cent in comparison to the 2010/2011 academic year. A further survey reported recently by the Association of Colleges indicated the number of students had fallen by between five and 15 per cent in a fifth of colleges.
Principal Derek Branton said: "This healthy recruitment follows a very successful 12 months for our students and staff where the high standard of education and achievement levels here have been recognised by inspectors.
"Clearly, the courses on offer at the College and the excellent facilities we provide are really attractive to young people who want qualifications to help them get into work or step up to university."
Matthew Bacon (pictured), 18, of Postill Square, Bridlington, who is studying towards A-levels in sociology, psychology, English and law at the College's campus in St Mary's Walk, Bridlington.
He said: "The courses are great, everyone is really friendly and the tutors are brilliant. I did try sixth form but it wasn't for me. College is a lot more of an adult environment - you really get treated like a grown-up. I'm really happy here and I'm now planning to go on to university."
Mr Branton added: "Our success over recent years is a result of a number of factors, such as a curriculum which constantly evolves according to the needs of students, employers and universities, our continued investment in our facilities and our focus on providing an excellent standard of education.
"We have also responded to the withdrawal of the Educational Maintenance Allowance, which saw up to £30 per week paid to most of our 16 to 18-year-old students for study materials and transport, with the introduction of a free bus to college scheme, bursaries and other support to ensure education is accessible to all.
"In Bridlington we are reaping the rewards of the excellent campus which opened in 2009 and is proving very attractive to students, as well as the introduction of a full-time A-level offer, which allows students to choose from a range of A-level courses.
"We have also found that our reputation is spreading and we are recruiting from further afield, with higher than ever enrolments from areas such as Filey.
"In Beverley, we are planning to build on our success by relocating to a new site within the Flemingate redevelopment, and are working with the developers on the early stages of new proposals."
The past year has seen the College receive a glowing Ofsted report, which highlighted "exceptional" student progress and "outstanding" leadership and management, and this was followed by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service designating it as a Beacon College.
New additions to the ever-changing curriculum, which are essential to ensuring the College meets the needs of students and industry, include special effects for film and television, hair and media make-up and performing arts.
For more information about the College, visit www.eastridingcollege.ac.uk or call 0845 120 0037.
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