Investment in Anglia Ruskin University centres is set to bring positive change

Published: 5 October 2009 at 12:31

New university centres at Harlow and Peterborough will benefit from £10m funding to support additional student numbers

Anglia Ruskin University centres at Harlow and Peterborough are set to benefit from new funding from the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) which is taking forward the development of nine existing higher education (HE) centres, in parts of the country not well served by higher education.  The University Centres at Peterborough Regional College and Harlow College are operated in collaboration with Anglia Ruskin University.

The specially chosen centres, located in various parts of the country, have been allocated 2,208 additional student numbers in 2010-11 enabling them to enhance the learning opportunities for local people.

Anglia Ruskin University’s new University Centres at Harlow and Peterborough have been selected to receive an investment package of £5m each as part of this initiative. A total of 300 additional student numbers will be created across the two locations.

The latest announcement is part of a programme to raise the skill levels and increase participation by people with little or no experience of higher education, and is one of a range of initiatives to address these priorities. Its distinctiveness lies in making HE available in areas not already well served with relevant HE. Since 2003 HEFCE has invested around £110 million in 21 HE centres or new university campuses, spread across seven regions. The funding has provided buildings and equipment and supported 8,000 additional student numbers over the six year period.

Speaking about the HEFCE investment, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University,  Professor Michael Thorne said:

"We are delighted that the hard work of all our many partners and the local determination to make things happen from both the councils and the local and regional economic development agencies has been recognised in this way. We are proud to be working collaboratively with Peterborough Regional College and Harlow College to make a university education available locally in this way. This is great news indeed for the people who live in Peterborough and Harlow."

The programme has enabled adults and young people to benefit who would not otherwise have been able to experience higher education. The programme is designed to:

  • support the progression of students from further to higher education.
  • enable universities and colleges to work with local businesses to develop higher level skills
  • provide courses which meet local students’ needs.

Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of HEFCE, said:

"We are committed to improving access to high quality learning and teaching. Developing existing higher education centres has enabled us to raise the relatively low levels of participation in many parts of the country. These centres have the capacity to transform people’s lives and broaden their horizons".

Most HE centres involve higher education institutions collaborating with a partner further education college and other funding partners such as regional development agencies and local authorities.