New centre creates university feel for HE students

A new Higher Education Centre has been officially opened by Shrewsbury Colleges Group; showcasing the work and social areas that the HE students have been enjoying for the past three months.

Over the last six years Shrewsbury Colleges Group has invested in its learning environments and campuses. In September 2018, to better facilitate the growing numbers of Higher Education students and to enhance their experience, a new HE Centre was opened. What was the art school at London Road Campus was redesigned and renovated to house the Darwin Building (Public Services, Sport and Outdoor Activities department) and HE Centre.

The new centre has five classrooms, study rooms and a social/kitchen space. It also features a modern computer suite that is equipped with iMacs, desktop computers, IT equipment and high-tech laptop rental and charging lockers.

The project received a £209,079 investment from the Marches Local Enterprise Partnership and Midlands Engine to bring the latest technological advances to the teaching of construction, built environment and digital media by providing state-of-the-art industry-related infrastructure and technology.

Higher Education students have been taking full advantage of their new space. Sam Shoulder, HNC Fashion and Textiles student, said: “The new HE centre has really good facilities and plenty of computers to help with our coursework. This building makes it feel more like a university.” Foundation Degree Counselling student, Diane Ferguson also said: “It is such a lovely space – especially the kitchen. The centre gives us a calmer environment to learn and work.”

The official opening reception took place on Friday 14, with staff and students given mince pies whilst listening to Christmas songs. James Staniforth, CEO and Principal of Shrewsbury Colleges Group, talked about the journey of the Higher Education Centre, saying: “We are all really pleased with the centre and how successful this process has been”. He also pointed out that the aim of this improved HE space was to bring: “high quality, local, affordable education”.

Helen Fellows, Higher Education Lead, said: “It has been my ambition since joining the College in 2013 to have a dedicated teaching and social space on campus for our higher education students. This project has realised this ambition and will enhance our students’ experience going forward. Students and staff were involved in the design of the HE Centre and helped to shape the space. I am really pleased with the building and I am enjoying seeing the students use and enjoy their new learning environment.”

Funding for the project was awarded to the Marches LEP via its Growth Deal with Government.

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