Colleges announce merger

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WARWICKSHIRE College Group and South Worcestershire College officially merged today (Monday) with the declared aim of bringing improved services to students, employers and the local community.

Pershore College in Worcestershire was already part of the Warwickshire College Group and now the colleges at Evesham and Malvern Hills have been added to the Warwickshire College structure.

Colleges at Moreton Morrell, Warwick, Leamington and Rugby make up the Warwickshire College Group within the actual county of Warwickshire. The campus at Henley-in-Arden was also part of the group until it was closed last month.

In a statement today the Warwickshire College Group said: “The merger was agreed after a formal consultation which received overwhelmingly positive feedback as the partnership was seen to have the potential to bring significant benefits to the county.

“The merger will result in educational provision that is better able to contribute to the key growth sectors, particularly advanced manufacturing and engineering, agri-food, agri-tech and the visitor and destination economy.

“As well as this, there are many opportunities for combining expertise to improve capacity and capability, resulting in increased progression opportunities and potential growth in areas such as apprenticeship provision.”

The statement said the proposed merger would bring the following benefits:

  • A financially viable and resilient college group which is fit for the future
  • A more efficient post-16 offer in the south of Worcestershire, increasing the ability to meet economic and educational needs
  • An adaptable, forward-thinking and innovative college group which meets the needs of learners and employers
  • A diverse curriculum offering excellent opportunities for learning and progression
  • Specialist facilities and highly qualified staff

Angela Joyce, Warwickshire College Group principal and chief executive, said: “This merger offers new opportunities for current and prospective students, employers and communities across Worcestershire as we will be able to offer a broader curriculum, an increased range of specialised facilities, more progression and employment opportunities and an enhanced overall student experience.

“Our staff are now working hard to bring our back office systems and processes together for the start of the new academic year where possible. I look forward to welcoming new and returning students to Evesham and Malvern Hills Colleges in September.”