DARLINGTON College’s principal Kate Roe and Teesside University’s registrar Jonathan Eaton performed the honours at the official opening ceremony, cementing a partnership that dates back years.
HE students studying Levels 4, 5, 6 and 7 are being issued electronic swipe cards to give them access to a range of facilities at the Darlington College campus including computers, wi-fi, quiet study rooms, group study areas and tutorial rooms.
They also have access to HE support tutor Jane Johnstone, who will help students develop the skills and abilities they’ll need to meet the demands of higher education study, enabling them to reach their academic potential.
Ms Roe said: “This enforces just how important our relationship with Teesside University is to us and the rest of the Tees Valley.
“We are really committed to support the business community ensuring they have access to higher skills. The feedback is that the business sector is pleased to be working with us and is benefiting from the expertise of our tutors. We have responded to our students who wanted to feel part of a dedicated learning community in which they could study.”
Mr Eaton added: “It is clear that this HE centre will provide the foundation for a transformative learning experience drawing upon the combined strengths of the college and the university.
“This marks a bold commitment to the future of higher education in Darlington with a vision of preparing students with the skills, knowledge and expertise they will need to thrive in a complex and uncertain future.”
Ms Johnstone said: “The HE environment is unique and being able to absorb this atmosphere is very much part of student learning, particularly for those who work part-time, juggle their lives around their studies and need to maximise the experience.”
National Council for the Training of Journalists student Tom Coleman welcomed the new centre. He said: “As part of my apprenticeship I work mostly at a newspaper so coming into a bustling college can seem a little strange. Having a dedicated learning environment really helps.”