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B&FC secures £2 million funding from Office for Students

Published on 17/01/2022 by SGLAS

General news

B&FC is pleased to announce that it has secured an additional £2 million in funding from the Office for Students (OfS), the UK’s independent regulator for higher education. The sum, which represents the maximum amount available, was awarded following a successful bid which focused on investing in cutting edge technologies to enhance student experience and outcomes in higher education aligned to the needs of the economy and employers.

The funds are earmarked for investment in areas designated nationally as high priority in by the OfS, in particular, high-cost subjects described as being of strategic importance, namely science, technology, engineering and maths. These are seen as being especially significant as they also represent areas where the UK has a demonstrable skills gap. If local, regional and national economies are to flourish in the years ahead, employers will need to be able to find suitably qualified candidates who have the requisite skills to fill these gaps. This is why this additional investment is so important as it will give B&FC students the enriched learning environment and competitive advantage which will help them to become exactly the kind of graduates and higher degree apprentices that employers will be seeking to recruit.

The investment secured will act as a real catalyst for change and opportunity and supplements the investments which B&FC is already making in these critical skills and employment areas.

More specifically, investment will focus on upgrading buildings, facilities and technologies with a sizeable portion of the fund being given over to improvements at the College’s Advanced Technology Centre which supports students in areas as diverse as motor sports and electronic engineering.  Other monies will be spent at B&FC’s Lancashire Energy HQ where students will be able to access the very latest training and technology in renewables and at the Fleetwood Nautical Campus on simulation technologies. The School of Computing will also benefit from new investment in both hardware and software upgrades with a focus on growth areas in the computing sector such as the gaming industry.

Of the funding, Alistair Mulvey, B&FC’s Vice Principal Planning and Finance, says:

“This additional capital investment will deliver a stepped change in the equipment the college accesses to deliver a fantastic student experience focused on leading edge education. Giving our students access to technologies such as VR simulation gives a depth and richness to learning that few other providers can deliver and will give our graduates and high degree apprentices the best opportunities to securing high value careers into the future”

“As the OfS states in Its own press release, the onus was on Colleges to show how their projects represented good value for money and the prudent use of public funds. We are, of course, delighted that B&FC was able to amply demonstrate this and secure the maximum investment available through this process.”