The Bedford College Group has been recognised as the 5th largest in the UK upon the merger between Bedford and Tresham Colleges in August 2017.
CEO and Principal Ian Pryce CBE, who is celebrating 20 years at the helm, says: “The measurements are based on income showing ours at £82,375,000. We stand out especially because our Further Education campuses do not include a huge metropolis like Leeds or London, instead we are sharing opportunities across towns in two shire counties: Bedfordshire and Northamptonshire.”
The income survey comes from the ‘teaching bible’ the Times Educational Supplement but is only the latest indicator of the growth of The Bedford College Group.
In it’s Bigger and Better annual report 2018, the group is shown to be:
- The largest college in the South East Midlands (SEMLEP) region with 14,723 students and 983 employees
- One of the top 20 financially strong colleges in England with £1 Million surplus
- In the top 10% for progressing students on to positive destinations
- In the top 15% of colleges in England for student achievement in the classroom.
- Granted ‘Chartered Institution Status’ because of its exemplary position in the FE sector
“Teaching Excellence is a key aim of The Bedford College Group. We are the only college to win national TES teaching and assessor awards for three years in succession and we have staff across the board who are genuine experts in their fields, who comes from key positions in industry and so are up to date with the fast changing needs of employers, and, in fact, who are judges at World Skills events.
“The Bedford College Group is putting not only Bedford on the national map, but also giving young people in Northamptonshire access to great opportunities in Kettering and Corby and soon 1,000 will be joining the new look campus in Wellingborough in which £7.5 Million is being invested.
“Shuttleworth College, next to the Bedfordshire town of Biggleswade is known world-wide for its land-based learning.
“And across all of the curriculum areas ever ‘Higher’ educational achievements are being made including degree-level learning in our new £5.2 million Buchanan Centre (offering Advanced Engineering and Construction) at Bedford College to a £3.65 million Zoological Educational Centre being built now at Shuttleworth College.
“We’ve gone from good to great and our aim is to become Outstanding in the 2020s. To achieve that we need to be agile, make sure students have the best possible experience and educational and employment outcomes.”
Like all FE colleges, Bedford College declared independence at the end of the last century. Prior to that it had been part of a local education collective which has roots going back to the 19th Century and the foundation of the Bedford Training College for Teachers.
In the 21st Century, The Bedford College Group, has spread across many campuses, and is offering degree level-learning across a wide range of disciplines.