Dramatic increase in college's students

SUFFOLK'S largest education establishment has today reported a dramatic increase in student numbers. Bosses at the Ipswich-based Suffolk College have spoken of their delight at a 10 per cent jump in numbers of 16-18 year old enrolling in courses since this time last year.

SUFFOLK'S largest education establishment has today reported a dramatic increase in student numbers.

Bosses at the Ipswich-based Suffolk College have spoken of their delight at a 10 per cent jump in numbers of 16-18 year old enrolling in courses since this time last year.

Assistant principal (learning and development) at the college Dr Peter Funnell said: “We have increases in all areas of the college but particularly in Further Education, up to A-level or A-level equivalent.”

Mr Funnell said the college has about 2,500 full time Further Education students and about 5,500 part-time Further Education students.

He added: “We are really pleased at the significant increase in full-time Further Education students. Last year numbers rose by 11pc, this year it was by 10pc.

“We have rises in Higher Education, education beyond A-level and A-level equivalent, but they are not as dramatic.”

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The college set targets and planned to increase student numbers, Mr Funnel said.

Mr Funnel added: “The college is supporting young people develop the skills and competence they need to make a contribution to the economy and community.

“Further Education is intrinsically valuable. These youngsters are tomorrow's bricklayers, plumbers and electricians.”

Mr Funnell said the college's plans to expand Further Education should reduce numeracy and literacy problems found among the population in some parts of Ipswich and Suffolk.

He added: “Many of these youngsters will progress into Higher Education. If we can develop Further Education we will be able to give many more people the confidence to move into Higher Education.”

The University Campus Suffolk (UCS) development, to be built in the Ipswich education quarter, alongside a new £50million Suffolk College is aimed to improve education provision in the county.

Mr Funnell said: “The UCS gives the opportunity to people to move from further education into higher education. UCS creates that opportunity to establish and enhance aspiration.”

For a full interview with Peter Funnell about the plans and ambitions for the new Suffolk College see Education with James Marston in tomorrow's Evening Star.

What do you think about education opportunities for Suffolk's youngsters? Should we be doing more for our young people? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich, IP4 1AN or send us an e-mail to eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk

weblink www.suffolk.ac.uk

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