Higher Education expansion planned to fuel economic growth

ONE of the North West’s biggest further education providers is to offer full degree courses across a range of subjects for the first time.

The City of Liverpool College expects to double the number of higher education students it teaches as it offers students the chance to take full degrees in courses related to music, sport, game design and computing.

Existing students will be able to progress onto the full degree courses from their existing studies, while the College will also be accepting new entrants who specifically want to undertake a degree.

The College will be offering the so-called top-up degrees from 2017 but some students currently enrolled, and those enrolling this September, will have the chance to progress onto the degree courses as well.

The College, which has a student population of 22,000 and a turnover of £65m, is driving the expansion to meet demand for skills development across the city region’s growth sectors and anticipates a leap in its higher education student body from 200 students just two years ago to approximately 1,200 students by September 2017, as a result.

Further growth in high education student numbers of about 10% year-on-year is anticipated at the College.

The College believes its skills-led approach to degree learning will suit those from the City Region who might not have expected to go on to study at degree level.

There will be a competitive fee structure for students and access to bursaries to assist on financial support.

College Principal Elaine Bowker says it is essential that the City Region does more to encourage local students onto degree level education if the city is to meet its skills gap.

She also believes the College can play a major part in ensuring students from less well-off backgrounds are fulfilling their potential.

Ms Bowker said:

“Liverpool City Region now has the second highest incidence of high-growth firms in the country, second only to London, and it’s essential that we are creating skills in our local population to meet the needs of these businesses.

“Our new degree programme will deliver inclusive opportunities for young people, including those who might not have expected to progress to do a traditional university degree.

“The programme areas are also specifically designed to meet the needs of the City Region’s skills requirements and areas of anticipated growth.

“One of our priorities is to widen access to higher education and to ensure that the subject areas deliver high value vocational skills to young people.”

Vesna Levi, Head of Higher Education at the College, added:

“Our approach to degrees is radically different to that of traditional universities and it is very much tailored towards delivering graduates who are work-ready and have the skills in place that we know employers in the region are looking for.

“The success of our approach is already reflected in the 94%-plus satisfaction level of existing higher education students so it’s a formula that we know works.”

The higher education expansion announcement follows news of a record-breaking year for the College, which has reported an all-time high figure of 93 per cent of graduates going into related employment or onto further education within six months of graduating.

Students interested in studying for a degree at the City of Liverpool College should visit www.liv-coll.ac.uk

The full list of courses which can be taken as degrees is:


Biological Sciences

Character Art with illustration

Games Design

Hospitality & Events Management

Early Years

Dental Technology

Popular Music

Sports Coaching and Development

Technical Skills for Fashion

Business Management

Health and Social Care

Performing Arts Drama

Electronic Engineering

Mathematics and Physics

Applied Chemistry


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