Following initial discussions with local stakeholders it is proposed that the new University Centre, which is being developed in a partnership between the University of Brighton and Sussex Coast College Hastings, would:
- Open its doors in September 2017 and aim for an initial cohort of up to 300-400 students with further growth in following years.
- Initially offer a range of Higher Education courses drawn from existing provision from the Hastings campus and Sussex Coast College Hastings.
- Develop a growing range of part-time and full-time Higher Education courses including degrees and higher apprenticeships, linked to local employment needs and skills gaps.
- Have all of its Higher Education provision validated by the University of Brighton to ensure the quality of teaching and student experience.
- Have a positive impact on recruitment, retention and attainment barriers encountered by mature students, BME students and disabled students.
University of Brighton Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor Chris Pole, said: “Over the past few months we have been working with our partners and local stakeholders to explore the idea of a University Centre and are now at a stage where we can consult more widely on our emerging thinking.
“The new University Centre offers the potential for a new vision for the sustainable long-term delivery of Higher Education in Hastings building on the achievements of our Hastings campus. The new centre would be able to set its own priorities driven by the needs of the local economy and the people of Hastings and be able to react flexibly to changing circumstances.
“The University of Brighton will continue to provide the framework for academic quality and standards ensuring that the teaching and degree-level qualifications provided by the University Centre are of the same standard as those provided by the current Hastings campus.”
Clive Cooke, Principal of Sussex Coast College Hastings, said: “We have been working in a successful partnership with the University of Brighton for over 20 years in delivering Higher Education courses in Hastings. Today marks a potentially important next step for the provision of Higher Education in the town.
“Over the next few years the new University Centre will develop a range of accessible and flexible courses built around the needs of students and directly linked to future employment and growth opportunities in the local area. This would enable the current and future generations of local people to be able to progress almost seamlessly from local schools, into further and higher education all on their own doorstep.”