The University Centre plans initially to offer six BA (Hons) courses all validated by the University of Brighton, with an additional 20 courses including BSc top-up degrees, HNCs and HNDs being considered for validation by the University of Brighton and Pearson.
Tony Campbell, chair of the Corporation of Sussex Coast College Hastings said: “The new University Centre offers an exciting new vision for the continued delivery of high quality Higher Education in the Hastings and Rother area.
“We desperately wanted to keep a Higher Education offering in the town and I am delighted that the new University Centre will enable us to do so. We have successfully run degree courses at Sussex Coast College Hastings for over 25 years, so we will use all of our experience and knowledge to make the new model sustainable and successful.
“The University Centre will open in September 2017 with its own dedicated learning and social space and an initial mix of courses that we will continue to develop and grow over the coming years. Students will benefit from being able to study locally, while getting expert tuition and increased contact time with our fully-qualified teaching staff.”
John Harley, chairman of the University of Brighton’s Board of Governors, said: “The decision to close the university’s Hastings campus has not been taken lightly. We fully understand the importance of the local provision of Higher Education to the ongoing development of Hastings and we are keen to see the university continuing to support its delivery. That is why the Board of Governors wanted to see the proposal for the new University Centre being tested and consulted on before taking a final decision on the future of the Hastings campus.
“As a board we have to take account of all of the evidence in coming to a decision balancing all of the available facts. The evidence clearly shows that the current Hastings campus is not sustainable and that the new University Centre is the best and most appropriate way of the university continuing to support Higher Education courses in the town. We have concluded that the right decision is to support the university management’s proposal to close the Hastings campus and for the university to continue to offer its support and expertise to Sussex Coast College Hastings as they take forward the development of the new University Centre.
”We are proud of the university’s continuing commitment to the town including its support for nine Academy schools in the area.”
Today’s announcements follow a year-long review of the Hastings campus which concluded that it was not sustainable. This was followed by a three-month public consultation on the shape of the proposed University Centre.