Students across Northamptonshire awaiting their A level results this week have been urged to consider staying closer to home with an alternative to university that could save them thousands of pounds.
Smaller class sizes, flexible study options and significant cost savings were highlighted by Pat Brennan-Barrett, principal of Northampton College.
She said: “Higher education courses at Northampton College save you at least a third in tuition fees. Going to university is expensive so we urge students to look closely at our HE provision, a much more practical alternative to university which enables people to keep costs down by studying closer to home.
“Our course fees are much lower, with the cost of a two-year full-time HND set at just £6,165 per year compared with up to £9,250 for a university course. Students will still have the opportunity to convert the qualification into a degree with one further year of study, so you can still work towards the career of your choice.”
The average distance between the home postcode and the classroom for college students in HE is 15 miles, compared with 53 miles for those attending a university.
Choosing an HE program at Northampton College also brings other advantages. The class sizes are smaller and there are flexible study options, including part-time courses, which means students can combine work and study and juggle work or family commitments.
Northampton College’s HE options, which include HNCs, HNDs, and apprenticeships, enable students to develop hands-on professional and technical skills. Some students will be returning to education or already at work and keen to progress in their career.
Mrs Brennan-Barrett added: “Employability skills are at the heart of what we teach, and we place great emphasis on guiding students towards exciting and fulfilling careers.”
An innovative programme to improve digital literacy among students at Northampton College has been praised for its “ingenuity and proactivity” - having landed a national award.
The DigiCap scheme was introduced by staff working across the college’s libraries with the aim of helping to improve and develop IT skills and confidence in using new technology across all levels, from very basic to advanced.
The scheme was named the winner of the Best Practice category at the Library and Learning Resource Centre Awards, organised by the Council for Learning Resources in Colleges (CoLRiC). The ceremony celebrates best practice in the Further Education and College sector.
Kate Brown, Learning Facilitator Coordinator at Northampton College said: “Winning the Best Practice Award means so much to everybody on the team. We’ve worked hard to deliver DigiCap to as many students as possible; to ensure that they are prepared for the technological challenges they will face in employment. DigiCap has raised the standard of digital literacy in our students and they are more likely to succeed in their chosen careers.”
The awards showcase the ingenuity, proactivity and fight across the library and learning resource centre sector.
CoLRiC Co-Chairs Mirna Peach and Corinne Walker added: “CoLRiC is delighted to celebrate excellence and to recognise the efforts of both teams and individuals as they strive to deliver relevant and high-quality services during a time of austerity across the sector. Year on year we have honoured innovation with our prestigious awards. This year was no exception. Congratulations to our winners, and to all the colleges who nominated their colleagues.”
Award-winning students have been urged to “be bold and aspire for greatness” during a ceremony to celebrate their hard work and success.
More than 50 Northampton College students, including designers, stylists, engineers and apprentices, were honoured at the annual Daventry Campus Awards.
The ceremony was held at the college’s state-of-the-art campus in Badby Road West on Thursday, June 20.
Cllr Chris Millar, Leader of Daventry District Council, congratulated the award winners and told guests: “Be bold, be creative, strive for all you want. This is the time in your life to take risks and aspire for greatness - and I am once again humbled and impressed by all the students and staff here at Daventry Campus – congratulations to you all.”
Most Determined Student award went to Vritika Mistry, who was commended by her art and design teachers for her ‘can do’ attitude and love of art. Guests were told that Vritika “works extremely hard, acts upon advice and never gives up”.
Jack Shepherd scooped the Best Apprentice award, having quickly impressed the team at boutique hair salon Rocco & Co, where he has now been offered a job. “I want to thank the college and staff for being so supportive and patient,” said Jack, “I am so excited for my future.”
Principal of Northampton College, Pat Brennan-Barrett, said: “These awards are a wonderful and fitting opportunity to celebrate the lives and achievements of our inspirational students, who are helping to make Daventry Campus an incredible place to study.”
Other winners on the night include vehicle maintenance student Zak Marklew-Perkin. His teachers described Zak as “enthusiastic and conscientious, always eager to learn and often early to lessons to get a head start.”
Iuliana Lisnic, who moved to the UK three years ago with her husband and young son, is doing a Business Administration Apprenticeship at Daventry District Council.
“I am totally committed to my studies. I love my job at the council and hope to work there after my apprenticeship finishes,” said Iuliana. “I am now working hard to improve my English reading and writing skills. I couldn’t have done any of this without such wonderful teachers.”
Michael Quinn, a health and social care student, has an apprenticeship at drug and alcohol rehabilitation clinic Charterhouse Clinic. He said: “I missed a lot of school due to illness so when I came to the college I was so grateful for the supportive atmosphere. My ambition now is to become an addiction councilor or therapist.”
Pictures of all the Daventry Campus award winners can be seen on the @NorthamptonCollege Facebook page.
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