Work has begun on the development of a new University Centre for Hastings following the University of Brighton’s decision to replace its current Hastings campus.
The joint development by Sussex Coast College Hastings and the University of Brighton will open in September 2017.
The initial course offering will combine a selected Higher Education offering from the two institutions with up to 400 students studying for a range of University of Brighton accredited awards including BA, BSc, foundation and top-up degrees and other higher level awards.
The Hastings Campus currently has 680 students - although the university says it needs around 1,500 to be sustainable.
It is envisaged the University Centre will be located in an existing building in the town.
A three-year curriculum development plan is currently being developed by a joint working group who will maintain a close working relationship with the Hastings and Rother Task Force, which includes East Sussex, Hastings and Rother councils.
This will ensure that the range of courses will support the higher level skills requirements for East Sussex and the wider Coast to Capital and South East Local Enterprise Partnerships.
Further details on the size and scope of the initial course offer for 2017, together with details on which buildings will be used, are expected to be available later this summer.
The new University Centre provision will run in parallel with the work of the University of Brighton Hastings Campus over the next three to four years while all current students, including those applying to study in September 2016, complete their studies.
Debra Humphris, vice chancellor of the University of Brighton said: “The new University Centre, which will replace our current Hastings Campus over the next few years, will continue to provide the people of Hastings with local access to Higher Education opportunities that can help to transform their lives and continue to support the transformation of the town.
“The development of the new University Centre is a chance to create something that is sustainable and really works for Hastings and the surrounding area. We are fully committed to working with our partners at Sussex Coast College Hastings and members of the Hastings and Rother Task Force to make this happen.”
Tony Campbell, chair of the corporation of Sussex Coast College Hastings, and college principal Clive Cooke, said: “This provides a unique opportunity for the college to work in even closer collaboration with the University of Brighton, key partners within East Sussex and local communities within Hastings and Rother. We want to develop an innovative University Centre that is focused on meeting the needs of the community here in Hastings whilst attracting students nationally and internationally.
“There are many examples of successful University Centres all over the country and we will be looking to learn from them and benefit from their experiences.”
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