Press Releases

University and local FE colleges join forces – University of Reading

Release Date : 01 June 2004

Local college representatives at the launch of The Associate College NetworkThe University of Reading has entered an exciting new partnership with five local Further Education Colleges to promote collaboration between the institutions and develop more education opportunities for the people of Berkshire and North Hampshire. Professor Gordon Marshall CBE, the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Reading, and the Principals of the participating colleges officially launched the 'Associate College Network' at the University on Tuesday 1 June. Berkshire College of Agriculture, Bracknell and Wokingham College, East Berkshire College, Newbury College and Sparsholt College have all joined the new Network. "This collaboration is tremendously advantageous to all involved – not only the University and the five Colleges, but the local community as well," said Professor Marshall. "By working together, rather than in competition, we can seriously explore ways of offering a wider curriculum of subjects to the public and be able to improve staff development and research opportunities at all of the institutions." The purpose of the venture is to provide opportunities for each institution to build on its strengths and to enhance engagement with business, education and the community in the local region. Local people are set to benefit greatly from the partnership as one of its major aims is to create a wider range of educational courses in the area. In particular, two new foundation degrees, one in Information Communication Technology and one for Teaching Assistants, are currently being jointly developed by the University and the relevant Colleges. Other subject areas are also being considered. These programmes will be delivered by the individual College and validated by the University. The Network also aims to develop and enhance progression routes from 14-plus to post-graduate education in Berkshire and North Hampshire, including lifelong learning opportunities. End For media enquiries, please contact Craig Hillsley, the University's press officer, on 0118 378 7388 or email


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