A state-of-the-art facility that will house the college’s Higher Education provision as well as aiming to develop the engineering and technology skills of the local workforce has been officially opened at Abingdon & Witney College today.
Oxford West & Abingdon MP Layla Moran, who was “blown away” by the event, joined a host of local dignitaries, employers and the College’s senior management to tour the new Advanced Skills Centre (ASC).
Guests were treated to interactive activities and exciting displays from across the College’s faculties. Sport and Public Services students tackled the Compass Challenge on exercise machines, Media and Art & Design students set up a green screen and an innovative augmented reality display, whilst in the engineering workshop guests see if they could outsmart a robot! The £4million high-tech hub will serve as a prominent facility, teaching technology skills and developing students’ careers in these fast-growing industries. Completed in January 2018, students with an interest in studying engineering, computing, science and mathematics at degree level can make the most of the cutting-edge equipment and learning tools that are available.
This event also saw the College officially receive its Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award which it won in November 2017, in national recognition of its teaching and learning, linked to social action projects in the community. Pamela Lumsden from the AoC and Jane Samuels from education charity The Edge Foundation, who sponsored the award, were on hand to present the award and a cheque to the College.
The ASC was funded through the Oxfordshire Learning Enterprise Partnership (OxLEP), who seek to invest in a wide range of projects informed by detailed analysis of the most pressing economic needs in the local area, driving growth and encouraging businesses to invest in Oxfordshire.
Di Batchelor, Principal at the College, was delighted at the response from visitors to the ASC:
“The guests today were clearly impressed with not only our fantastic new building, but also the innovative and engaging activities put together by our dedicated teachers and students.
We consider ourselves very lucky to be able to continue to invest in our facilities and hopefully the Beacon Award is one element shining a light on our hard-working teams and their successes, whilst also justifying the Local Enterprise Partnership’s continuing confidence and investment in us.”