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The Corporation

Posted: 11/02/14

A vision for university-level study

Our new centre for higher education students has been officially unveiled by The Duke of Devonshire.

  • The Duke of Devonshire gives his address
  • Guests and civic dignitaries at the opening event
  • The Duke unveils an official plaque, watched by Dame Asha
  • Vision University Centre is declared officially open
  • Dame Asha leads the Duke on a tour of the building
  • Head of HE Eleanor Taylor (left) explains how the new centre will benefit students
  • The Duke chats to HE students Theresa Upton and Patrick Cunningham
  • The Duke with Dame Asha and members of the college's higher education team
  • The Duke of Devonshire signs the college's VIP visitor book

Vision University Centre was formally opened by the Duke yesterday (Monday 10 February 2014) at a ceremony attended by staff, students, dignitaries and representatives of the college’s partner universities – Birmingham City University and the University of Derby.

The college has turned a building at its Derby Road campus into a dedicated facility for its growing number of higher education students – which includes those studying towards a degree, foundation degree, HNC or HND.

Boasting classrooms, a study area, tutorial room, social space and state-of-the-art IT facilities and learning resources, it provides university-level students with their own place to study and socialise while still feeling part of the college. 

Refurbishment of the two-storey building took place over the summer.  It has been open to students and staff since September.

Dame Asha Khemka, principal and chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College, said: “We are seeing a year-on-year increase in the number of our higher education students, due to the high quality of teaching and the benefits of studying closer to home.

“We recognise that those studying at university-level often have different needs and interests, with the requirement for research and autonomous learning, so it’s important to provide an environment which helps them make the most of their studies.

“Vision University Centre is a fantastic facility that ensures our higher education students have access to all the equipment, learning resources and support they’d get at university while remaining very much part of the college community.”

The Duke of Devonshire – who unveiled a plaque in his capacity as chancellor of the University of Derby – said: "This new centre will have a key role in helping people of all ages, with the will and ability to study, to obtain jobs and better jobs. It is something the Mansfield area richly deserves."

The college, which has 522 higher education students, offers 23 university-level programmes from foundation degrees, full honours ‘top-up’ degrees, Higher National Certificates (HNCs) and Higher National Diplomas (HNDs).  All are vocational, with a strong emphasis on employability skills.