City college scoops £50,000 cash grant

Principal and chief executive Ellen Thinnesen outside the main entrance to the new Sunderland College City Campus.

Principal and chief executive Ellen Thinnesen outside the main entrance to the new Sunderland College City Campus.

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Sunderland College is one of 67 universities and colleges to be awarded a share of £2.8million to develop small-scale innovations in learning and teaching.

The college received £50,000 to help improve employability skills and further align courses to meet the needs of communities and businesses.

What this funding will help us do is support local needs

Sally Dixon

Funding will also go towards programmes to enhance accessibility, allowing people access to different ways of learning, including at home via technology.

HEFCE (the Higher Education Funding Council for England) is supporting a range of projects across England.

Each project has successfully bid for up to £50,000 each from the Catalyst Fund to develop these schemes for undergraduate or postgraduate services.

Sunderland College director of higher education, participation and skills, Sally Dixon, said: “What this funding will help us do is support local needs – the needs of new learners, employers and communities.

“We are always looking at ways of making learning more accessible and this funding allows us to create new, and enhance current, programmes to help people who may already be at work study from home.

“We can also further develop technology-supported learning and generally boost employability skills.”

All HEFCE-backed projects will develop and evaluate small-scale, experimental innovations with specific cohorts of learners and projects will run for 18 months.

The projects address a wide variety of themes including learning analytics, interdisciplinary learning, academic and employability skills, peer-assisted learning, assessment and student co-creation of learning resources.

HEFCE’s Chief Executive, Madeleine Atkins, said: “We were delighted by the level of interest from universities and colleges in developing new ways of working and are pleased to be funding such an exciting range of learning and teaching innovations.

“We look forward to working with the project organisations to share the lessons across the sector.”