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Coleg Cambria doubles HE student numbers in just two years

The north east Wales college welcomed 400 higher education students through the doors this September, in comparison with 230 in 2016/17.

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New Director of HE Jackie Doodson says key partnerships with universities including Chester, Aberystwyth, Wrexham Glyndwr and Swansea have attracted cohorts to a portfolio of 21 degree-level programmes.

Among the subjects new for this year are Offender Management, Criminal and Social Justice, Agriculture, Animal Management Care, Sports Coaching, and Hospitality Management.


Mrs Doodson says work is already underway on further development of the college’s HE provision and higher apprenticeships, which have also seen significant growth.

She believes a major reason behind the rise is the opportunity to study a University degree close to home.

“Not everyone is able to go away to university. Coleg Cambria offers the chance to study for a University degree whilst staying in this region, with all the financial benefits that brings,” said Mrs Doodson.

“Not only that, students are able to benefit from the excellent teaching and support, as well as the outstanding facilities Cambria is renowned for.”

She believes this is a major reason behind the rise in the number of students.

“The courses we deliver meet local employment demand, they are all vocational and tailored to meet industry and employer needs, which gives our students the best chance of a career in their chosen field on graduating,” said Mrs Doodson.

“This is particularly attractive to younger people and mature learners who do not want to travel to university or relocate and incur huge debts.”

Strong and established relations with some of the region’s biggest and best employers are another selling point.

“We work with the universities and business to ensure standards of education are high, while linking in with some of the biggest names in sectors such as aerospace, engineering, construction, health, and more,” said Mrs Doodson.

“All of the courses have a work placement element and some of the students are already employed, so the flexibility of studying at Cambria is a big plus for them.”

Developing in line with the North Wales Regional Skills and Employment Plan, Chief Executive David Jones said Cambria will continue to deliver apprenticeships, professional qualifications and higher education courses that complement their award-winning FE provision.

“The range we offer is completely focused on the world of work, particularly where there is a demand for skilled employees,” said Mr Jones.

“Students are now looking long-term at the road ahead of them, so they are already considering what career they’ll pursue and how best to get there.

“The increase we have seen over just two years shows we are right there beside them and on the right path, but Cambria always strives for improvement and we will work hard to see a further rise in the years ahead.”