A top class 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.
Oxford West & Abingdon MP Layla Moran, joined a host of local dignitaries, employers, including Woodstock-based Owen Mumford and Witney-based JSP, and the College’s senior management to tour the new Advanced Skills Centre (ASC).
Guests were able to participate in a range of activities and displays from across the College’s faculties. Sport and Public Services students tackled the Compass Challenge on exercise machines and Media and Art & Design students set up a green screen and an augmented reality display.
In the engineering workshop students demonstrated how to control a robot.
The £4 million high-tech hub will facilitate the teaching of technology skills and help develop students’ careers in these fast-growing industries.
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, presented 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, said: “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.”