Telford College has been named as one of the top further education facilities in the UK when it comes to student satisfaction. The Haybridge campus is among 28 further education colleges to feature in the top 100 sites in this year’s National Student Survey – compared with just seven universities.
Graham Guest, principal and chief executive of Telford College, welcomed the figures, which he said proved that universities should not be automatically viewed as the best choice for all students.
The National Student Survey canvassed the views of over 320,000 students and is produced on behalf of the Office for Students and UK higher education funding bodies.
Colleges in the top 100 beat competition from among the most prestigious universities in the country, including Oxford and Cambridge. Telford College is the only Shropshire further education college to feature in the top 100 student satisfaction list.
“It is fantastic to see colleges being recognised in this way,” said Mr Guest. “We know from our own experience just how much students value the learning environment we provide, from entry to degree level.”
This month, Telford College has seen a 94% pass rate in its A Levels, with 100% success across many subject areas, plus maths and English GCSE results which comfortably outperformed the national average.
Telford College has a wide range of higher education programmes up to degree level, including business, computing, engineering, childcare, health and social care, and music.
A quarter of the college’s graduates from 2015/16 were in professional or management roles within six months of completing their qualifications, and three quarters were earning more than ¬£25,000 at the end of the same period.
Students have been speaking about the quality of the learning environment on the Telford College campus.
Daljeet Kaur from Hadley is looking forward to a career as an early years teacher after completing her foundation degree course. She is now in the process of topping it up into a BA honours degree, while working at ABC Nursery in Telford.
She said: “Having a supportive tutor and passionate lecturers in this field of study added to the very positive experience in completing my foundation degree successfully.”
Working mum Mehwish Khan, from Wellington, has just completed a level five foundation degree in health and social care.
She said: “Telford College is a way forward into a practical life and opens many doors to a variety of opportunities. I really miss my time at college, as there was more one-to-one with the tutors. I learned a lot during my time there.”
Zafrana Parveen, who is now studying sociology with criminology after her Telford College graduation, said: “I’ve really grown as a person during my time at Telford College. It’s boosted my confidence, helped me to make a lot of new friends, and the teachers always push you to your best possible grades.”
David Hughes, chief executive of the Association of Colleges said: “Colleges operate at the heart of their communities; they are drivers of social mobility, economic growth and community development.
“They provide high-quality technical and professional education to young people, adults and employers, from entry to degree level, covering a broad range of disciplines ranging from science, engineering and IT to construction, hospitality and the creative arts.”