Telford College has opened a new base in the town centre as a forerunner to the construction of a hi-tech digital learning hub in the town’s ‘Station Quarter’.
The college has begun delivering a range of maths A level classes at Addenbrooke House, just a few minutes’ walk from Telford Central railway station.
It is the first step towards the creation of a multi-million pound Maths, Digital and Enterprise Hub which will form part of Telford’s huge ‘Station Quarter’ regeneration.
The hub, which will be kitted out with the latest digital learning technology, is a collaboration between the college, Telford & Wrekin Council, and other partners, and have close links to the business community.
Holly Davies, head of academic studies at Telford College, said: “The move into Addenbrooke House to deliver some of our maths A level classes is an important first step on this very exciting journey for us.
“There are some fantastic plans to grow Telford’s station quarter, and the college will be creating an ambitious and exciting innovation centre right at the heart of it.
“Not only will it raise aspirations and offer a new way of learning, it will open up the college’s curriculum to even more people across the borough.
“Meanwhile, our Addenbrooke House base is giving students a taste of the learning experience that is in store.”
The ease of public transport links to the town centre has already made a big difference to some of the students who travel to Telford College from Wolverhampton.
Sophie McLoughlin, 17, a former pupil of the city’s St Chads school, studied at Addenbrooke House for the final two months of the current term.
She said: “I travelled in from Wolverhampton on the train, and it’s such an easy journey – I got off the train and it was only a five-minute walk to my classroom.
“I can see studying at the Telford town centre campus appealing to people travelling in from all over Telford, Wolverhampton and Shrewsbury. The plans for the Station Quarter sound amazing.”
She added: “Addenbrooke House is a bigger space, the classrooms are comfortable for learning, promoting independence, which is a good transition to university.
“Telford College was the first place I felt like I belonged; I met people I had things in common with for the first time. The way the teachers teach is unique, you’re encouraged to explore and understand why you managed to find the outcome – discovery learning.”
Another teenager who has enjoyed studying at Addenbrooke House so far is 17-year-old Joshua Tibbetts, a former Telford Langley School student from Dawley.
He said: “The town centre location was really easy to access. It’s closer to where I live, and it opens up the college to more people. I can see Addenbrooke House appealing to more people as a place to study A Levels.”
Joshua is hoping to study maths at one of the Russell Group universities when his Telford College A levels are complete.
Telford College principal and chief executive Graham Guest said: “Maths and digital qualifications are a vital pathway to higher quality and better paid career opportunities for the people of Telford, which is why this new hub is so important.
“We are talking about equipping people for careers in sectors such as cybersecurity, AI and robotics, virtual and augmented reality, cloud computing, wireless technologies, 5G innovation, and a whole lot more.
“The future of education needs to be built around imaginative and creative collaboration, and we are keen to work closely with partners across the business, school and local government sectors.
“Statistics show that young people in Telford & Wrekin have aspirations which are lower than the national average. This new project has the potential to open more people’s eyes to what is possible, right on their doorstep.”