As part of the Warwickshire College Group structure, South Worcestershire College will return to its individual localised identities and will be known as Evesham College and Malvern Hills College. Warwickshire College Group has six other colleges – Royal Leamington Spa, Rugby, Moreton Morrell, Henley-in-Arden, Warwick Trident and Pershore, also in Worcestershire.
The merger was agreed after a formal consultation which received overwhelmingly positive feedback as the partnership was seen to have the potential to bring significant benefits to the county. The merger will result in educational provision that is better able to contribute to the key growth sectors, particularly advanced manufacturing and engineering, agri-food, agri-tech and the visitor and destination economy. As well as this, there are many opportunities for combining expertise to improve capacity and capability, resulting in increased progression opportunities and potential growth in areas such as apprenticeship provision.
The proposed merger will bring the following benefits:
- A financially viable and resilient college group which is fit for the future
- A more efficient post-16 offer in the south of Worcestershire, increasing the ability to meet economic and educational needs
- An adaptable, forward-thinking and innovative college group which meets the needs of learners and employers
- A diverse curriculum offering excellent opportunities for learning and progression
- Specialist facilities and highly qualified staff
Angela Joyce, Warwickshire College Group Principal and CEO said, “I am delighted to welcome the staff and students of Evesham and Malvern Hills Colleges to Warwickshire College Group.
“This merger offers new opportunities for current and prospective students, employers and communities across Worcestershire as we will be able to offer a broader curriculum, an increased range of specialised facilities, more progression and employment opportunities and an enhanced overall student experience.
“Our staff are now working hard to bring our back office systems and processes together for the start of the new academic year where possible. I look forward to welcoming new and returning students to Evesham and Malvern Hills Colleges in September.”
As part of the merger, College Directors have been appointed. The role of the College Director is to make sure that the college is at the heart of its community and works with local employers and stakeholders for the benefit of its students. Helen Kinghorn, Vice Principal for Teaching, Learning and Quality has been appointed the Evesham College Director and Sharon Bell, Group VP Commercial & International will be the College Director for Malvern Hills and Pershore Colleges.