A world-class Campus to match College’s success rates
30.10.09 A world-class Campus to match College’s success rates Portsmouth-based General Further Education College (GFE) leads the way forward for learning with fantastic success rates and superb new facilities to match. As the final stage in its multi-million pound redevelopment is officially unveiled, Highbury College Portsmouth has now been named the top performing General Further Education College in Hampshire & the Isle of Wight. The opening of the new £35 million Highbury Campus, the final phase in its multi-million pound programme of redevelopment, Highbury College Portsmouth now has world class facilities to further support its key mission: to enable all its students to succeed. And most importantly, they are succeeding; Highbury’s success rates now place it in the top six per cent of general further education colleges in England. Highbury’s Principal and Chief Executive, Stella Mbubaegbu CBE, at the official opening of the new Campus by Her Royal Highness The Princess Royal, said: “We started on a journey eight years ago with a vision to transform the estate and create a high performance college providing world-class education for the people of Portsmouth and beyond. We were very clear about what it would look like and where we would be by 2010. We have achieved that vision early.” Mrs Mbubaegbu took up her position as Principal and Chief Executive of the College in 2001, becoming the first ethnic minority female principal of an incorporated further education college in the UK. Since her arrival at Highbury, she has received positive recognition for the role she has played in not only raising the standards of achievement at the College but in promoting further education and skills training to a wider audience. She was awarded the CBE in the New Year Honours 2008 in recognition of her contribution to education and learning. Robin Lendman from the Network for Black Professionals, said: “We are very proud of Stella and her achievements. She took on a heavy responsibility but has exceeded everyone’s expectations, and has put Highbury College on the map. The depth and breadth of her ambitions are exemplified by this building and the superb results that the College students have achieved.” According to officials at the Learning & Skills Council (LSC), Highbury College Portsmouth is set to play a key role in making vocational education attractive and accessible to Portsmouth and its surrounding communities. Mike Stoneham, Partnership Manager at the LSC, said: “Here was a college in financial difficulty, with inspection reports that were not good and problems with the estate. “Mrs Mbubaegbu not only had total belief to get the college where it is today, but she has an equally strong vision for leading the way in learning for the community. This is crucial to helping us to achieve the tough government target of 100 per cent participation in further education by 18-year-olds by 2015.” Anne-Marie Mountfield, Partnership Director at the LSC, said: “Highbury College has delivered the undeliverable. Some people say they were lucky to get their funding; I don’t believe it was luck. These people had a vision and plans to move ahead that you could really believe in.” The brand new Campus is the culmination of a development programme which has been years in the making. The facilities incorporate the latest sustainable technology and improved accessibility, underpinning Highbury’s vision to be a world-class College for the 21st century. Cutting-edge, work-rich environments support teaching and learning, encouraging all students to realise their ambitions. Mrs Mbubaegbu said: “In this building we have not just got bricks and mortar, we have got the feel of Highbury. We wanted a look and a feel about it that promoted the College’s values that stated this is student-led, staff-enabled and that demonstrates our links with Portsmouth. I have such a clear vision that Highbury is here to enable all students to succeed and it is their success that makes it so worthwhile.” For more information about Highbury College Portsmouth, please call (023) 9238 3131 or visit www.highbury.ac.uk. Ends Word Count: 547 Notes to editors: Highbury College Portsmouth • Highbury College Portsmouth is one of the largest vocational colleges in the south east of England and is now celebrating its 45th year of providing excellent education and practical training. • Highbury College has seen the completion of its £56.4 million programme of redevelopment across its five centres in the Portsmouth area, with the opening of the new Highbury Campus in September 2009. • The new campus is home to a range of vocational courses in areas including journalism, automotive engineering and music production and will include digital TV studios and newsrooms, motor vehicle workshops, hair and beauty salons, specialist computing suites, a sports hall and a theatre. • In addition to high-tech classroom technology, the extraordinary new campus, costing around £35 million, is supported by some of the latest green technologies. Solar panels have been installed on the roof of the building, providing 13,600kWh of electricity a year and saving eight tonnes of carbon emissions, equivalent to five Olympic swimming pools or ½ million party balloons. The development also uses one of the largest heat pump installations of its kind in the UK, with 60 boreholes dug 80 metres deep into the ground, allowing the College to use its waste heat more efficiently and reduce its carbon footprint by over 25 per cent.