UCLan and Preston College celebrate 30 year partnership of widening access to higher education

Both institutions marked the milestone with tree planting ceremonies.

By Aimee Seddon
Wednesday, 30th March 2022, 12:30 pm

The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) and Preston College are celebrating a 30 year partnership that has seen thousands of the College’s students study on UCLan courses over the last three decades.

Preston College was one of the first further education colleges to partner with UCLan when the university became the first in the sector to franchise higher education courses to further education colleges with a view to widening access to higher education.

Since 1992, Preston College learners have studied on a range of UCLan accredited higher education courses, from Higher National Certficates through to postgraduate level, including business, computing, engineering, management, hospitality and tourism.

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Preston College’s anniversary tree planting ceremony (L-R) UCLan Secretary and General Counsel Ian Fisher, UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin, Louise Doswell, Principal and Chief Executive of Preston College and John Boydell, Chair of the Corporation Board at Preston College.

The organisations have marked the milestone by each planting a cherry blossom tree at their respective Preston Campuses as a symbolic gesture in recognition of the long-standing partnership.

UCLan’s tree is situated on the new central spine walkway that runs from the rear of the Student Centre to Victoria Building and Preston College has chosen to plant its tree in a social space close to it’s HE Learning Centre.

Both have mounted a plaque besides each tree to create a lasting tribute to the partnership.

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UCLan Vice-Chancellor Professor Graham Baldwin said: “UCLan and Preston College have a long history of working closely together to deliver flexible learning options that provide a pathway for learners to achieve their education aspirations.

“Through this strong partnership we strive to help meet employer needs, workforce development requirements and other primary economic drivers in the City of Preston and across the Lancashire Enterprise Partnership zone.”

Louise Doswell, Principal and Chief Executive of Preston College, said: “UCLan and Preston College have a strong partnership ethos that has enabled many students over the last three decades access higher education opportunities. We are proud of our partnership which continues to develop flexible learning opportunities to meet the Higher Technical Skills agenda for the City and wider Lancashire region.”

UCLan and Preston College are now looking to the future and exploring way of delivering the new Higher Technical Qualifications (HTQ), which are new or existing level four and five qualifications that have been approved by the Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education (IfATE) as meeting the occupational standards for their relevant sectors.