Oxford Brookes University to support Swindon College as one of the first 12 Institutes of Technology in England

Wednesday, 10 April 2019

Engineering

Oxford Brookes University is to partner with Swindon College as one of 12 new Institutes of Technology to be created across the country.

“Today’s announcement is a further evolution of our long-standing partnership with Swindon College. Five years ago we worked together to establish a University Technical College in the town. We now look forward to working with local and regional employers to develop technical provision that supports local skills. We therefore very much welcome the government’s endorsement, which will benefit young people in the Swindon area and the whole country for many years to come.

Paul Inman, Oxford Brookes University Pro Vice Chancellor Dean of Technology, Design and Environment 

Education Secretary Damian Hinds announced the organisations today (10 April 2019), that will run the new Institutes of Technology to offer top-quality, higher level technical education, to help close skills gaps in key STEM areas.

Oxford Brookes is one of Swindon College’s existing partners, providing a number of courses including graphic design, education and healthcare. This new £21 million investment will create a state-of-the-art institution, which Oxford Brookes is well placed to support with its technical faculty and industry links.

The institutes will be unique collaborations between universities, further education colleges, and leading employers including top firms Nissan, Siemens and Microsoft. They will specialise in delivering quality higher-level technical training in STEM subjects, such as digital, advanced manufacturing and engineering. The aim is to provide employers with the skilled workforce they need now and in the future.

Paul Inman, Oxford Brookes University Pro Vice Chancellor Dean of Technology, Design and Environment commented:

“Today’s announcement is a further evolution of our long-standing partnership with Swindon College. Five years ago we worked together to establish a University Technical College in the town. We now look forward to working with local and regional employers to develop technical provision that supports local skills. We therefore very much welcome the government’s endorsement, which will benefit young people in the Swindon area and the whole country for many years to come.”

Institutes of Technology form a key part of the Government’s major transformation of technical education in a generation. This includes introducing new T Levels from 2020 – the technical equivalent to A Levels – and further high-quality apprenticeship opportunities.  

The 12 institutes will be backed by £170 million of Government investment so they have access to state-of-the-art equipment and facilities and can tap into the latest research from their university partners to anticipate the skills needs of the future workplace. They will also benefit from additional support from local employers and partners, who will contribute valuable resources such as further investment, seconded teaching staff and equipment.

In December 2018, the Education Secretary set out his 10-year ambition to upgrade the nation’s skills, so more young people have the same high-quality training opportunities with clear pathways to skilled jobs, on a par with that offered in countries like Germany.

Research shows that the number of people in England taking Level 4 or 5 training, lags behind other countries in the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD). Oxford Brookes University already works with further education partners in Swindon, Oxfordshire and others to deliver employer-focussed degrees and apprenticeships, so is well placed to support the new Institute of Technology in creating more opportunities in education.