Shropshire Star

College expanding its university partnership to train next generation of health workers

Keele University is expanding its partnership with a leading further education college in the county.

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Professor Christian Mallen, Executive Dean at Keele University’s Faculty of Medicine andHealth Sciences.

The university joined forces with Telford College last year, in a move aimed at widening skills and education opportunities for local people.

Now Keele is set to have its own dedicated teaching space at the college’s Wellington campus, which will be used to teach college students and deliver online lessons, with a particular focus on training a new generation of health and social care workers.

Professor Christian Mallen, Executive Dean at Keele University’s Faculty of Medicine and Health Sciences, said: “We are all very excited about this plan, which will bring the university, Telford College and Telford and Wrekin Council even closer together.

“The college has very kindly offered the use of learning space at their site, where our academics can come and lead lessons with the college’s students. We also can beam Keele lectures directly to these rooms, meaning people can gain qualifications without necessarily having to travel to the university and increasing opportunities for people living in the area.

“We are looking at how we can co-deliver courses by having students based both at Keele and Telford, create a shared faculty, and get a strong pipeline for health and social care staff working across the county.

“We are committed to working with local partners to improve health and social care in the region. Telford College is innovative, exciting and dynamic, with amazing leadership and fantastic students – so Keele and Telford College are a natural fit. We can really provide a high-quality student experience that meets the workforce needs of the county.”

Telford College currently has around 16,000 students including school leavers, individuals taking a second chance at education, employees of multi-national companies and overseas students.

"Keele will begin enrolling students for the new collaboration over the next few months.

Graham Guest, Telford College’s principal and chief executive, said: “This is great news for Telford & Wrekin, and is also a tremendous opportunity for the college to reinforce our support for the NHS and the local community.

“I'm exceptionally proud of the hard work that has contributed to this achievement. To have Keele University based at the college, working with the ICS, is a proud moment. The vision and support received from partners is clear, but I would also like to reinforce that the work of Telford & Wrekin Council to help facilitate this aspirational new partnership has been a game changer for the area.

“It is also a great aspirational opportunity for our students to have such a prestigious university working with us – not only for health, but many other subjects too.

“Learning is changing, and we firmly believe that the future lies in further education and higher education partnerships such as this.”

Vanessa Whatley, interim chief nursing officer at NHS Shropshire, Telford & Wrekin, described the news as ‘absolutely fantastic’.

She said: “It means that local people who maybe thought they couldn’t get to university will be able to access the provision locally, in our biggest area of population.”

Councillor Shaun Davies, leader of Telford and Wrekin Council said: “By joining forces, Keele University and Telford College are not only providing much-needed health education facilities, but they are also igniting a beacon of opportunity for our local residents.

“This collaboration not only enhances educational prospects but also inspires individuals to strive for excellence, ultimately shaping a bright future for our community.

“Uniting Keele University with Telford College to enhance health education facilities in our borough exemplifies a commitment to raising aspirations and fostering achievement in Telford and Wrekin.”