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Brookes college link 'not University of Swindon'
OXFORD BROOKES says it is not planning a “Swindon University” after announcing it is to sponsor a new technical college in the Wiltshire town.
But pro vice-chancellor Paul Inman has spoken about his excitement about moving into Swindon.
Plans for a University Technical College in Swindon, sponsored by Brookes, were approved by the Government this week.
The university already runs foundation courses at Oxford & Cherwell Valley College and Abingdon & Witney College.
Outside the county, Brookes has links with Bridgwater College in Somerset and Brooklands College in Surrey.
But Mr Inman said: “Brookes has no interest in setting up a university in Swindon. What we want to do is increase our presence in Swindon and help the development of higher education in Swindon. This is a long term serious commitment.”
The main focus of the new college, which will teach 14- to 19-year-olds, will be engineering, with other subjects including business and enterprise and entrepreneurship.
Mr Inman, who is also dean of Brookes’ technology, design and the environment faculty, said: “It is fantastic.
“As a university we decided we wanted to sponsor just one potential bid for a UTC. We thought the one in Swindon had the best local and political support and it meshed with our strategic aims about increasing our presence in Swindon and also in the field of engineering.”
Important decisions such as locating a site, pupil numbers and the specifics of what will be taught have not yet been made, but the college is planned to open in 2014.
A UTC proposed for Bicester where students would be trained in sustainable engineering, fuels, building and materials, and bio-engineering and diversity, failed to gain Government approval.
The project was a joint initiative between Oxford & Cherwell Valley College, eco town partner P3Eco, Oxfordshire County Council and Bicester’s secondary schools.