The Chief and Deputy Executive Directors of Bedford College
Ian Pryce and Dave Pridmore met with Shuttleworth staff in
Bedford College Principal Ian Pryce
highlighted the areas of synergy between Bedford and Shuttleworth -
both are strong in the areas of science and technology, both have
tremendous connections with local schools and students from 14
years upwards, and both are important educational providers in
Central Bedfordshire (30% of the existing 15,000 students of
Bedford College come from the Central area).
“We exist for the benefit of our students and
our community and in helping to improve people’s lives,” said
He explained that in ten years Bedford College
had gone from a good to a great college and was now aiming for
“Excellence as standard” across all areas of activity.
Money had already been invested in 16-18 year
old student recruitment at Shuttleworth by Bedford College and
that, on top of great work already done, meant 1,000 students were
expected at the Old Warden site for 2009/2010.
As part of Bedford College, Shuttleworth will
be the experts in land-based education and training, and that
bringing back HE and degree-level learning via a link with a
university was urgently on the agenda. (HE courses had been
withdrawn at Shuttleworth last year having been provided via Essex
“Shuttleworth has an international role to
play in terms of the expertise it offers within the context of
challenges like global food shortages,” added Ian.
Shuttleworth Park and the mansion were assets
which needed to be exploited and made profitable. Here a link with
Bedford College’s award-winning hospitality team would be a great
advantage so conferences, weddings and other events could flourish
and continue to provide employment for the local community.
The Shuttleworth Collection of aircraft and
Bedford College’s existing aerospace expertise was another area
where talents could be shared and developed.
Floristry a course run at Bedford College
would benefit greatly from links with Shuttleworth.
Shuttleworth Director Mike Johnston praised
the work already done at Shuttleworth in dramatically increasing
student numbers and range of courses over the past few years.
“We want to be the jewel in the crown of
Bedford College. Student success rates are improving all the time,
the estate and classrooms are being upgraded together with IT and
student facilities. There is a world of possibilities opening up to
Deputy Principal Dave Pridmore helped to
reassure the Shuttleworth staff that the Bedford “townies” realised
they had a lot to learn.
“Just today I have seen a bundle of piglets
which were born 20 minutes before and have learned that I have to
have to tune into Countryfile on TV.”
On a serious note Dave emphasised that Bedford
College’s main aim was always quality teaching to ensure the best
possible student experience.
“Everyone I have met at Shuttleworth is
passionate about their subject which is what we try to encourage at
Bedford College,” added Dave.