Digital technology is an engine of growth across the UK, growing at twice the rate of the rest of the economy. We’ve all heard about the success of what’s happening in London and other big cities, but back in 2018 we reported on a Tech Nation report highlighting that Basingstoke is well place to be amongst them, ranking highly in terms of productivity and digital density. Creating a skills pipeline to fuel business opportunities is vital for Basingstoke, and a recognition that it’s not just about technical skills, but skills in Sales, Marketing, Finance, Management and Human Resources too. So, what did Tech Nation say were the top business concerns when evaluating a business location:
- Appealing area
- A helpful tech community
- Proximity to a University
Basingstoke has always rated highly on the first with resident satisfaction surveys consistently above 90%. While Root21 has been working for some years to create a vibrant Tech Community through business acceleration and networking events such as the Google Developers Group and Talk5G. The glaring omission though has been the last one – proximity to a University. However, this final piece is now in place, as BCoT recently announced the opening of its new University Centre in partnership with the universities of Portsmouth and Reading. The Centre signifies the college’s ambition to play a leading role in the delivery of a sustainable higher education provision in the region.
What It will offer
Anthony Bravo, Principal and Chief Executive of BCoT, said: “BCoT has a long-standing reputation for offering excellent educational opportunities and we are proud to now be able to offer high quality, higher-level qualifications to people across our area and beyond. This is a significant step forward for the education provision in Basingstoke and we look forward to welcoming students this autumn.”
Based at the Worting Road campus, University Centre Basingstoke will offer professionally focused higher-education courses. The full and part-time courses range from entry-level Access to Higher Education, to Higher National Certificates and foundation degrees through to professional Level 7 qualifications
Mark Cooper, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor (Education Partnerships), said: “The University of Portsmouth is a proud partner of Basingstoke College of Technology, working in tandem to provide high quality higher education opportunities for students in north Hampshire and the wider community. The College’s ambition to support skills growth and manage the skills gaps in the region to support local businesses is critical to local and regional economic success. The partnership between our two institutions and the creation of the University Centre will enable student success in their chosen careers and provide them with sustainable progression routes into higher education.”
The new centre will improve the opportunity for people across north Hampshire and beyond to enter higher education and equip students with the knowledge, skills and experience to positively contribute to the economic growth of the region.
The University Centre was officially opened at a special event with MP Maria Miller, who said: “I’m delighted to be able to open the University Centre Basingstoke. The centre is a major step forward in providing people across our region the opportunity to reach their full potential which will ultimately benefit the businesses in our town. To be working with universities like Portsmouth and Reading is a testament to the quality education provision provided by BCoT and I’m looking forward to seeing the centre develop over the coming years.”
It’s fantastic news that there is now a higher education offering available in Basingstoke, one that will create an attractive skills pipeline for businesses and support Basingstoke’s economic development. We congratulate BCoT on this new venture and wish them every success going forward