Friday, February 5, 2010

News: Dearne Valley University Centre bid submitted


The bid to create a new university centre in the Dearne Valley has been submitted to the government.

Wentworth MP John Healey, Staffordshire executive pro-vice chancellor Gill Howland and Dearne Valley College principal Sue Ransom personally handed over the plan to Higher Education Minister David Lammy.

The "statement of strategic intent" says Dearne Valley University Centre (DVUC) would be "dynamic and distinctive" and could be based at Humphrey Davy House, next to Dearne Valley College's Manvers campus.

The Higher Education Funding Council for England have to approve the bid before more detailed planning can be done, but the Dearne Valley Higher Education Partnership – which has Dearne Valley College and Rotherham Council as primary partners alongside Staffordshire University – is seeking £1m to get the centre off the ground.

If it is successful, DVUC could start taking students next year and would expect to have 600 enrolled by 2013/14.

Mr Healey said: "The partnership has made a convincing case for a university centre which would complete the transformation of the Dearne and help people in our area fulfill their potential.

"Staffordshire University have already done in other coalfield areas exactly what we aim to do in the Dearne.

"Our school exam results are improving faster than elsewhere and more young people than ever are going to university from the Dearne, but our rates still lag behind the rest of the country. This bid signals a determination to shatter this last economic and social barrier.

"There are ambitious plans for the continuing regeneration of the Dearne and I want local people of all ages to be able to take advantage of the thousands of new jobs to be created here in the next decade."

Although increasing, the number of people going on to higher education in the Dearne is much lower than levels for the national, regional and South Yorkshire. The university centre would seek to attract young people and mature students who might not have considered going on to higher education before.

The economy of the Dearne has changed dramatically over the last decade, with regeneration attracting many new companies and job opportunities. But many of these are taken by "in-commuters" – Dearne people fill less than a third of the nearly 10,000 new jobs. Thousands more jobs are expected to be created in the Dearne by 2020.

The university would be linked to the emerging Dearne Valley eco-vision and offer courses in business, ICT and sciences to make sure local people have the right qualifications in future.

Sue Ransom, Dearne Valley College principal, said: "The partnership with Staffordshire University would bring a wider range of opportunities for more young people and adults to realise their potential and develop the higher level skills needed for the future. This is and exciting prospect one which individuals, communities and employers in the Dearne Valley need and deserve."

Cllr Roger Stone, the leader of Rotherham Borough Council, added: "Rotherham Borough Council is right behind the bid because the Dearne really needs this kind of higher education facility. If the bid is successful it will be really good news for both local people and employers as we need to raise skills among the local population. A facility such as this will not only raise personal ambitions but is vital in meeting the growing demands of local employers in the future.

"It will also underpin our aim to protect long-term jobs across the borough and will be at the forefront of providing the necessary skills required by the proposed eco-vision for the area."


Anonymous,  February 6, 2010 at 12:37 AM  

If it was in the central area of Rotherham :ie: ROTHERHAM think it would be a great addition to the rotherham economy ,;ie; students spending cash in the town centre,as it is in the Dearne valley it will not ,especially as many in these areas have little affiliation with Rotherham,and think of themselves as Barnsley or Doncaster,so no, not really this isn,t Rotherhams university centre its theres, another missed opportunity by Rotherham (REAL ROTHERHAM) !!!

Anonymous,  February 9, 2010 at 3:13 PM  

Isn't the idea to provide uni access to the locals of the Dearne Valley, rather than bring in students from around the country. I know of quite a few nurses who studied at Sheffield University's campus (Humphrey Davy House) in the Dearne Valley and none of them stayed anywhere near by. They all lived in Sheffield which is the only place any one with a brain cell would want to be when they are a student in South Yorkshire. So Rotherham would miss out on the students spending in the town centre anyway.

Tom,  July 13, 2010 at 3:25 PM  

The Dearne Valley bid was unsuccessful.

The six proposals that were successful are being advised that they should be postponed until government spending decisions have been resolved.

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