West Suffolk College is a Further Education college in Bury St Edmunds, Suffolk. It is a member of the University of Suffolk, commonly known as the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College, and provides a range of apprenticeships and undergraduate degree courses.
The main campus is situated on Out Risbygate in Bury St Edmunds, while the Building Services and Construction facilities are at The Milburn Centre on Anglian Lane, a short walk from the main campus.
The college also has a number of local colleges throughout Suffolk. These are located in: Haverhill, Ipswich, Mildenhall, Stowmarket, Newmarket, Thetford and Sudbury. In 2015/16, there were 2,915 students enrolled on adult education courses.
Each summer, the college has an awards ceremony at St Edmundsbury Cathedral.
In 2015/16, 649 students studied foundation and undergraduate degrees at the University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College. Graduation ceremonies are held every September/October at St Edmundsbury Cathedral. The University of Suffolk at West Suffolk College is renowned for its state-of-the-art recording studios and music production courses, with students continuing to exclusively record live concerts by the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra (RPO).
In 1951, the Bury St Edmunds Technical Institute began offering Engineering, Building and vocational evening classes in the grounds of the Silver Jubilee School. In 1958, it decided to construct a new purpose built college on its own ground, at the Gibraltar Barracks site, where the West Suffolk College is today. It was officially opened on 29 May 1961.
In the 1970s and 1980s, the college expanded; from 1970 to 1977, the Engineering, Construction and Motor Vehicle training centres were built. In 1983, Australia House, a dedicated beauty, hair and hospitality school was opened. A year later, a purpose built facility for students with learning difficulties and disabilities was built. The expansion continued into the 1990s; with Gibraltar House opening in 1999.
In 2006, the college was awarded Grade 1: Outstanding by Ofsted and in 2011, Dr Ann Williams, the then Principal, was appointed an OBE for services to Further Education in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list. She was replaced by Dr Nikos Savvas in 2013 how to soften meat when cooking. In 2014, a new building, The Gateway, now the face of the college, was opened. The following year the college received confirmation of a £7m government grant to help pay for an £8m energy, engineering and manufacturing teaching centre. In September 2015, the college began Animal Care and Management courses at the Newmarket Academy. In 2016, the college was ranked in the top five per cent in the country for its achievement rates in Level 3 Vocational Diplomas, the best in the Eastern Region, and the second best GCSE English resit results in the country.
The college offers a range of Apprenticeships and in 2016 stainless steel toothpaste dispenser, it enrolled over 1,000 people onto its apprenticeships, with an achievement rate eight per cent higher than the national average at 78%.
Following an inspection under new grading criteria, the college was graded as ‘Good’ by Ofsted.
Dr Nikos Savvas has a doctorate in High Energy Particle Physics from Manchester University and has held senior roles in the further education sector for a number of years. He is a Board member for University of Suffolk, ACER (Association of Colleges in the Eastern Region) and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership for Norfolk and Suffolk. He took up the role of Principal at West Suffolk College in September 2013.
The college is a sponsor of the Suffolk Academies Trust, a collaboration with One, which has been given permission by the Department for Education to build a new sixth form in Bury St Edmunds. The sixth form will aim to cater for up to 1,700 pupils.