Staff and students at a Brighton and Worthing ‘super college’ are backing a national campaign which calls for better funding for further education.
The Greater Brighton Metropolitan College (The MET) – the result of a merger between City College Brighton & Hove and Northbrook College last year – is supporting the Fair Funding for Colleges campaign.
It highlights the role that colleges play in transforming lives through the education and training of 2.2 million people every year.
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The campaign has also won the backing of Caroline Lucas, Green MP for Brighton Pavilion.
She said: “These are desperate times and the future of our colleges is at stake. This is particularly worrying given the key role colleges play in social mobility and the life-changing impact they can have on students’ lives. To make life harder for colleges, when the work they do is second to none, is hugely damaging and counter-productive.”
This comes as the campaign revealed that over the last decade, colleges have had to deal with an average 30 per cent funding cut, while costs have increased ‘dramatically’.
Launched by the Association of Colleges (AoC), the National Union of Students and a range of education unions, the campaign highlights the impact of funding cuts on students, businesses, communities and the wider economy.
During Colleges Week (October 15-19), colleges across the country spread the Love Our Colleges campaign message: ‘A failure to invest in colleges is a failure to invest in the country’ on social media, in the press, by lobbying MPs and by taking part in a rally in Parliament Square.
Nick Juba, CEO of the MET, said: “We are proud of the work that we do in supporting students to reach their potential and launch successful careers in a wide variety of industries. This campaign allows us to showcase our students’ achievements and to highlight the essential contribution that colleges make, not just to individual students, but also to businesses, communities and the wider economy.
“We, and other colleges across the country, are operating under increasingly difficult conditions due to sharp decreases in funding, and we want to call on the government for fair funding so that colleges can continue to provide the high-quality skills provision our country needs.”
The campaign will continue throughout October and November with further social media coverage and Principals joining together to write to the Chancellor ahead of the Autumn Budget.