The Northern Regional College is a six-campus institution serving as the North-eastern region of Northern Ireland. The campuses are geographically spread out to serve an immediate catchment area of 6,000 sq Kilometres, however in practice, its reach is beyond this area to serve students and businesses in specialist areas. NRC has a network of 60 ‘feeder’ secondary schools and recruits 4,000 full-time students and 16,000 part-time students. NRC has 930 staff and an annual budget of £35M. A capital project to deliver two new campuses (value of £85m) is currently underway.
NRC offers a wide range of Vocational Education and Training (VET) and Higher VET courses through four departments (Engineering and Built Environment), (Business, Computing and Creative Industries), (Science and Service Industries) and (Care, and Access). All VET courses are approved and regulated by UKAS approved Awarding Bodies at UK Level 2-3 (VET), and Level 4 and 5 (Higher VET). We also deliver short-cycle degrees accredited by local universities at level 5 (Foundation Degree) and level 6 (Bachelor Degree) and Level 7 (postgraduate awards).
The College’s Strategic Plan identifies the priority of investing and growing STEM provision and in particular we are committed to increasing female participation. Over the last 12 months NRC has invested £1.6m to support STEM education.
As a strategic imperative, in 2015 Northern Regional College brought provision in Business, Computing and Creative Industries into a single Department, to exploit synergies and to enhance the student experience. The College’s Curriculum strategy (2017-2021) and associated Curriculum planning process incorporates a 360° stakeholder analysis leading to increased provision and progression STEM pathways more attractive to girls. This planning process, for example, has led to the replacement of the L2 Administration with a new L2 in Digital Business Technologies, increased provision for L4 Business and Leadership courses and a new L4 HLA in Computing and Advanced Manufacturing.
STEM Scholarships – Engaging with employers encouraging them to act as role models and offer placements, contributions towards student fees and commencing that relationship between student and the world of work at an earlier point in the knowledge and skills acquisition cycle.
- Terri Scott
- Allison Cartwright
- Irvine Abraham
- Craig Fairless