The Sussex Learning Network succeeds in a bid for £1.7million to develop a Centre for Work and Learning.
The Sussex Learning Network (SLN), a partnership of universities, colleges, training providers and guidance agencies, submitted a bid in the early autumn to the Higher Education Funding Council for England's (HEFCE) Employer Engagement fund to develop a Centre for Work and Learning (CWL).
HEFCE's invitation to bid for funding from this pot proved overwhelmingly popular and as a result the offer of £1.7 million is for substantially less than the amount originally requested.
However, HEFCE's feedback on the bid has been extremely positive, and partners, led by the University of Brighton, are currently in discussions with HEFCE to agree a new plan for delivery with the reduced level of funding, with the aim of beginning work on developing the Centre in the New Year.
The CWL will build on much of the work on progression and curriculum development begun by the SLN over the last three years. The Centre will have a particular focus on engaging employers in the development and delivery of a responsive curriculum that is fit for purpose for those in work or looking to enter the workforce.
A key aspect of the new Centre will be the trialling of new, flexible modes of delivery of work-related higher education. Four universities and five colleges across Sussex will work together to contribute to the development of curriculum in response to the needs of local employers.
Universities, colleges and employers will work together to explore innovative funding models for work-related higher education and will look in detail at the ‘offer’ for the educational provider, employer and employee in such a partnership.
A further element of the CWL will be its engagement with brokerage services, which will link closely with the newly established Learning at Work Information Service in the South East (LAWIS). This activity will focus on ensuring a match between supply and demand, using up to date intelligence on local higher level skills needs to inform the development of the new curriculum.
The University of Brighton is in discussions with HEFCE about 3 years funding for the centre to begin in January 2009.
For more information please contact Adam Stewart at the Sussex Learning Network: firstname.lastname@example.org
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