College is about more than just gaining a qualification. The best institutions bring out the best in each student, listening to their individual needs and recognising and encouraging the attributes of each so they can reach their full potential in the workplace and in life.
In the UK, one college provides both practical preparation for the workplace and outstanding support alongside student learning: Loughborough College.
Loughborough may be well-known for its high-quality education, delivered through a wide range of pre-university courses, undergraduate courses, professional development courses and apprenticeships, but its extensive provision of academic and non-academic support deserves the limelight just as much.
From small class sizes to career counselling to financial aid, the College ensures each student receives the advice and support he or she needs prior to enrolment and that this continues long after graduation.
James Brown, a student at the College’s Space Engineering programme, experienced the full breadth of its support system. Named BTEC Engineering Student of the Year 2018, James said this success would not have been possible without his teachers and college staff. They not only helped him master every topic, but also nurtured his imagination and technical ability.
“Loughborough College and the National Space Academy have backed me all the way through the course,” said Brown.
“The combination of A-level Maths and Physics with BTEC Engineering has been a great balance of academic and project work. The teaching has been outstanding and there are so many exciting activities and opportunities.”
Looking at the College’s accolades, Brown’s success is no surprise. After all, Loughborough is the holder of a silver TEF (Teaching Excellence Framework) rating and a “Good Overall” rating, with an “Outstanding” for Apprenticeships in its June 2017 Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education, Children’s Services and Skills) inspection.
In the 2018 National Student Survey, it attained an 88 percent overall student satisfaction score, placing it amongst the top 12 universities in the country. Meanwhile, 98 percent of its graduates have gone on to employment or further study six months after graduating, according to the 2019 DLHE survey.
The College also receives visits from a steady stream of dignitaries – a testament to the stellar relationships it maintains. These include HRH Prince Edward The Earl of Wessex, HRH Anne Princess Royal, Skills Minister Anne Milton and Minister for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Rt Hon Karen Bradley.
“Loughborough College is renowned for its sporting prowess and it has been fantastic to see the state-of-the-art training facilities that have developed so many of our top British Olympic and Paralympic stars. Their Arts Academy is also a wonderful new space, and shows the College’s commitment to providing world-class arts education,” Bradley said during her visit to the College, where several of the UK’s Olympic, Paralympic and Commonwealth Games athletes have been educated.
Turning opportunities to employability
Preparation for the workplace takes a unique spin at Loughborough. It’s proud to be doing a number of things differently, including: making many programmes vocationally-based, providing students with ample opportunity to apply what was learnt in class through work experience, fantastic links to industry – whose leaders help in syllabus development, access to a range of outstanding facilities, highly qualified staff with industry experience and plenty of one-on-one time with tutors.
The end result? Expertly trained and workplace-ready graduates.
A great example of the success of this strategy are Loughborough’s BSc (Hons) in Applied Sports Science with Management students Harry Rudkin and Jonah Boyce. Their business – a start-up called 3-Six Sports, behind the development of an innovative and durable tool for replacing sport boot studs – was named the Young Enterprise Start-Up Company of the Year 2017.
On the support they received from their college’s faculty, Boyce said: “The backing we have had from Loughborough College has been outstanding.
“Iqbal Ullah, the head of our course, is always there pushing us further than we thought we could go and Neelum Savania, who’s the Employment Advisor, has been so supportive. Eric Bradley chose to be our mentor at the regional final and he has been tremendous through this entire process.”
“It really has been fantastic how much help we’ve had from everyone,” Rudkin added.