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Grantham College was one of nine Further Education Colleges to sign up to a new collaborative partnership agreement with De Montfort University on Monday 13 November at an event held at the University's Leicester City campus. The event marked the rematch of the Associate College Network, allowing the network partners to celebrate the triumphs of the partnership, and reflect on the challenges that lie ahead.

DMU's network of Associate Colleges spreads across the heartland of England and enables students to receive quality higher education in a setting and locality appropriate to their needs. The links between the colleges and the University makes education at all levels more accessible to all.

This is one of the first' networks to fully commit to a formal partnership, when all ten institutions (DMU and its nine colleges) signed up to the collaboration. The partnership, which has developed out of an established network, means that local students and communities will see the benefits of the colleges working with each other as well as with the University.

Links between the network members are also good for links with industry. Large companies can see the benefits of working with a network for their training needs.

Guest speakers at the celebration included HEFCE Regional Advisor Dr John Selby, who congratulated the Network on the existing strengths of the partnership and its achievements to date.

Lynne Staley-Brookes, Director of Educational Partnerships at DMU commented: " The University is committed to widening access to further and higher education and recognised that this can only be achieved through a shared vision with like-minded institutions.

" The Network's long-standing commitment has been taken a stage further through this agreement. The Associate Colleges will be working collaboratively with each other as well as with the University, facilitating progression opportunities for students across the region.''

Professor Philip Tasker, Vice Chancellor of De Montfort University says:

" Partnerships with schools and colleges throughout our region are key to building on what we have achieved in terms of widening participation. In this context, our Associate Colleges will play an increasingly important role.''

De Montfort University has four UK Centres: Bedford, Leicester, Lincoln and Milton Keynes.

Members of De Montfort University's Associate College Network:

  • Bedford College

  • Boston College

  • Brooksby Melton College

  • Broxtowe College

  • Grantham College

  • Leicester College

  • Milton Keynes College

  • North Oxfordshire College

  • Tresham Institute of Further and Higher Education