A £6million investment into higher education facilities over the next three years is set to give students at Newcastle College University Centre access to cutting-edge technology.

As part of NCG, the University Centre has been awarded a share of £6million of funding from the Office for Students (OfS) to create HE Hubs for construction, engineering, energy and digital technologies, designed to help close the region’s skills gaps at higher technical levels in these industries.

These new facilities will enable Newcastle College University Centre to respond to changing skills needs and new technologies in these sectors, providing enhanced learning experiences and ensuring its graduates are ready for the jobs of today and the future.

The first phase of the development will see the completion of HE Hubs for Digital Technologies. On Newcastle College’s Rye Hill campus, the ground floor of the University Centre will be converted to include digital learning facilities, flexible teaching spaces and bespoke digital labs specifically dedicated to cyber security and immersive technology.

Following this, the focus will turn to a significant project to rebuild, refurbish and equip Construction, Engineering and Energy facilities, creating three high-spec CAD/BIM suites, establishing Newcastle College University Centre as a leader in technical higher education.

Jon Ridley, Deputy Principal (HE) at Newcastle College said: "We are incredibly pleased to make this investment in the student experience.  It’s our commitment to nurture the talent that will go on to work and innovate in the areas of strategic importance to the region.

“We are committed to giving individuals access to a high-quality learning experience in which they develop their skills to succeed and thrive in our region. We work closely with business making sure our graduates are work ready. At Newcastle College University Centre we believe that in order to be work-ready, students must practice and experiment using the latest available industry standard technology, kit and equipment, which is exactly what we are investing in.  

“The works are now in full swing, with students already working with some new kit and our cyber security and immersive technology labs will be ready as part of phase one this summer. 

“Our continued investment into our facilities means that students across disciplines have the chance to study using advanced, innovative technology that will be used in the jobs of today and the future. We are developing a talented workforce for the North East, that SMEs and big business will really benefit from."

The news follows a £2million investment into STEM facilities in 2022, which Newcastle College University Centre ploughed into teaching facilities across STEM subjects of strategic importance including Energy, Engineering, Digital Technologies and Aviation. This saw the University Centre purchase a new jet and aviation simulators for its Aviation Academy based at Newcastle International Airport and an interactive four-metre-wide Powerwall (the first of its kind within the UK’s education sector) to revolutionise the student learning experience.