AMIDST the on-going torrent of gloomy financial and economic news, South Eastern Regional College (SERC) is celebrating its third consecutive increase in the number of student enrolments at their Downpatrick and Ballynahinch Campuses.
With more than 2,693 students now enrolled across the two campuses it means the number of full-time enrolments has increased by 35 per cent at Downpatrick since the 2007/2008 academic year with part-time enrolments showing an increase of 9 per cent at Ballynahinch since 2010.
The trends are showing large increases in the level of interest in the practical, career focused qualifications with Engineering courses showing an increase of 20 per cent and non-stem areas showing an increase of 62 per cent with health and social care and business studies proving popular.
Ken Webb, Principal and Chief Executive said: “We are delighted that our Downpatrick and Ballynahinch campuses are experiencing growing demand and we are confident that we can offer students an outstanding education.
“There are several key factors for the increase. Firstly we offer a high standard of teaching and learning which is reflected in our quality standards with a success rate of 78.5% against a sector average of 51%.
“Secondly our renewed focus on enhancing our students’ employability skills through student placements, industry projects and volunteering opportunities has given our students the edge. We are proud to say that last year 97 per cent of SERC students progressed into employment, self-employment or onto further education and training on completion of their course. Within this 650 students also achieved their ambition to go to university.
“SERC are committed to providing high quality teaching and learning within the Downpatrick district and we hope that we can attract the levels of funding required to suit this growing demand.”
Engineering student Sean Mooreland from Downpatrick, said: “The tutors at SERC are really supportive and they push us to attain the higher grades in our work. When I finish my course I want to study bio medical engineering at university.”
Working in partnership with the engineering team at Royal Mail, Sean along with his classmates are currently working on devising an innovative solution to help the UK’s largest postal company, Royal Mail as part of a health and safety solution.
SERC provides a range of courses designed to give students’ ‘the edge’. To find out how SERC can help you ‘get the edge’ call 0845 600 7555, visit www.serc.ac.uk find us on Facebook, search: South Eastern Regional College or come along to our open day on 6 March 2pm-8pm.