In July 2021, Bridgwater & Taunton College became the first Further Education institution approved by the Nursing & Midwifery Council to deliver degrees in Adult and Mental Health Nursing. The college has since begun delivering these qualifications through its Higher Education offer, University Centre Somerset.
This approval was the outcome of many years of partnership working with health and care stakeholders across the region. It was a huge achievement for the further education sector, and real progress towards accessible higher education in our community.
The College is now absolutely delighted to announce that it has achieved another first for the sector, having been contacted by the Council of Deans of Health and invited to become an Associate Member; the first FE representative on the council.
Dr Katerina Kolyva, Chief Executive of the council, said: “We are delighted to welcome Bridgwater & Taunton College as an Associate Member of the Council of Deans of Health. As the first further education college to join the council, they reflect our commitment to social mobility with more diverse entry routes and an increasing number of colleges delivering programmes in partnership with universities. We look forward to working with the college as one of our members.”
The Council represents the UK’s higher education faculties engaged in education and/or research for nursing, midwifery and the allied health professions, influencing policy and advancing healthcare education. The team at the college is eager to engage with the council and welcomes the opportunity to work alongside its well-established membership as the provision in Somerset grows.
Andy Berry, Principal and Chief Executive of Bridgwater & Taunton College, said: “We are proud to have become the first further education college to have been invited to join the Council of Deans of Health. We hope that our pioneering work will raise the profile and the potential within Further Education colleges to address the significant workforce challenges within the health and care sector.
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the stakeholders and partners that have supported this trailblazing activity, not least the visionary team at Somerset NHS Foundation Trust, Yeovil District Hospital NHS Foundation Trust, and NHS Somerset.”
To date, the college has enrolled over 200 students onto a programme of study leading to a career in nursing, with further enrolments planned for spring 2023.
Applications are now open for BSc (Hons) Nursing at University Centre Somerset via UCAS for September 2023 entry. Find out more at somerset.ac.uk.
The college’s next Taunton Campus Open Evening is on January,19, 2023, register at somerset.ac.uk/events.