Wakefield College has seen a 60 per cent increase in applications to its current university centre’s higher education courses over the last two years and will welcome this year’s intake of more than 300 full-time university students next week.
The rise in demand comes as the College awaits news on its funding bid to open a new £7 million university centre, which would enable it to offer a wider range of degree courses.
It applied for funds for the first stage of the development - an advanced skills and innovation centre - from the Leeds City Region Local Enterprise Partnership earlier this year.
Wakefield College Principal Sam Wright said: “It’s great to see an increasing number of students choosing to study their university-level course with us either full-time or part-time. More and more people are realising that they can study for a degree right here in Wakefield.
“Not enough people in Wakefield have a Level 4 qualification and so the continued growth of our university centre, recent opening of our new business school and our proposed advanced skills and innovation centre are all about putting Wakefield College at the heart of high level skills, training and education in the district.”
The skills centre, which could open within two years, will help people develop higher level skills, linked to the needs of the area’s employers.
It will eventually become the heart of the new university centre, which will offer a wider range of degree courses.
The college hopes to up its higher education student intake to 800 by 2021.
A decision is expected on the funding bid by the end of the year.