Southern Regional College, Northern Ireland
Southern Regional College (SRC) is a Further and Higher Education College in the southern area of Northern Ireland in the United Kingdom. The College was formed on 1st August 2007 when three further education colleges merged to become Southern Regional College. Southern Regional College now comprises the former FE colleges at Armagh, Newry and Upper Bann. It is also the largest Further and Higher Education College in Northern Ireland outside of Belfast. There are a total of six campuses across the geographical region. The College’s main campuses locations are:
- Armagh (Lonsdale, Lisanally Lane, Hamiltonsbawn Road Industrial Estate)
- Newry (Patrick Street East, Patrick Street West, Greenbank, Model)
The College offers a wide range of courses: in excess of 100 for full-time further education; more than 80 on a full-time and part-time higher education capacity, and over 1,320 (not counting those courses offered in the community) on a part-time vocational or recreational basis. At the further education level, SRC offers courses from Level 1-3 Certificates and Diplomas, through National Vocational Qualifications and A levels. Many of these are aimed at the full-time student market although many courses are also available on a part-time basis. The college also offers Apprenticeship Training programmes where students learn valuable trades to take into the workplace. SRC prides itself on offering students a diverse range of Higher Education learning experiences. Its broad ranging portfolio of higher level professional and technical courses ensures that all programmes-whether degrees, diplomas, certificates, or professional qualifications-are of a quality surpassing that offered at university.
Within the eight Schools of the College SRC is confident that it can offer students qualifications with clear progression pathways and relevance to the world of work. The college currently enrolls over 36,000 students each year and has in excess of 1,100 members of staff.
Community Learning Team
Southern Regional College works with over 100 Community and Voluntary Groups covering over 1,500 square miles within the Southern Region advising on courses available for adults within their communities. SRC’s dedicated Community Learning Team ensures that adults have access to learning and training to improve their knowledge, skills and qualifications. Community Development Officers work with employers and community stakeholders to enable individuals, groups and communities to participate in learning, at a time and place which is accessible for everyone.
An important part of the work involves providing education and other employment opportunities to residents of local Neighbourhood Renewal areas through Department of Social Development sponsored projects. In addition the team researches local area needs in order to provide relevant economic and social programmes that enable change to take place and assist people into employment and/or to improve community resources.
These programmes are funded by the Department for Social Development (DSD) through its Southern Regional Development Office, the Big Lottery and the European Social Fund. The College offers many programmes including Employ Me offering employability and vocational skills to the unemployed and economically inactive people of all ages. Big Lottery’s Live and Learn Programme which aims to increase learning opportunities and promote wellbeing among Northern Ireland’s most disadvantaged communities delivered a range of educational and support services to Migrant and Traveller.
The College received a prestigious AOC Beacon Award for this work in February 2014. The SPICE programme is designed specifically for young people aged 16-24 who are not currently in education, employment or training across the Southern Region. The purpose of the programme is to offer training and courses to young people to retrain or simply acquire new skills.
Southern Regional College has strong links with educational institutions around the world and regularly arranges both cultural and study exchanges. Such exchanges give students the opportunity to build on their learning abroad as well as providing partner institutions with the chance to let their own students have a taste of Northern Ireland. The College has also been successful in securing funding for over 40 innovative European projects under the EU Lifelong Learning Programme.
i3 is the Southern Regional College’s (SRC’s) business support centre. Building better business by promoting and supporting: Industry, Innovation, and Incubation. Its team of 20 Research Lecturers and Business Development Officers works with SRC and industry to bring the latest R&D from classroom to commerce while feeding business insights back into the curriculum. This cultivates a workforce fit for the future. The centre currently works with over 2,000 companies from across Northern Ireland, particularly in the southeastern region, and extending into the Republic of Ireland. The bulk of its services are either free or subsidized made possible with financing from InvestNI, the Department for Employment and Learning (DEL) and Intertrade Ireland.
SRC is an award winning College, a centre of Excellence for teaching and learning and offers students an intellectually and socially stimulating environment.