On Thursday July 1, the two organisations signed the Heads of Terms Agreement, which outlines their commitment to this new and exciting collaboration.
The new city-wide post-16 educational partnership is designed to support and encourage learners to transition from further to higher education, providing greater access to university level qualifications.
Highbury College hosted the celebration, welcoming guests including Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice Chancellor, Chris Chang, Pro Vice-Chancellor and Mark Cooper, Associate Pro Vice-Chancellor from the University of Portsmouth, along with Simon Barrable, Principal of Portsmouth College.
Professor Graham Galbraith, Vice Chancellor, University of Portsmouth said: ‘If the country is to provide people with the skills they need to succeed across their working lives, the divide between further education and higher education must be reduced.
‘The partnership announced today will better integrate post-16 education for the people of Portsmouth.
‘It will mean more people will have opportunities to move from further education to access higher learning and higher-level skills at university.
‘It will improve learner choice about what they can learn and where and, in better integrating the city’s post-16 education system, this partnership will be good for employers.
The educational landscape of Portsmouth is also set to change this summer with the merger of Portsmouth College and Highbury College in a move which has been welcomed and supported by many in the city.
Interim Principal and CEO of Highbury College, Penny Wycherley, said: ‘For nearly six decades, Highbury College has been transforming lives with opportunities to progress both academically and professionally.
‘In the coming year, we look forward to working closely with our colleagues at the University of Portsmouth to develop and extend our range of Level 4 and 5 qualifications, which are specifically designed to lead on from our Level 3 vocational diplomas and can be studied here with us at Highbury.
‘We welcome this opportunity to widen opportunities in Portsmouth and to create new technical routes to support our local economy.’
Simon Barrable, Principal at Portsmouth College added: ‘Higher education can be the key to unlocking many fantastic careers and I’m delighted to say many of our students go on to university, either to full-time degree programmes or to combine employment with professional qualifications or a higher apprenticeship.
‘The new partnership will provide an excellent stepping-stone to higher education for those who wish to stay local and study in the fantastic city of Portsmouth.
‘These are truly exciting times for everyone involved.’