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Writtle College achieves university status

PUBLISHED: 18:04 10 May 2016 | UPDATED: 18:05 10 May 2016

Writtle University College

Writtle University College

© Reeve Banks Photography

An Essex college specialising in animal and horticulture qualifications will be able to award its own degrees from next year.

Dr Stephen Waite, principal of Writtle University College (left) and Julia Smith, chairman of governors (right).Dr Stephen Waite, principal of Writtle University College (left) and Julia Smith, chairman of governors (right).

Writtle College currently offers degrees which are validated by the University of Essex.

But students beginning course from September 2017 will graduate with a degree from the college itself after it was awarded university college status.

To mark the achievement the institution will be changing its name to Writtle University College from August.

Dr Stephen Waite, college principal since 2013, said: “This is a magnificent achievement and I am absolutely delighted with the outcome – not only for ourselves, but also for Chelmsford and the county of Essex as it will further enhance the profile of education within the region.

“It represents the successful culmination of a long, arduous process that has involved the efforts of many colleagues. This recognition reflects our ambition as a high-quality provider of further and higher education.

“We received a ‘good’ rating from Ofsted in our most recent inspection and now have university college status, which reflects the quality of opportunities available to students who are considering studying with us.

“We already have a fantastic track record of producing high-profile and award-winning alumni who go on to achieve great things in their chosen industry. I am very excited about the future for Writtle.”

The final intake of students to be awarded University of Essex validated degrees will begin in September.

The college specialises in a range of animal and floral degrees, including floristry, agriculture, conservation and bioveterinary science.

Julia Smith, chairman of governors, added: “We are extremely proud of this achievement for Writtle and this is a credit to the efforts of all the staff.

“Today is a milestone in our history and our new title and status reflects our direction of travel, being the culmination of quite a journey over recent years.

“Writtle has a very bright future.”

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