Lyons Highlights the Importance of College-Based Higher Education Learning

Economy Minister Gordon Lyons has highlighted the important role further education colleges play in driving Northern Ireland’s economic recovery through the delivery of practical higher education courses. 

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12 August 2022

Gordon Lyons with SERC Students

The Minister said: “The higher education opportunities available at our further education colleges are extensive, linked to employer need and provide opportunities for learners of all ages and all backgrounds to access a variety of pathways that lead to employment and further study.  

“As we move into a decade of economic transformation around our 10X Economic Vision, we move into an era that will be defined by the application of technology, data and innovation. I want learners to access qualifications that employers need and want employers to have access to appropriately skilled and qualified learners. 

“The number one challenge for businesses continues to be accessing the right skills and talent. Higher education pathways at the further education colleges are helping us to deliver on these ambitions and address this challenge through enhancing the talents of the current and future workforce.”   

The Minister said, “I would also encourage anyone considering higher education to take a look at the fantastic higher education opportunities available at our local further education colleges.” 

Ken Webb, Principal and Chief Executive, SERC said, “Our employment-focussed curriculum and commitment to project-based learning make sense when it comes to taking the next step into Higher Education. 

“SERC provides a diverse range of subjects, close to home and with lower annual fees. Most of our Higher Education programmes are affiliated with local universities and our BSc Business Management is awarded by Liverpool John Moores University.   In addition, the College has recently been approved by The Open University as an appropriate organisation, to offer higher education programmes leading to Open University validated awards. The new courses we will deliver will be an important and exciting new element of the HE provision at the College.” 

There is still time to apply to SERC for higher level programmes (age 18 +) commencing in September 2022.  Applying to SERC directly is in addition to any UCAS application, giving those aged 18+ more options to unlock their future to achieve a higher-level qualification – degree, foundation degree, HND, HNC and Higher-Level Apprenticeship. We urge potential students to read our digital Higher Education Prospectus 2022-23, which will link through to course information and gives an overview of the online application process to see how we can help you achieve your goals through a course at SERC. 

Visit to unlock your future #BetterOffAtSERC. 

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