Bridgend College is a Further Education (FE) College supporting over 6,000 learners and employing over 600 members of staff across its five campuses at Bridgend, Pencoed, Queens Road, Maesteg and Cardiff. Engage Training is the business focused and externally facing directorate of Bridgend College, based at Morien House on Bridgend Industrial Estate.
The College offers an extensive range of courses, from Entry through to Degree level, in over 20 vocational areas with the majority delivered at our Bridgend and Pencoed Campuses. You can study the full-time BSc (Hons) in Social Work at our Queens Road Campus whilst our Maesteg Campus offers full-time Level 1 courses in Interactive Media and Exploring the Creative Arts and Media Sectors.
Our Arts Academy in Cardiff is where over 100 learners study the BA (Hons) in Photographic Practice and the Foundation Diploma in Art & Design.
The College is increasingly delivering more flexible programmes of study, both in the workplace and on-line through our Engage Training team and Learndirect opportunities.
The Pencoed Campus of Bridgend College is home to our Horticulture Department where we are lucky to be situated within the historical Tregroes Estate. Students have access to many acres of historical gardens in which to hone their craft!
The Higher National Diploma in Landscape Construction and Garden Design is a 2 year course franchised from the University of South Wales. Many students wishing to pursue a career in garden design have successfully taken part in many live projects including our annual entry to the RHS Flower Show in Cardiff.
This year, in true style, our learners were awarded a Silver Gilt medal for our outstanding show garden Y Meudwyaeth (The Hermitage). The garden was inspired by the Blackfriars monastic site and hermitage, the archaeology of which is incorporated within the grounds of Bute Park in Cardiff. Y Meudwyaeth Garden presented a conceptual snapshot of British medieval monastic life, with a working and productive garden featuring traditional hazel hurdling.
In addition to the prestigious Garden Design Course, there are many short courses, full-time courses for school leavers, and apprenticeships in Amenity Horticulture and Sports Turf. Employers wishing to train their staff are able to benefit from fee free staff development as long as they are able to release their staff to attend college one day per week.
The College mission statement is “Be All that You Can Be”, and these are the values we instill in all of our learners!
November 2017 Update
Bridgend College has been named winner of this year’s RSM Award for Leadership and Governance from the Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards.
The awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK further education and sixth form colleges and Bridgend College went head to head with Grimsby Institute of Further and Higher Education in their category.
Simon Pirotte, Principal and Chief Executive of Bridgend College, said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have won this prestigious UK-wide award. It is a well deserved recognition of the passion and commitment of our fantastic staff and wonderful learners.
“We believe that creating a strategy for improvement is one thing, but creating a transformational culture where that strategy can thrive is quite another. Bridgend College’s incredible journey to success has been built on solid foundations that enable staff to be totally involved in setting the direction of the College… and this award is really the icing on the cake for us.
“But it doesn’t stop here. There is still plenty to do to reach our vision to become an extraordinary place to study & work where everyone is able to achieve our mission: ‘Be All That You Can Be.’
“I would like to take this opportunity to thank our learners, staff and Governors for their incredible drive to make this award possible.”
Bridgend College’s entry was based on its initiative, Be All That You Can Be: Achieving and Sustaining Excellence, which was introduced in 2013 when the college faced significant financial difficulties and learner outcomes were the worst in the sector.
On the appointment of a new Principal and Chair of Governors, the College consulted with
stakeholders to develop its vision and implement this simple strategy, which has learners at
its heart and promoted the 3 Es – Excellent, Efficient and Engaging.
Excellence has been demonstrated in the college improving from worst to best performing
FE College in the sector for outcomes and being awarded a ‘double excellent’ in an Estyn
inspection in 2016.
Efficiency has been demonstrated with the College improving from a £1.6 million deficit in 12/13 to regular operating surpluses that are now in excess of £1m which has enabled the College to generate £3m cash during this period. This helps the College identify opportunities for increased investment in better facilities and equipment for the benefit of learners, staff and the local community.
Engagement was evident in Bridgend College coming out best in the sector for Government Learner Voice Outcomes; being ranked highest FE College in ‘The Sunday Times 100 Best Not-For- Profit Organisations to Work For 2017’ and in a highly complementary recent staff survey, where 98% responded they are ‘happy to be working at the College,’ for example.
‘Be All That You Can Be’ has been judged against criteria including being developed as an initiative and promoting exemplary teaching and learning; demonstrating equality and diversity and having wider relevance and applicability so it is an example of good practice and innovation.
Mr Pirotte continued: “The College’s mission is that at all the learners, regardless of their paths of study are given the opportunity to be ‘Be All That They Can Be’.
“We welcome all opportunity to develop our relationships with other Colleges and also learn from their practice.”
Cardiff and Vale College was the other Welsh college to recognised and won the Transition into Post-16 Education & Training award for its Junior Apprenticeship programme.
Carole Stott MBE, Chair of AoC Charitable Trust, said: “The Beacon Awards highlight the very best of college initiatives and activities. Being shortlisted for a Beacon Award highlights not only the good work of the colleges, but also the impact on students and communities. The high standard of submissions to the AoC Beacon Awards is testament to the innovation which takes place across the UK. Great colleges transform lives and communities. They meet the needs of employers and students by embracing new approaches to teaching, learning and leadership. The shortlist for this year’s Beacon Awards is testament to this.”
Winners of the AoC Beacon Awards were announced last night in Birmingham.