Since 2005, TyneMet College and the University of Sunderland have been working in partnership to provide Higher Education to the region - inspiring generations of people to advance their prospects through education. Since the partnership began, there have been nearly 4,000 students studying a range of 45 different University of Sunderland HE programmes at TyneMet College.

The collaboration has resulted in strategic growth for both institutions and their newest joint development is the launch of a Higher Education Gateway. The HE Gateway is the latest Partnership Gateway to be opened across the region, intended to be for Higher Education students to access guidance, support and advice including Higher Education resources to support their chosen programme of study as well as providing a space to display and celebrate the success of former, current and future students.

Opening the event, Steve Cram CBE, Chancellor at the University of Sunderland, delivered an inspirational speech about the value of Higher Education. Steve said: “I’m very proud to be asked to open the Higher Education Partnership Gateway at TyneMet. Some of our graduates start their studies at a partner college and tell us the support and quality teaching they receive encourages them to progress on their higher education journey - with life changing results.”

Participants at the launch event included longstanding advocate of the College and Chair of Governors, Bill Midgley OBE, who underlined the importance of both Further and Higher Education and their value to society.

University Partnership Liaison Officer, Nicola Hopper said: “The HE Gateway provides students with a friendly supportive environment where they can study and socialise. The College provides a great range of facilities and having a dedicated, specialised area for Higher Education highlights the significant, collaborative efforts of the College and University to provide Higher Education to students in a college environment.”

With 100% student satisfaction in the 2014 National Student Survey, TyneMet College gained the top spot in the country for student satisfaction outranking 322 other colleges and universities. This is a reflection of the hard work and commitment of the College’s staff but also University staff in supporting and raising the aspirations of our partnership students.

Jon Vincent, Principal and Chief Executive, TyneMet College said: “As a Further Education College, the opening of the HE Gateway signifies our passion to go above and beyond in the education stakes – over the years we have worked closely with the University of Sunderland to deliver programmes that have provided people with the opportunity to access countless career routes and ultimately contribute to wider society.”

TyneMet’s Foundation Degrees are awarded by the University of Sunderland and have become a valuable education path for students. The partnership is now in the process of embarking upon new projects that would see the expansion of Higher Education STEM related subjects and those equipping individuals with higher level skills for the creative industries.

The HE Gateway is a beacon of achievement for TyneMet College and its partnership with the University of Sunderland, demonstrating a dedication to the region in providing quality Higher Education services that offer broad based learning to support and develop careers.