Teesside University and Hartlepool Sixth Form College are teaming up to increase opportunities for young people with specialist digital qualifications.
The two institutions have signed a formal Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to increase collaboration and engagement for the benefit of students on a range of courses.
Hartlepool Sixth Form College merged with Sunderland College last year, and the two have since invested more than £400k in specialised, industry-standard digital facilities.
The college now includes the region’s first Digital Academy, which houses virtual reality labs, green screen facilities, motion capture equipment and Playstation 4 development kit.
The MoU will enable Hartlepool Sixth Form College to develop progression pathways into higher education and provide more opportunities for students. It will also collaborate with Teesside University on training, events and staff development.
The university’s School of Computing, Media & the Arts is home to Animex, one of the world’s biggest festivals for animation and computer games. Graduates of the school have gone on to work for some of the largest companies in animation and computer games, including Microsoft, Disney, Pixar and the BBC.
Alison Brown, associate dean at Teesside University’s School of Computing, Media & the Arts, said: “We are delighted to sign this new Memorandum of Understanding and it demonstrates the desire of both institutions to provide the very best opportunities in digital technology.
“It is about continuing to put the student experience at the heart of everything we do and sharing knowledge and best practice to build on the fantastic work which is already being carried out.”
She continued: “The scale and ambition of Hartlepool Sixth Form College to enhance its digital offer is second to none and its Digital Academy is a wonderful new facility which will equip students with the knowledge, skills, and experience to make a successful transition into higher education.”
Ellen Thinnesen, principal and chief exec with responsibility for both colleges, commented: “We are delighted to be working so closely with Teesside University and to sign a formal Memorandum of Understanding with an institution which has a global reputation for games, animation and digital technology.
“We are at the start of an exciting journey at Hartlepool Sixth Form College and by working collaboratively with staff and students at Teesside University, I am confident that we can achieve great things together.”
Hartlepool Sixth Form College head Mark Hughes said of the MoU: “We are extremely passionate about our Digital Academy and believe we have a first-class facility which is vitally important to young people in this area.
“It is a huge step change for the college and, by strengthening our partnership with Teesside University, we will be able to provide even more opportunities in what is a rapidly developing sector.”
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