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College merger proposed

City College Southampton, Eastleigh College and Fareham College are inviting comments ahead of a proposed merger this summer.


They say they hope to create one financially strong, responsive and ambitious further education organisation.

Following an initial Department for Education recommendation in May 2022, the three colleges have actively explored the opportunities afforded by a merger. The benefits of merger are said to include becoming a financially stronger and more resilient college group, an enhanced curriculum offer for students and apprentices across all three colleges and a combined solution to addressing local skills gaps and employer training needs in Hampshire.

To achieve the merger, the corporations of City College Southampton and Eastleigh College would dissolve, with their assets and liabilities transferring to Fareham College. The corporation of Fareham College would be renamed to reflect the newly formed college. The names and brand identities of the three existing colleges and their campuses would remain unchanged. Existing students would continue to study at their current campus.

It is proposed that the newly merged corporation, to which the three colleges will belong, would be called South Hampshire College Group. This name would come into effect on 1st August 2023, the proposed date of merger.

Martin Sim, Principal and CEO of City College Southampton, said: “We are excited by the huge benefits that this three-college merger will bring to students, businesses, our local communities and staff. By uniting our resources, our expertise and our existing centres of excellence, we can enhance the range of provision and the quality of courses throughout Southampton and the surrounding areas.”

The public consultation runs until 2nd May. The consultation document can be found at: www.southampton-city.ac.uk/merger.

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