In 2019 Activate Learning took over the running of Guildford College. It also runs Farnham College and Merrist Wood College in Surrey as well as five other colleges in Berkshire and Oxfordshire. Activate Learning also sponsors and education trust with six schools across the same region, four of which are University Technical Colleges. It is investing large sums in improving the learning and working environment and in new courses for its students. It has been under the leadership since April this year of its Chief Executive Gary Headland DL MA MBA CDir FloD. On 3rd October he welcomed the High Sheriff and his wife and after lunch gave them a tour of the college in the company of one of his deputies, Paul Newman.
There are currently around 1,000 students studying a large variety of subjects. The High Sheriff was particularly impressed by the Health & Care section, where there is a realistic small hospital ward where the trainees practice what they’re learning. In the large Silver Jubilee building there is a state of the art gaming and e-sports centre, where an exciting new course has recently commenced and has attracted lots of students.
Courses include Art, Design and Digital Creative; Beauty Therapy; Business Enterprise; Construction; Early Years; Engineering; Hairdressing; Health and Social Care; Hospitality and Professional Cookery; IT and computing; Media and Media make-up; Performing Arts and Production; Teaching and Education and Tourism. Its aim is to equip students with the right knowledge, skills and mindset for the industries in which they choose to work.
It has links with Guildford Philanthropy and The Bike Project, a very successful project established some years ago where bikes are collected and restored and sold, is now based at the College. One aim is to have stronger links with the local community.
After a difficult few years, the College is now being driven forward under what clearly seems to be dynamic management. This is a place of further education for those over 16 from Guildford and its surrounding area. The vast choice of studies and qualifications that can be gained make it a college to which every support should be given in order to benefit all who can come to it.