THE principal of Warwickshire College has insisted students’ education would not be compromised despite being forced to make cut its spending by £3million.
The college, which has sites in Leamington, Rugby, Warwick, Henley, Moreton Morrell and Pershore, experienced unprecedented growth in its student numbers this year.
But since 2010 has seen around £10.6million in government funding slashed and the tipping point of which came when an expected windfall of £1.6million was reduced to just £600,000 recently.
A further £1million earmarked for previously funded adult courses has also been withdrawn by Westminster.
Principal Mariane Cavalli outlined the news in a series of staff meetings over the past few days in which she said job loses would be “inevitable and unavoidable”.
The college employs more than 1,700 staff and has 20,000 students enrolled.
She said: “These cuts to our funding were unexpected and only confirmed in the last three weeks giving us no choice but to make very difficult decisions to balance the books next year.
“The stark reality is over the last few years we have continued to deliver the services and support for which we were previously funded. We have done this because those services were valued but we can no longer afford to subsidise them.
“The employers and business partners with whom we work will understand we have had to make some rapid and difficult choices in order for us to maintain our financial viability and continue to be able to serve our communities.”
And despite the cuts, Ms Cavalli remained optimistic some of the savings would help fund a major growth strategy for the college, rated outstanding by Ofsted.
She added: “We are confident in remodelling those services to reduce costs, we will be able to maintain the quality of our provision.
“We will continue to develop our outstanding provision for 16 to 18-year-old students as well as being able to offer an even broader range of apprenticeships in partnerships with local, regional and national employers.
“We will also grow the number of Higher Education courses we offer, where we are already seeing unprecedented demand and will continue to invest in our offer for international students.”
– WARWICKSHIRE College is bucking the national trend with university applications from its students up.
It has seen a 28 per cent increase compared with the same time last year.
Nationally there has been a drop to the lowest level since 2009 according to latest figures from UCAS – the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service.