MP opens innovative Learner Hub improving access to resources and support services
Local MP Paul Holmes officially opened the Eastleigh College Learner Hub following a £500,000 transformation of existing space. The Learner Hub enables the College to provide all learner support services in one central location.
The Hub provides a range of formal and informal learning and private study areas, including bookable meeting rooms for learners to use with friends for project work. The Hub is accessed directly from the college’s refectory area (including adjacent access to Costa Coffee). A wide range of resources including Chromebooks, laptops, iPads and books are also available for loan.
Paul Holmes, Member of Parliament for Eastleigh, unveiled a glass plaque to commemorate the completion of the transformation project by Bluewood Interiors with funding from the Education and Skills Funding Agency (ESFA) through the Further Education Capital Allocation programme.
Visitors and learners can preview the Learner Hub in this (1 minute 30 sec) drone video: https://youtu.be/jLl07oQL070
Eastleigh College Chief Executive and Principal Paul Cox said: “Thank you to everyone who has helped us achieve our goal of creating a welcoming focal point for all learners at the centre of college activities. The Learner Hub is an impressive development of our campus facilities. It complements all forms of study with IT support and a full range of dedicated non-academic support services developed over many years. We hope that this is the first of a sequence of projects that will ultimately enable us to locate all of our employer services at the heart of our College.”
Kevin Jones, Vice Principal for Finance, Funding and Management Information at Eastleigh College, explains: “As well as fixing the leaking roof, the stand out features of the transformation are the new skylights, improved lighting, improved wheelchair access with electrically operated height-adjustable desks and low level library bookshelves. We have also designed an integral folding wall so that we can quickly create a large teaching space or a function room for meetings and hosting events. WiFi capacity has also been significantly enhanced and I am confident the Hub will quickly become a go-to space on the College campus”.
To prepare for the transformation the Learner Resources Team, led by Jess Munday, reduced the historic library stock by 50% to reflect increased use of online resources. This released floor area to create flexible, multi-tasking learning spaces that can cater for IT provision, intervention and teaching, a location for meetings and a function room for events.
The Hub now sees dedicated support staff co-located in a central area making it easy for learners to access the full range of student support services: Safeguarding, Careers Advice, Work Experience, Additional Learning Support, Finance and Travel Bursaries, Skills For Living in The UK, Counselling, Health & Wellbeing, Mentoring (full details here: The Learner Hub).
Tracey McAdam, Head of Learner Support and Designated Safeguarding Lead at Eastleigh College sums up: "The Learner Hub creates a college-wide integrated support service for all learners. It offers a range of services designed to support and build resilience, which is one of our four college values along with professional, respect and ambition. Staff are available to advise and guide learners signposting them to services, both internal and external, when they need additional support."
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