What are Doncaster and North Lindsey College proposing?

Doncaster College and North Lindsey College are at an early stage in discussions about a proposed merger.  Both colleges believe a merger would strengthen learning opportunities for students across our two localities, building a network of skills development and training that would benefit businesses and communities supporting future employment needs within and across regional boundaries.

What would this mean for students at these colleges?

The merged organisation would be a major regional educational provider.  The curriculum available would span further and higher education, professional and technical qualifications, apprenticeships, adult and vocational learning.  Students would have access to a huge range of training and learning opportunities, with focused support to gain skills and qualifications that will support their individual journeys to employment.

Will there be an umbrella name?

Yes there will.  Both campuses will retain their current names of Doncaster College and North Lindsey College.  The working name for the group of colleges is the DN Colleges Group.

What will change?  Will I notice anything different?

A driving principle of the merger is to retain the local brands of Doncaster College and North Lindsey College and to continue delivering educational programmes, skills development and training locally.  Students and staff should be assured that their current courses will continue to be delivered and that there are no changes to applications or courses planned for next year.

Will courses be split or merged?

Local delivery is important so we do not anticipate ‘merging’ or ‘splitting’ courses.  We may well offer specialist units at either campus or bring in expertise from staff with specific experience across the two colleges.  We see this as a benefit to students and an expansion of the current offer and more opportunities.

New courses on offer?  Master, PhD, Mphil (post grad) – who will validate?

As now, for Higher Education, we will select the validating University based on their expertise in the field.

Fees increase with development?

There are no anticipated course fee rises as a result of the proposed merger.  Each year we review our fees and this will continue.  Any fee rises would be communicated to students in the same way as they are now.

Will transportation be available between the 2 campuses?

We do not anticipate students having to travel between sites and expect current curriculum options to continue at both campuses.  However, we hope that the merger would mean increased choice for all our students.  Some students may eventually choose to pursue subjects across both campuses to access specialised options that support their skills development and employment aspirations.

Will tutors be able to move between the college freely?

We do not anticipate staff having to travel between sites and expect current curriculum options to continue at both campuses.  However, we hope that the merger would mean increased choice for all our staff.  Some staff may eventually choose to pursue employment across both campuses to access specialised options that support their skills development and employment aspirations.

Will the College stay the same?

A driving principle of the merger is to retain the local brands of Doncaster College and North Lindsey College and to continue delivering educational programmes, skills development and training locally.  Students and staff should be assured that their current courses will continue to be delivered and that there are no changes to applications or courses planned for next year.

Will the course be the same?

There will be no immediate changes to the curriculum at either college.  Current courses will continue, and prospective students should apply for courses in the normal way.

Will students be able to share/use each college’s facilities?

We anticipate that students at each campus will be able to use both College’s facilities in the future.

Would I have to travel for my course? How would it affect travel?

We do not anticipate students having to travel between sites.  We expect current curriculum options to continue at both campuses.  However, we hope that the merger would mean increased choice for all our students.  Some students may eventually choose to pursue subjects across both campuses to access specialised options that support their skills development and employment aspirations.

Will Higher Education be affected?

Both Doncaster College and North Lindsey College have excellent University Centres.  We expect our Higher Education provision to grow, with more choice for students as well as access to Higher Level and Degree Apprenticeships.

How does this benefit students?

The merged organisation would be a major regional educational provider.  The curriculum available would span further and higher education, professional and technical qualifications, apprenticeships, adult and vocational learning.  Students would have access to a huge range of training and learning opportunities, with focused support to gain skills and qualifications that will support their individual journeys to employment.

Would College finances be affected?

A key part of the pre-merger process is understanding current and future financial circumstances.  Financial forecasts for the combined colleges are good and are set to become outstanding in the future.  This is a robust basis for a financial partnership and we believe that as a larger college, we will be in a strong position to invest in equipment and facilities for our students.

Would apprenticeships and work placement available to students increase?

The merged organisation would be a major regional educational provider.  The curriculum available would span further and higher education, professional and technical qualifications, apprenticeships, adult and vocational learning.  Students would have access to a huge range of training and learning opportunities, with focused support to gain skills and qualifications that will support their individual journeys to employment.

Could you study a combined course at both colleges?  Eg games design at Doncaster and business at Lindsey?

The benefits of the merger arise from the expertise and specialisms available at each of the colleges.  While we do not anticipate the majority of students travelling between sites, there are specialist options that make this desirable and increase opportunities for students.

Would our sports teams merge as well into 1?

There are no decisions to do this at the moment.  We would consider this in the future if students were interested.  Maybe we could have 3 teams.

Is my course likely to be cancelled if it is offered at both sites?

No, a driving principle of the merger is to retain the local brands of Doncaster College and North Lindsey College and to continue delivering educational programmes, skills development and training locally.  Students and staff should be assured that their current courses will continue to be delivered and that there are no changes to applications or courses planned for next year.

Will we only have 1 student representative and governor from one site?

The Board of Governors will be determined at a later stage, however it is envisaged that the new merged College Board will be made up of governors from both colleges, as well as new independent governors to ensure the skills and knowledge required to deliver excellence in governance.  In addition, it is likely that local (advisory) boards would remain in place at both North Lindsey and Doncaster Colleges.  This will mean that more students are represented on the Board, at both Group and ‘local’ levels.

Could this lead to a third merger?

We want to ensure that this merger is successful first.  This does not preclude other mergers happening in the future.

Will there be a new University Centre?

Both Doncaster College and North Lindsey College have excellent University Centres.  We expect our Higher Education provision to grow, with more choice for students as well as access to Higher Level and Degree Apprenticeships.  In addition, both Doncaster College and North Lindsey College are actively pursuing options to develop a University presence in the town centres.

Why Doncaster and North Lindsey?

Both colleges believe that a formal partnership with another college is the right step, and that it is important to find a partner that is closely aligned in terms of vision and aspirations, rather than based on geography.  Both colleges want to collaborate with a like-minded organisation that will build on existing strengths while creating new opportunities, flexibility and capacity.  Leadership at both colleges believe that this merger would be an excellent fit with the curriculum, operations and future direction that each college aspires to follow, ensuring the existing distinctiveness and strengths of the individual colleges can be retained, while benefiting students, employers, the wider communities and broader economic region.

What effect on financial assistance would this have?

Both colleges offer significant financial assistance to students and we anticipate this will continue.

Would there be a focus on A Levels?

North Lindsey College will continue to deliver A Levels to support vocational options and to open up opportunities for student progression.  We believe there are opportunities in Doncaster to establish Sixth Form and ‘A’ Level provision in the centre.

Does it mean it will be harder to get into Doncaster College or North Lindsey?

A driving principle of the merger is to retain the local brands of Doncaster College and North Lindsey College and to continue delivering locally.  Students and staff should be assured that their current courses will continue to be delivered and that there are no changes to applications or courses planned for next year.  We anticipate that greater choice available will mean more opportunities are available for a wider range of students.

Would a merger mean that either college campus would close?

No.  Senior leaders from Doncaster College and North Lindsey College support the principle that both colleges would be equal partners in a merged organisation, retaining their separate campuses and individual identities, while collaborating to build on current strengths and ensure that sustainable, high quality teaching and learning provision continues into the future.

What would this mean for students at these colleges?

The merged organisation would be a major regional educational provider.  The curriculum available would span further and higher education, professional and technical qualifications, apprenticeships, adult and vocational learning.  Students would have access to a huge range of training and learning opportunities, with focused support to gain skills and qualifications that will support their individual journeys to employment.