Ruskin College and Activate Learning
26 February 2021
Ruskin College and Activate Learning are delighted to announce today that Activate Learning has been successfully selected as the merger partner for the Oxford-based College.
The Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Apprenticeships and Skills, has agreed the recommendation of a recent Structure and Prospects Appraisal for Ruskin College to pursue a merger with Activate Learning. The merger is expected to happen sometime in June 2021 and will be subject to due process.
The unanimous decision to merge will ensure the unique identity of Ruskin College and its values as a college, as well as its long tradition of working with the Labour movement, are preserved in perpetuity.
Sally Dicketts CBE, Group Chief Executive of Activate Learning, said: “I am truly delighted that we have been chosen as the merger partner for Ruskin College.
“Ruskin College chose Activate Learning as its merger partner after it was impressed by our vision for the college and the fact that by merging with us it would ensure their heritage and links with trade unions would be safeguarded for the future.
“When we delivered our merger bid, we spoke about a vision for the future of Ruskin College as a national centre of excellence for adult learning. I’m very excited about how we will be able to work together to deliver a truly exceptional adult education provision for both our local community here in Oxfordshire and more widely at a national level.
“We want to focus on those disadvantaged learners who would otherwise not realise their full potential within other education environments.”
Doug Nicholls, Chair of Governors for Ruskin College, said: “I have always seen Ruskin as a powerhouse of ideas and opportunities but we have recognised that operating as an independent college is increasingly challenging.
This merger with Activate Learning, with its breadth of resources and scale of delivery across the Thames Valley, will help us to safeguard the future of the college for the 21st Century and transform and improve more lives through access to education.
“Not only do we share incredibly similar visions and values as organisations, but with Activate Learning also being based in Oxford, it means that we are working with a partner that understands our local community and the role that Ruskin College has played within it since it was first founded in 1900.”
Paul Di Felice, Principal of Ruskin College, said: “This is an excellent opportunity for Ruskin to realise its potential and secure its future, whilst continuing to deliver its mission for supporting adults in Oxford and beyond.”
Ruskin College – College closure
20 March 2020
Ruskin College, in line with schools and colleges across the UK, is shutting its doors on government advice today. We have been working closely with our residential students and external agencies since the announcement was made to ensure that every student has a safe place to stay during these extraordinary times.
We are extremely fortunate to have our own accommodation on site for our students and to be able to offer life-changing educational opportunities to adult students of all ages, race and background. The current situation in the world is unprecedented and unpredictable. The safety of our students is our absolute primary concern and in most cases this is with family or friends. In common with universities across the country we have been working around the clock to find suitable accommodation for those who are struggling to find a safe place to go and would like to make it clear that no student will be required to leave with nowhere to go. Our staff are working closely with the local agencies and government bodies to support these students whilst they remain in college accommodation and to complete their studies in a safe and supported environment.
We would also like to clarify that no eviction orders have been issued at any stage and in the very small number of cases where rent has been paid to the end of the term the balance is being returned. The vast majority of our students qualify for a bursary payment which means that they do not pay any rent and receive food, provisions and allowances from the College throughout their studies. Those students who have left accommodation and returned home to continue their studies and who qualify for the bursary will continue to receive it. Chromebooks have been made available to those students who need them as well as online resources to support their continuing studies and ensure they achieve.
Our tutors and welfare staff will continue to teach and support the students through this difficult time and ensure that they are able to complete their studies. All the staff at Ruskin wish all students and their families, residential and otherwise, all the very best over the coming weeks and we look forward to seeing them return to their studies here as soon as is possible.
For further enquiries please contact Nicki O’Shea