Education Partnership North East (EPNE) has agreed a new strategic academic partnership which will see several of its Higher Education degrees validated by the University of Hull.

Following a change to local partnership working, the college group – which includes Sunderland College, Hartlepool Sixth Form College and Northumberland College – has been granted approval by the university to develop and deliver a range of locally contextualised Undergraduate and Foundation Degrees in the Health, Social Care, Creative, Criminal Justice and Sporting sectors.

As one of the largest validators of college-based higher education in the North of England, the University of Hull works with partners to support educational growth and place-based widening participation which enriches communities and transforms lives, an approach which is shared in EPNE’s strategic vision and values.

The partnership will allow EPNE to continue to offer academic and technical degrees to a broad range of students across Tyne and Wear and the Tees Valley, including non-traditional students, those in employment requiring part time study, those with geographic commitments and those seeking flexible methods of study

And, as a member of the University of Hull Collaborative College Partnership, EPNE joins a vibrant forum for the exchange of ideas and experiences, and the sharing and development of best practice across the North of England.

The partnership will also complement higher education degrees delivered in the college group, at Northumberland College, validated by the University of Cumbria.

Toni Rhodes, Deputy Chief Executive Officer at EPNE, said: “We are really excited to have formed a new partnership with the University of Hull, which is aligned to the values that we hold strong as a college, this will enable us to offer a much broader range of higher education qualifications in an environment where we are focused on support as recognised by our recent TEF Silver for Students.”

As England’s 14th-oldest university, the University of Hull has a proud heritage of academic excellence, and a history of creating and inspiring life-changing research.

Professor Becky Huxley-Binns, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Education) at the University of Hull, said: “Living by our University motto Lampada Ferens, which translates as carrying the light of learning, we’ve been inspiring futures, broadening horizons and pushing boundaries for nearly 100 years.

“We are delighted to add to this work through our partnership with EPNE to enable young people – from all backgrounds – to take a positive step into higher education, fulfilling their personal dreams, and providing much-needed expertise in the region – as their careers develop.”

EPNE and its colleges offer an inspiring and supportive environment to study Higher Education, with practically focussed technical courses delivered by subject specialists and industry practitioners in industry-standard facilities.

With flexible study options and links with major employers, EPNE students consistently gain high achievement rates well above the national average, with 91% progressing to employment, university or further study.

Why Education Partnership North East (EPNE)?

Highly commended - Employer of the Year, Sunderland Echo Portfolio Awards 2019

Engagement with Employers - Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award 2017

(Sunderland College On-programme Survey 2017)

Selected by DfE for 2021 T Level pilot to deliver the new high-quality technical qualifications.

98% overall employer satisfaction - Employer Survey 2018/19