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New Vice Principal appointed at Northern Regional College

Northern Regional College has appointed Christine Brown as the new Vice Principal for Teaching and Learning.

With an established career of over 20 years in the further education sector, Christine, who hails from Ballymoney, took up her new role in September. Her previous experience, as lecturer, curriculum manager and more recently, Head of Department at another Further Education (FE) college, has given her a strong insight into the essential components of successful teaching and learning.

As VP for Teaching and Learning, Christine will be responsible for ensuring that the learner experience at the College is relevant and fit for purpose in today’s fast changing business environment. Under her watch, she is determined that all students attending Northern Regional College will be given an opportunity to reach their full potential.

“One of the challenges facing the FE sector today is that we are educating people for jobs in an ever-changing workplace and for jobs that may not even exist yet. We need to flexible and adaptable so all learners can achieve to the best of their ability and maximise their opportunities for success.”

She said the College’s response to the Covid-19 lockdown earlier in the year, which had necessitated an accelerated introduction of online learning, had proved beyond doubt the willingness of students and staff alike to be flexible.

The changing work environment has put a renewed focus on apprenticeships and training programmes and Christine predicts that they will play a key role in building Northern Ireland’s future workforce.

“Apprenticeships and training programmes are an increasingly popular way to earn while learning the ‘hands on’, practical skills that employers are looking for. They help create a strong economy while improving a young person’s employment prospects and earning potential. It’s a win-win situation.”

Acknowledging that the Covid-19 pandemic and uncertainty around Brexit had created many challenges for both employers and employees, Christine said that FE colleges had a key role to play in helping to upskill or retrain the workforce in these ever-changing times.

Northern Regional College is very well placed to help drive regional entrepreneurial activity. In addition to our part-time courses and business support programmes, we offer bespoke training programmes to help people upskill or retrain to move into new job roles or indeed other sectors.

Christine said that while she is delighted after many years of a long daily commute to be working closer to home. However, she hopes to be able to make a difference at a regional level by working with staff, students and other stakeholders across the College wide catchment area, which includes campuses in Coleraine, Ballymoney, Ballymena, Magherafelt and Newtownabbey.

“The College’s geographical reach covers four different council areas, and each has its own area of specialist economic activity. The College has well established partnerships with the councils and local business communities and, as I settle into my new role, I hope to be able to build on these strong foundations and this ultimately will benefit our students.”

Welcoming the new appointment as Vice Principal to the College, the Principal & CEO Professor Terri Scott said:“Christine joins us at an exciting time in the College’s development. We have just announced the first building phase of £86 million DfE funded capital investment for our Coleraine and Ballymena campuses. The multimillion-pound project will result in a world-class learning environment, enabling staff to deliver transformational education not only for students at the College but for the wider local community.

“I am delighted that Christine has joined our Senior Leadership Team to drive forward our response to evolving demands and oversee the support arrangements that will enable students to achieve their qualifications.”

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