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University Centre for Northern Devon Unveiled

In this fast-paced world, many are questioning the need for education, especially at a higher level. When AI and bots are on hand to answer questions – what value does a qualification bring to our society, to employers or individuals?

We believe we can answer that! We are no longer focusing simply on our students’ learning facts but supporting them in developing the skills and experience to use that knowledge; to work in teams; to identify and communicate both the challenges and the possible solutions and to bring their view into multifaceted situations.

Alongside this, we are looking at how we can incorporate creativity and innovation skills, teach and assess our students so there is a greater emphasis on working on live briefs, a global mindset, solving problems and having something real they can contribute back to their communities.

Dr Caroline Chipperfield, Director for Higher Education at ǿ, said: “To reflect these changes, and greater clarity of purpose, we are renaming our degree-level provision to create the University Centre for Northern Devon.”

This exciting change reflects more than thirty years of teaching degree-level qualifications in partnership with the University of Plymouth. ǿ is proud that this partnership will continue and develop as we extend links with other institutions both in the UK and overseas.

Dr Caroline Chipperfield added: “Our aspiration is for everyone living and working across Torridge, North and Mid Devon to experience the positive benefit of having a University Centre on their doorstep. Whether it is the skilled workforce we train, the learning we create with our degree-level students, our lecturers working with companies to develop and grow their business, our students working as interns in organisations, or supporting learning in the school classroom. Our community is at the very heart of our strategy.”

The University Centre for Northern Devon is at the heart of the North Devon Biosphere, with ambitious plans to support the skills needs of emerging industries in maritime, renewables and net-zero. It is also responding to the complex skills demands of a changing population, a healthcare revolution, the evolution of new technologies and the impact of climate change.

Peter Morrish, Technology & Customer Support Manager at CMTG and representing the Northern Devon Futures Group, said: “The University Centre is a real asset to our local community. It offers more than just a degree; it provides opportunities for growth and development in Northern Devon. The Centre is transforming the way we learn and innovate, and it serves as a hub for our most promising industries, including advanced engineering, health, hospitality, clean maritime and green energy. By fostering research and creativity, it is shaping the future of our community and producing the next generation of leaders and thinkers. The University Centre is not just about education; it’s about creating a future where everyone can thrive together.”

Dr Caroline Chipperfield concluded: “The University Centre is dedicated to promoting the opportunities available here, on the doorstep, to our young people and to those looking to change careers or return to education. Encouraging people to train and study here, and to support our communities and businesses to grow both in size and success, is our passion. Study or work with us, we are here for you. Here’s to building a fantastic future for everyone!”

For more information about the University Centre for Northern Devon please visit


26 March 2024


College news, Higher Education