Cllr Chris Read and Jana Checkley inside UCR with students

New University Centre Rotherham welcomes students for first day of term

24 September 2018

The BRAND NEW University Centre Rotherham (UCR) has opened its doors to students and adult learners, including former Rotherham College students, for the first time.

With over 30 higher-level courses currently on offer, UCR opens up an exciting opportunity for college and A-Level students to study higher-level qualifications locally.  At UCR, you can gain degrees and higher-level qualifications right in the heart of Rotherham.

When asked about why he’d chosen to study at UCR, Games Design student Joshua Barthrop said:

“It’s local, very easy access and allows me to take the next step to get into the games industry.”

Joshua previously studied at Rotherham College.

Courses at UCR are accredited by both Hull University and Sheffield Hallam University. Tuition fees are also under the £9,000 charged by many universities.

UCR offers a wide range of courses in areas including business enterprise, graphic design, performance, education, computing and media and photography. The newly-opened campus has a range of dedicated facilities including seminar and lecture rooms, independent group study spaces, a fully-equipped library, a café and exhibition spaces.

Discussing the facilities at UCR, PGCE student Abbi Heaton said:

“It’s really modern and seems a great place to meet loads of new people; it’s good for Rotherham. After this PGCE in Adult Education I’m hoping to get into adult teaching.”

Jana Checkley, Director of Higher Education and Skills at RNN Group, added:

“UCR is a fantastic facility for our students providing the wider community greater opportunities to study degrees and higher-level qualifications locally.”

Part-funded by the Sheffield City Region, which contributed £3.5m of Local Growth Fund Money, UCR is part of the Rotherham Plan 2025. This is a strategy set out by the Rotherham Together Partnership to improve the economic and social wellbeing of the borough. Currently only 17 percent of the population in Rotherham and Bassetlaw have a higher or degree-level qualification (Level 4 or above), compared to the national percentage of 27 percent.

Dan Jarvis, Mayor of Sheffield City Region, said: “Access to outstanding education is crucial in ensuring everyone, regardless of their background, can gain the skills and knowledge to help them realise their ambitions and reach their full potential.

“I am delighted to see University Centre Rotherham is open to students and adult learners, and very pleased that the Sheffield City Region was able to support the education of the new centre with £3.5m of Local Growth Fund Money.”

Certificate in Education student Sally Parker echoes this emphasis on local access to education:

“For higher education, this is our own building. After finishing this course I’m hoping to teach Level 2 to Level 3 in Specialist Makeup.”

With plans for RNN Group to offer 50 university-level courses at UCR by 2020 and attract 1,000 more students over the first five years, this is an exciting time for any students looking to gain further education locally.

Chief Executive of the RNN Group, John Connolly, said:

“We are delighted to welcome students to the brand new UCR campus this autumn. Studying at UCR means students can achieve their career aspirations without the need to live away from home or travel long distances and offer opportunities for those already in employment who want to study a degree or higher-level qualification around their work and family commitments. We’re aiming to inspire students at UCR to become the business leaders and entrepreneurs of the future.”

Many of the fresh-faced students are optimistic and determined. Lavin Mohammed, studying a BSc (Hons) in Computing and Systems Development, said:

“I think it’s going to go well; I’m really excited. New equipment, new computers, new building!”

For more information about UCR and the courses available visit

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