Southern Regional College (SRC) has been named the best performing further education college in Northern Ireland.
The six campuses, which include Portadown, Armagh and Lurgan, came out on top in the independent report by the Department of Economy and the University of Ulster.
The report also showed that SRC was “consistently strongest” in retaining its students, with annual rates well above the 90 per cent mark across a five-year period.
The college had more than 34,000 full and part-time students, and delivers a wide range of higher level professional and technical courses.
An earlier report published in 2013 by the then Department for Employment and Learning, had also concluded that a student who attended SRC was “significantly more likely to succeed” than students attending other NI Further Education centres regardless of their background. Based on the results of this report,
Chief executive of SRC Brian Doran said, “The fact that we enrol and retain so many students across the areas we operate in is a testament to the sheer hard work and commitment of our staff, the quality of our educational provision and the positive, stimulating and engaging environment which we foster.”
In 2015, SRC unveiled plans to invest around £95 million, supported by the Department of Economy, to develop new campuses at Armagh and Banbridge, as well as new unified campus at Craigavon by early 2020.
A spokesperson for SRC said plans are well advanced in all three locations.
There has been opposition to the Craigavon campus because of its proposed location at the lakes.