|Type||Further Education and Higher Education|
|Local authority||London Borough of Croydon|
|DfE URN||130432 Tables|
Croydon College is an educational institution with 8,000 students, made up of a Further Education College and a University Centre. It is located in East Croydon, within the London Borough of Croydon. Its origins can be traced to a School of Art that was established in 1868, which subsequently merged with Croydon Polytechnic to create the college shortly after the Second World War.
The history of the College is directly linked to that of two institutions, the Croydon College of Art and Croydon Polytechnic.
The Borough of Croydon founded the Pitlake Technical Institute in 1888, which would later become Croydon Polytechnic, which had an initial intake of 162 students. Twenty years earlier in 1868, the School of Art had been founded above the Public Halls in George Street. In 1929 the Board of Education first highlighted the need for a new technical college to replace Croydon Polytechnic. In 1932, the School of Art was taken over by the Council to become Croydon College of Art. In 1941, the Polytechnic school was gutted by fire. It was not until 1948 before the plans for a new college could be revived when the Council drew up a Development Plan for Further Education. By then student enrolment had risen to over 4,000. The plan was to create a technical college, which would merge the Polytechnic and College of Art. Three years later, the Council formally approved plans for a new college and in 1953 building work started at the college's current Fairfield site on the first of four stages.
Recent Principals have included Peter Phillips (until 1994), Vic Seddon (1995–2001) and Mariane Cavalli (2001 to 2010). It was Vic Seddon who created the Croydon Higher Education Centre, developed by Mariane Cavalli, which is the focus for university degree and research activity in the town of Croydon. A proposal to create the formalised Croydon University College in the Millennium year 1999-2000 was rejected by both the Higher Education Funding Council for England and Croydon Borough Council.
Croydon College has undergone extensive refurbishment over the past few years and the summer of 2011 saw the completion of the £33m rotunda, officially opened in April 2012 by the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson. The refurbishment included industry standard recording studios, a performance hall, a library, social and study spaces, and meeting and conference facilities.
Croydon College offers academic qualifications such at AS and A Levels, BTEC Diplomas, NVQs and Entry Level courses. It also offers complementary enrichment activities, many of which lead to an extra qualification or award including Citizenship, Youth Work Awards or The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.
In November 2011, the College was given approval to use the title University Centre Croydon. The majority of its degrees are validated by the University of Sussex. A minority of its degrees are validated by London Metropolitan University.
As an education provider within the business community, Business Solutions have a number of learning products and services that are designed specifically for businesses and their workforce, such as Work Based Qualifications and Apprenticeships. It is one of the largest providers of Apprenticeships in South London and one of London’s leading colleges.
There have been plans to redevelop the area around Croydon College. These have been part of Croydon Vision 2020 and have also featured in the Croydon Plan and Croydon Expo. It includes plans to provide an easily accessible pedestrian link between East Croydon station and the Fairfield College site. The north east corner of the area around the college site is an integral part of this pedestrian movement route and should form a major piece of public realm. The creation of a public route across the site linking College Road and Fairfield Gardens is of particular importance for the occupiers of the proposed residential development, many of which are to be using East Croydon on a frequent basis. Future access arrangements should also minimise the impact on the new pedestrian link.
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