GuildHE, one of the UK’s two formal HE representative bodies, has recently welcomed four new members keen to contribute to and be part of a strong, diverse and evolving UK higher education sector.

The new members represent the traditional public sector:  the University of Suffolk – the UK’s most anticipated university; and Hartpury College – the fifth largest provider of HE in FE  and a specialist college for animal and land-based studies and sport; and two private specialist providers: ALRA – the first drama school to offer training across all live and recorded media, with campuses in London and Wigan; and BIMM Institute, a European leader in contemporary modern music education with colleges in London, Berlin, Dublin, Manchester, Bristol and Brighton.

The University of Suffolk brings higher education to what was previously an ‘HE cold spot’ creating a huge opportunity to address local skills; conduct applied research that benefits local partners and encourage collaborative innovation with local businesses. A recent article for Times Higher Education highlighted the benefits that University status will bring to the institution. Specialist providers in land based and creative industries demonstrate HE aligning itself with the economic strengths of the UK and the demand for a highly skilled, highly educated workforce.

Like other GuildHE members they offer vocationally relevant higher education, industry connections and a focus on the student. They help produce the highly skilled workers that industries, crafts and professions need – the skills essential to increase productivity and help realise the Prime Minister’s Industrial Strategy and her aspiration to see growth & prosperity in all regions across the UK.

Gordon McKenzie, CEO of GuildHE said:

“The mix of public and private; specialist and non-specialist shows the diversity of HE UK is a real strength and confirms, as with students, employers and the UK’s industrial and business base, that “one size fits all” usually fits no one: excellence comes in different guises and the most innovative, competitive economies recognise that.”

Rosie Scott-Ward, Vice-Principal HE and Dean at Hartpury College said:

“As the Higher Education sector evolves, we believe GuildHE provides a unique opportunity to discuss, review and inform national policy and practice.  Membership offers a voice for specialist institutions such as Hartpury, as well as an opportunity to share enhancement opportunities with like-minded organizations.”

Andrew Bates, Director of Academic Development and Quality Assurance of BIMM Institute said:

“At BIMM we are really excited about becoming members of GuildHE. BIMM is a renowned specialist institution that offers a wide range of students the opportunity to develop a sustainable career in the music industry.  Our values align with GuildHE’s ethos of promoting diversity and distinction, and membership will provide a fantastic platform for BIMM to learn from and share good practice with other member institutions and continue to develop globally as a leader in contemporary music education.”