East Surrey College


History: The Redhill Technical Institute came into being in 1895. In 1937, it was upgraded to a technical college and the school of arts and crafts relocated to Reigate. In 1983, Redhill Technical College and the Reigate and Redhill School of Arts and Crafts became East Surrey College. In 2002, the School of Arts and Crafts relocated from Reigate to a new building on the main East Surrey College campus in Redhill and was renamed Reigate School of Art, Design and Media.

Address: The new state-of-the-art college building, completed in 2011, is sited on the A23. There are also over thirty community venues where the college provides personal and community development learning.

Ambience: The new college building, arranged around a large enclosed atrium, fosters an inclusive and unified community of learners.

Who's the boss? Jayne Dickinson has been principal and CEO since January 2012.

Prospectus: 01737 788 444 or visit the website here.

UCAS code: E32

What you need to know

Foundation degrees: Music production; business; aviation operations management; and early years care and education.

Easy to get into? Entry is not necessarily limited to the UCAS points system as the college likes to help and support all students (especially mature learners). Having said that, most HE courses ask for 120 points. They like strong portfolios and judge learners on an individual basis. Applicants for full and part-time courses are interviewed.

Vital statistics: Around 7,500 full and part-time students. Provision includes full-time courses primarily for 16-18 year olds; part-time courses including extensive informal adult learning classes for the local community; school link groups; and training for local business such as workplace NVQs, apprenticeships and bespoke training opportunities. The college also offers several specialised higher education courses, including foundation degrees validated by the University of Brighton.

Added value: Facilities include an auditorium; a sports hall with a range of court options; well-equipped fitness room; Escape Hair, Beauty and Spa salons; and engineering, motor vehicle and construction workshops. There is also a stylish cafe with a coffee bar, a shop and landscaped summer gardens. A two storey Learning Resource Centre with space for both individual and group study is available to support taught lessons together with a dedicated HE Study Room. The College also incorporates the Reigate School of Art, Design and Media, giving learners access to the latest design, editing and music production software as well as fully equipped photography and printmaking studios. Green credentials include: rainwater harvesting; solar panels, a biomass boiler, generating approximately 70 per cent of energy required in the building; a green roof, using sedum plants to insulate, absorb rainwater and encourage biodiversity; and cooling through chilled beams and natural ventilation.

Teaching: Good in art, design and media studies, satisfactory and above in all other areas.

Any accommodation? None provided by the college.

Cheap to live there? Varies. It's between £60 and £100 per week for a room in a shared property.

Transport links: Fully accessible by public transport. The nearest train station is in Redhill with direct links to London and Brighton. The 405 and 430 bus routes stop outside the college, whilst the central bus station is located opposite the train station. During term time a free College minibus service runs from the centre of town to the college at regular intervals throughout the day.

Fees: Foundation degrees cost between £2,845 and £6,000 per year for home full-time students.

Bursaries: The college administers several funds targeted at different groups of students. For more details, visit the website. For 2012/13 the college is offering six awards comprising three full-time bursaries of £3000 and three part-time bursaries of £1500 to students with a household income of below £25,000.

The fun stuff

Nightlife: Most students socialise in Redhill or Reigate where there are plenty of pubs, bars and restaurants. Croydon is livelier and only 15 minutes away by train. Central London isn't too much of a trek either.

Price of a pint: £2.72 for a pint of lager in Redhill on average.

Sporting reputation: No entry in the BUCS league, but facilities include a sports hall and fitness suite. A range of sporting activities is available through the college for all students.

Glittering alumni: None as yet.