History: The main educational provider in the town for vocational and academic study from pre-entry level to HND and foundation degrees.
Address: Operates from two sites – the new £64m Wisemore Campus, which opened in September 2009, is in the centre of the town, while the Green Lane Campus that houses the college’s construction and engineering provision is less than five minutes walk away.
Ambience: The new campus provides cutting-edge facilities and a range of fully equipped specialised academies developed in conjunction with industry. There is also a study zone for HE students with space to relax and socialise. It is a modern, vibrant and friendly college.
Who's the boss? Jatinder Sharma, Principal & Chief Executive.
Prospectus: 01922 688 852; alternatively have a look at their courses and downloads here.
UCAS code: W12
WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW
Easy to get into? Yes - keen on widening participation.
Foundation degrees: Salon business management; education (teaching assistant); health and social care; integrated children's and young people's services.
Vital statistics: Approximately 3,500 young people on vocational courses, and a further 4,000 adults learners. 365 students study on higher education courses. Strong links with industry and universities including Derby, Staffordshire, Wolverhampton and University College Birmingham. The college was praised by Ofsted for attracting students typically under-represented in further education.
Added value: Specialist academies, which provide training in conjunction with external companies. The Microsoft Academy covers computing skills and the Digital Design Centre incorporates the Apple Authorised Training Centre for Education (AATCE) and also the Adobe range of creative software solutions. The Roland DG Signmaking Academy is the first of its kind in the United Kingdom. The Roland Music Academy is the place for those with a real passion for music. Black Country University Technical College will open at the Walsall site in September 2011, offering a headstart to year 10 and 12 students in developing the skills required for a career in the engineering industry.
Teaching: Good in health, social care and childcare, engineering & motor vehicle, construction and visual arts, according to recent Ofsted inspections. Outstanding in hairdressing and beauty therapy. Overall success rates are above the national average, and it is recognised as the most improved college in the Black Country. It also received an 'outstanding' in a recent Ofsted report.
Any accommodation? No halls of its own but an accommodation officer can assist if needed. Home-stay residency is an option, from £110 to £125 per week with meals provided and bills included. Self-catering costs, on average, are between £64 and £85 per week.
Cheap to live there? Varies. From £60-100 per week for a room in a shared flat, exclusive of bills.
Transport: Bus and rail links are a five minute walk away; the M6 and M5 motorways are nearby.
Fees: Vary across courses according to level of study. Most full-time HE courses will cost £4,500 per year for those starting in 2012.
Bursaries: From 2012, Walsall will take part in the National Scholarship Programme. The Walsall College Students Trust Fund is available to students who are living at home and experiencing extreme financial hardship. Walsall also offers an Access to Learning Fund to those in need of further help.
THE FUN STUFF
Glittering alumni: Josh Hill, Max Stewart and Ty Robinson, gold and silver medallists at the English Junior Open for Judo 2010; Anisa Petkar, Young Designer of the Year at the Clothes Show Live 2009; Michelle Thompson, British Hairdressing Awards' Afro Hairdresser of the Year 2009.
Nightlife: Walsall boasts a lively nightlife with local bars, clubs and restaurants. The bright lights of Birmingham and Wolverhampton are less than a 20-minute bus ride away.