West Suffolk College’s new principal says he has ‘big plans’ as he tries to fill the shoes of his long-serving predecessor.
Dr Nikos Savvas will take the reins at the Bury St Edmunds college in September, with Dr Ann Williams stepping aside after more than a decade in charge.
Dr Savvas said he had been impressed with what he had seen of the facilities at the Out Risbygate site.
“It’s a brilliant college. The staff and the students make it and we have a fantastic opportunity to be at the forefront of education in the area.
“We are in challenging times for the economy but Suffolk is an area that is moving forward and the college is at the heart of that,” he said.
Dr Savvas, 42, joins the college from his role as vice principal of Salford City College.
His career began at Pendleton College as a physics teacher, before rising to head of department and moving into management roles.
His Phd was earned in High Energy Particle Physics, studying alongside BBC science star, Brian Cox.
He said he wants to make sure that students are prepared for the world of employment.
“A college is a stepping stone to prepare students for work.
“Education is valuable in and of itself but as citizens of the future, the students must be able to contribute economically,” he said.
That aim will be aided by the college’s link-up with University Campus Suffolk, according to Dr Savvas.
“It’s a unique opportunity to really embed higher education within further education.
“It’s about preparing the students for the specific areas they are interested in that further education can’t give them,” he said.
He said it will ‘take a little time’ for him to fully guage the college’s position, but that he had been preparing for changes.
“I have big plans for the college. At the moment the main thing is to carry on the fantastic work of Ann an all the staff over the last decade.
“In September I will have more of a detailed idea of what we are doing,” he said.
Richard Carter, West Suffolk College’s chairman of governors, said the college was thrilled at the appointment.
“He was the outstanding candidate to apply for the post and comes to us with the very highest credentials.
“He is the right person to succeed Ann, who has done so much to raise the standards and the profile of the college during her decade as principal,” he said.
Dr Savvas will have the benefit of a new Further Education building, which is due to be completed by May.