MP praises college’s connections with business in debate

Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket
Jo Churchill, MP for Bury St Edmunds and Stowmarket
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West Suffolk College’s ties with business were used as an example of best practise by Bury St Edmunds MP Jo Churchil in a House of Commons debate.

Mrs Churchill was speaking in last week’s debate on the Higher Education and Research Bill, which seeks to raise standards set up an Office for Students as a regulator and funding body.

In the debate, she highlighted the research and higher education sector in East Anglia and Bury St Edmunds and its innovation in delivering learning.

She said: “The University of Suffolk, which has a campus in my constituency [WSC], has a member of the LEP and the local authority on the board. We need to encourage that sort of thing rather than making collaboration mandatory.

“They talk to further education providers, schools and businesses about how to fill the gaps in IT and engineering and to boost productivity, looking at nuclear power, farming, health and care. That is what I want the Bill to support.”

She added: “Businesses want skills, but in order to build them up they must communicate more with the higher and further education sectors. They are playing an increasingly important part in our university institutions.”