Findings from an independent survey, conducted in November 2017, concludes that West Kent and Ashford College supports a total of 505 full-time equivalent jobs across the South East and has a total economic contribution of approximately £18m throughout the region.
Formed in 2014, following the acquisition of three former sites of K College, West Kent and Ashford College was recently awarded a ‘silver’ in the Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) for its higher education provision, gained a ‘full confidence, with no recommendations’ report from the QAA (the only provider amongst those that were reviewed during the 2016/2017 academic year to gain this) and was awarded a Grade 3 from Ofsted. The Colleges’ growth in student numbers, following the acquisition, mean that they now contribute £5.2m to the Kent and Medway economy due to students’ off-site spending. Additionally, the survey also concluded that, upon leaving the College, students report that their essential work-ready skills – confidence, team-working and motivation – all improved as a result of their course.
This research, which took place as part of a wider survey into the effects of the Hadlow Group
(of which West Kent and Ashford College is a part), additionally concluded that the Group - comprising three further education colleges, as well as Hadlow Rural Community School, Hadlow Community Pre-School, Betteshanger Sustainable Parks and the Rosemary Shrager Cookery School - contributes just under £48m per annum to the economies of Kent and Medway, and generates £1.99 for every £1 of income.