Arden University expands its Manchester operation to cater for student influx

Prof Helen Scott
X The Business Desk

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Arden University has announced the expansion of its Manchester study centre following a doubling in its student numbers in the city over the past 12 months as the flexible, online and blended learning institution continues its rapid growth.

Since opening its Manchester Study Centre at Linley House in 2017, Arden University has seen a 101% growth, from 2019-2020, of students applying to study in Manchester due to the range of internationally recognised courses it offers including business, law, psychology, healthcare management, marketing and computing.

As well as accommodating its growing number of students from across the UK and around the world the expansion, which increases capacity from two floors at Linley House to new space at Barlow House on Minsull Street, will allow the university to ensure it has appropriate teaching provision for all and enable students to access the face-to-face advice and support it provides in the centres.

The expanded study centre offers a range of facilities for students including digitally enabled classrooms, an IT suite and breakout study spaces for those who are in need of some quiet time away from home or other distractions.

Prof Helen Scott, deputy vice chancellor academic at Arden University, said: “This latest expansion shows that demand for our blended programmes has never been higher. Many people are looking to increase their skills and knowledge to progress in their current careers, transfer sectors/jobs or give themselves the best start by studying programmes that prepare them to meet employers’ future needs.

“Investing in more space means that we are not just ready for now, but the future, too. With the academic year beginning, we are welcoming new and continuing students, but we will also be accepting more students throughout the year onto short courses looking to gain skills needed to excel in their careers.

“Our version of blended learning is becoming increasingly popular and offers access to higher education that is more flexible and suited to the lives of our students, rather than the demands and deadlines of the institution.”

She added: “Between lockdowns over the last 12 months, when it has been possible to do so, Arden has implemented a hybrid approach for our blended, full time students who can attend their teaching remotely or in the centre’s classrooms.

“We call this ‘Your Degree, Your Way’ and it is highly likely we will be retaining this model of flexibility in the coming months. We have learned a lot about working with our students remotely over the last 18 months, having successfully enabled our full time students to continue with their studies by switching very quickly from in-person teaching to ‘live’online sessions in March 2020 – while increasing synchronous support for many of our part time, distance learning students.

“The rapid expansion of our presence in Manchester is proving that there is a shift happening in the higher education sector and students’ desires are changing. Integrating flexibility and blended learning has attracted many committed students to Arden University at different stages in their careers.

“Our students know they need to constantly evolve and develop their skills and expertise. We are very proud to be able to support and guide them through their development.”

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