Continuing our #ThisIsLiving series (taken from our We Have a Great Story To Tell report), this week we’re shining the spotlight on the region’s thriving education facilities.

Coastal West Sussex has several high performing schools and colleges in the public and private sector.

The University of Chichester, which has campuses in Chichester and Bognor Regis, has developed an international reputation in a number of research disciplines including Sport and Exercise Sciences.  The University was awarded over £8m Growth Deal funding towards a new £35 million Engineering and Digital Technology Park at the Bognor Regis campus. The new facility, which is due for completion in April 2018, will deliver 500 new science, technology, engineering and maths undergraduate and postgraduate student places per year by 2020. Plans are also well-advanced to establish a creative and digital hub in the town for entrepreneurial students.

Universities at Portsmouth, Southampton, Brighton, Sussex and Surrey are all within reasonable distance and provide a range of educational and research services.

The area also has three exceptional further education colleges, each with its own specialisms and area of expertise.

Chichester College has its main campus in the city centre with a second campus at Brinsbury near Pulborough. It is the largest college in Sussex and rated Outstanding by Ofsted.  It is a market leader and Queens Anniversary Prize winner for international students, with more than 2,500 international students from 80 different countries. In August, Chichester College merged with Central Sussex College in Crawley (now renamed Crawley College) to form the Chichester College Group.

The newly formed Greater Brighton Metropolitan College is the principal provider of work-related further education in the east of the CWS region centred in Worthing. The College offers a wide range of full and part time courses from basic skills to degrees offering a large range of courses for the creative and cultural industries.

Worthing College, including its renowned Academy of Sport, is located on a new 18 acre parkland campus at the Warren on the edge of the South Downs National Park in Worthing and provides learning for over 1,700 students.

Workforce skills

The area is able to offer a highly-skilled and motivated workforce. The percentage of residents in Coastal West Sussex in the higher-level occupations has increased over the last 5 years, as has the percentage of people working in higher level occupations in the area.

Despite the percentage of residents holding NVQ4+ in CWS being lower than for West Sussex and the regional and national averages, this figure has increased significantly since 2004.

“The Coastal West Sussex area has fantastic schools, colleges and universities nearby – with links between business and academic institutions growing stronger every year,” Coastal West Sussex Partnership director, Caroline Wood says.

“This means that the region is able to draw on a large pool of skilled graduates from the higher and further education institutions within a 60 minute drive-time, which is a great benefit to local businesses.”

Read more from our We Have a Great Story to Tell Report here.