South Yorkshire win £12million bid to establish an Institute of Technology


Institute of TechnologyA collaboration of educators and employers from South Yorkshire have successfully secured over £12million to establish a new South Yorkshire Institute of Technology (IoT).

The Department for Education (DfE) made the announcement today as part of the second wave of IoT bids to have funding confirmed by the government.


New employer-led IoTs offer higher level technical education to help close skills gaps in key STEM areas. They are part of the government’s plans to reform technical training to help employers get the skilled workforce they need and offer local people rewarding jobs.


The South Yorkshire IoT joins Further Education institutions, Higher Education institutions and local employers together to provide pathways from STEM based T-Levels to Higher Technical Qualifications, apprenticeships, and degrees. The IoT will also offer flexible courses for adults looking to reskill or upskill.


The collaboration includes DN Colleges Group, Sheffield Hallam University, Barnsley College, and the University of Sheffield AMRC Training Centre as core education partners. RNN Group, the Sheffield College and the National Centre for Advanced Transport & Infrastructure (NCATI) are also associate partners.


In addition, the core employer partners include AESSEAL PLC, Engie UK, HLM Architects and WANdisco. They will have a place on the Board of the IoT and one of them will be chair.


The South Yorkshire IoT will work closely with employers to provide specialist provision for over 1,500 learners, aiming to meet the demand for construction, digital, engineering/manufacturing, and healthcare science higher level technical skills within the region. The IoT will target key sectors and occupations, making a substantial contribution to increasing the region’s productivity and ability to attract and retain employers with higher-level technical skilled roles.


Mick Lochran, CEO of DN Colleges Group, which has led on the formation of the IoT, said: “I am so proud that South Yorkshire has been awarded an IoT as it has the potential to change the whole dynamic of our region. The working partnerships, between employers and education providers, has been amazing and provides a sound foundation to deliver a successful IoT.”


Provision will be designed to be accessible to people across the region and target underrepresented groups. Investment will see IoT sites established across the region, including:

  •     DN Colleges Groupwill be delivering provision from within the existing Doncaster College site;
  •     Barnsley Collegewill reconfigure and refurbish its existing Church Street building to create a dedicated IoT centre in the centre of Barnsley;
  •     Sheffield Hallam Universitywill create a dedicated IoT space within the existing campus in Sheffield City Centre;
  •     The University of Sheffield’s AMRCTraining Centre is planning to refurbish and upgrade a dedicated space at its Rotherham  site with industry standard digital engineering laboratories.

Education secretary Nadhim Zahawi said the new IoTs will “boost access to more high-quality and flexible education and training – giving people the chance to learn at a pace that is right for them, while ensuring we have the skilled workforce needed to boost our economy”.


The South Yorkshire IoT is supported by the South Yorkshire Mayoral Combined Authority, all regional local authorities and local Chambers of Commerce.


Professor Sir Chris Husbands, Vice-Chancellor of Sheffield Hallam University, said: 

“This is fabulous news. It shows what collaboration between universities and further education providers can do for the region 

“This is a step-change investment in technical education and Sheffield Hallam is delighted to have played our part in securing it. The IoT will drive economic success, build talent and create opportunities. 

“We are looking forward to using our expertise in work-based applied learning to make the South Yorkshire Institute of Technology an outstanding success.” 


UCNL Family Fun Day Hailed a Huge Success


The University Campus North Lincolnshire (UCNL) held its first ever family fun day with huge support from the community at its latest sell out event.  

The event was held within the UCNL building, car park and within Central Park and was completely free, welcoming local families, as well as past and present students between 10am and 3pm on Saturday 4th September. Visitors were encouraged to have a go on a range of free activities and look around the campus itself, to potentially consider applying for North Lincolnshire’s only provider of higher of education courses and see for themselves the opportunities available on their doorstep.   

Mick Lochran (CEO, DN Colleges Group) said: “The University Campus North Lincolnshire is an amazing investment in the future of our community and will play a central role in preparing local people for future employment opportunities. I was so pleased to see so many people taking time to come and find out more about UCNL and hopefully many will chose to study locally.” 

The UCNL now offers HNCs to HNDs, all the way up to level 7 Masters degrees. 2021 will also see students studying on the latest Bsc (Hons) Psychology with Criminology degree.   

Samantha Fennell (32) said: “It’s been fun, great for the kids and informative. My daughter wants to study sport science here now and she is only 11, it’s been really good.”  

Lydia Morley (24) said: “An amazing free day out, not having to pay for anything for all of the activities outside is amazing and to see around the campus is great. Lovely to see inside.” 

Other open events are planned throughout the year for anyone considering a Higher Education qualification, which can be followed on the UCNL on Facebook and Twitter to find out about the latest news, events and developments. 

Spokesperson at the UCNL said: “We were keen to open our doors to our local communities, offer an insight into the opportunities available with Scunthorpe and say thank you to our region by offering a free family day out. The event saw people from right across the region of all ages come and enjoy the day, with many now realising they don’t have to move away to gain a degree, HNC, HND, Masters or Higher Apprenticeship.” 

Applications are still being accepted at the UCNL for courses starting September 2021. Anyone who may be interested in studying for a Higher Education qualification can contact the team on 01724 294125 or email for further details.  


UCNL Charity Skydive Raises a Staggering £8,170 for Charity


Covid restrictions finally eased to allow staff and students from the University Campus North Lincolnshire (UCNL) to take the leap and complete a skydive for a collection of charities.  

The adrenaline-fuelled experience was initially planned for January 2021 but due to Covid restrictions the anticipated skydive had to be put on hold. The skydive eventually took place at Skydive Hibaldstow in May which took many months of preparation and planning.   

Despite the various setbacks, the weather couldn’t have been more perfect on the day for the dare devil group and the tandem skydive enabled the brave staff and students to enjoy spectacular views over North Lincolnshire.  

Gillian Reid (UCNL Head of Department Health, Life and Social Science) was raising money for a project in Ghana, after previously spending a week-long trip with students from the UCNL in October 2019 in a school in Woe. The visit really touched Gillian emotionally which led to her making a promise to return, even if this meant jumping out of an aeroplane. 

Gillian said: “The plan is to return to the school in Ghana to add a water pump and filter to the well in the school after watching the children pull the water up in a dirty container.” 

Gillian continued: “Jumping out of the aeroplane was the best bit, but strangely was the bit I was most dreading. It felt amazing and I am so happy that I have done it. I did feel sick when I was up in the plane but jumping was easier than expected and the views are amazing, I could see the Humber Bridge. You think that you wouldn’t be able to see anything when you first jump but you do get chance to focus once the parachute goes up. I was really nervous, but I had to do it because of all the sponsors that I had received, and I am so pleased that I have.”  

The UCNL skydive enabled staff and students to raise money for other various charities, including; Scunthorpe NICU, Parkinsons and Angel Bears. 


UCNL Adds New Psychology with Criminology Degree!


The University Campus North Lincolnshire (UCNL) has announced it plans to offer a BSc (Hons) Psychology with Criminology* from September 2021 and are accepting applications now.  

This exciting move is the latest new course that the UCNL will be offering, due to popular demand.  

The three year, full-time course will be validated by the University of Hull and is an exciting new addition to the portfolio of courses offered at UCNL. Psychology and criminology students are ideally suited to careers in a range of areas, including: the police, probation, prison service, security services, local and central government, social work, youth work, public policy, offender charities, housing, mental health support, victim support, drug rehabilitation and social research.  

The course will provide students with the knowledge that psychologists use to study people’s behaviour, motivations, thoughts and feelings. Criminal psychologists, in particular attempt to understand and explain criminal behaviour. Studying criminology develops an understanding of the personal and social aspects of crime, motivation, victimisation and responses to crime and deviance. 

Debbie Jensen (Academic Registrar) said, “this is an exciting addition to the current portfolio at UCNL. Psychology and criminology are two very interesting areas to study and complement each other well. Combining these two subject areas together also increases the career opportunities post-graduation. We are really delighted to be able to offer this degree in Scunthorpe, with all the benefits of also being a University of Hull student.” 

The British Psychological Society (BPS) Career Destinations Survey (BPS, 2016) found that psychology graduates are readily recruited to a wide range of jobs as well as post graduate study. This course is designed to prepare students for specialism at post graduate study or research in areas such as clinical, forensic psychology, forensic science as well as a range of post graduate careers.   

For further information you can contact the UCNL Information and Advice office on 01724 294125, visit the UCNL website at or email the team to apply at   

*Subject to validation 




DN Colleges Group Voted 2020 Whatuni? Student Choice Award for ‘Further Education’ for the Second Year Running 

DN Colleges Group have retained their title for the second year running as the winners of the 2020 Whatuni? Student Choice Award for the ‘Further Education’ category. 


The Whatuni Awards were delayed this year due to Covid-19, however this didn’t stop students nominating their institution for various awards. This award recognises the success of higher education at University Campus North Lincolnshire (UCNL) and University Centre Doncaster, both of whom are part of the DN Colleges Group along with North Lindsey College and Doncaster College. 

Steven Johnstone (Director of Higher Education at the UCNL) said:

“This is an amazing acknowledgement for all our staff teams and retaining the award really demonstrates the consistent levels of quality and support we offer to all our students and the appreciation they have towards their tutors. While the nominations and shortlisting took place before lockdown, this news is extra special, given how incredibly hard the staff teams have worked to support our students over these challenging months. Congratulations to all other providers who were shortlisted for this award, we know that they too will have gone above and beyond to help their students achieve.” 

Now in its seventh year, the Whatuni? Student Choice Awards’ main categories are compiled entirely from student reviews. The reviews are a combination of electronic and physically collected reviews by the Whatuni team. The reviews-based categories included:

      • University of the Year,
      • Accommodation,
      • Courses and Lecturers,
      • International,
      • Job prospects,
      • Local Life,
      • Postgraduate,
      • Societies and Sports,
      • Student Support,
      • Students’ Union,
      • University Facilities,
      • FE College and
      • Independent HE. 


Wendy Hewson, now a former UCNL student who has recently completed her BA (Hons) in Children, Learning and Development said:

“I am so pleased that UCNL have been recognised for their excellent provision and have won the Whatuni award again.

It is brilliant to see the local university being acknowledged for the hard work they continuously offer to all of their students. I was apprehensive about starting my degree but having the opportunity to access good quality learning and teaching and gain a degree without having to travel made it much easier for me alongside work and family commitments. I have now achieved a first-class BA honours degree and cannot wait to celebrate with staff and students who helped me accomplish this! Well deserved win for UCNL and University Centre Doncaster.” 


The announcement came in a very different format to previous years which usually incorporates a sit-down meal at a swanky hotel location in London. The event moved to an all virtual event in place of the postponed physical ceremony, this was hosted by TV presenter Claudia Winkleman who announced the deserving winners.