Educational Institutions from Devon Collaborate to Foster Social Mobility


A new partnership between two of Devon’s leading educational institutions, the University of Exeter and Petroc, aims to boost social mobility and aspiration in the county. This collaboration will enhance school, college, and higher education achievement while fostering a culture of success among Devon’s young people.

The memorandum of understanding (MoU) between the University of Exeter and Petroc acknowledges their shared values and lays the groundwork for new regional initiatives and partnerships. Stuart Brocklehurst, University of Exeter Deputy Vice-Chancellor for Business Engagement and Innovation, stated, “We are delighted to have signed this MoU with Petroc. It will enable us to work together to promote social mobility and foster a culture of aspiration and success for young people in the county.”

Dr. Jason Jones, Deputy Principal of Petroc, added, “By working together, we can create an education ecosystem that not only elevates educational outcomes but also drives innovation and economic growth in the South West. We are excited about the possibilities this MoU brings and look forward to collaborating with the University of Exeter and other universities in the South West, the UK, and beyond.”

Peter Morrish, Chair of the Northern Devon Economy, Innovation and Skills Board, commented, “This partnership between Exeter University and Petroc College is a significant milestone for businesses in northern Devon. It will help ensure that a diverse range of education is available at all levels and accessible to local people, bringing world-class capabilities to northern Devon and enabling businesses to become more actively involved in research and development.”

Future plans include improving the skilled workforce available to employers and driving inclusive and clean growth. The University of Exeter and Petroc will work together to encourage wider participation in higher education and identify skills gaps. Their collaboration will also support the success of the regional blue-green economy, initially focusing on the Appledore Clean Maritime Innovation Centre, floating offshore wind, and materials innovation.

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