A COLLEGE has cut ties with a prestigious university because its focus has turned to “international partnerships”.

University Centre Colchester, run by Colchester Institute, has been receiving degree accreditations from Essex University since it was launched in 2006.

However, staff have announced from September 2019 some degrees will be validated by University of East Anglia, with Essex University being phased out.

This will be followed by all degrees being accredited by UEA the following year.

Colchester Institute’s principal and chief executive, Alison Andreas said: “We have had a positive partnership arrangement with the University of Essex for many years, but their strategic priorities are now more focused on international partnerships.

“We really look forward to building a new partnership with UEA, whose high quality is renowned, nationally, and who focus, as we do, on degrees and awards that genuinely enhance graduates’ career prospects.”

The partnership between UEA and UCC starts with the launch of a new course for 2019, a BSc Engineering (Mechanical and Electrical).

Colchester Institute has worked with Essex University for the past 12 years, with 6,000 students graduated from University Centre Colchester with University of Essex degrees.

Students enrolling in September 2019 may be on either a UEA or a University of Essex degree depending on the discipline, but from 2020, there will be no further enrolments to Essex awards.

A UCC spokeswoman added: “Changing strategic priorities means Essex University is now focussing on developing new and existing partnerships at a national and international level with Essex programmes already being delivered through partnerships in Singapore, Germany, France, Japan, China and online.

“We have a strong relationship and the university and University Centre Colchester will continue to work closely together to promote educational opportunities in the area and on initiatives which support our shared strategic goals.”

Prof Neil Ward, Pro Vice Chancellor (Academic) at UEA, said: “UEA is delighted University Centre Colchester is joining our established network of academic partners and we look forward to the college’s first students studying towards UEA awards starting in September. This new partnership reinforces UEA’s commitment to higher education in our region and we are excited to be working with UCC.”