In 1970 Exeter Technical College became the UK’s first Tertiary College, bringing together the former grammar schools' sixth forms and Exeter Technical College to provide
all post-16 education and training for the city of Exeter with approximately 6,000
young people and adults and 130 teaching staff. As described by the then Principal Phillip Merfield,
the tertiary education system provided the “community advantage of focusing attention
upon an educational centrepiece” and the current Secretary of State noted that “the
Authority’s scheme involves radical and novel proposals for the education of the
post 16+ age group”. School leavers from Hele’s School, Bishop Blackall School for
Girls, Priory, St James, St Thomas, and Vincent Thompson studied a choice of 28
A levels and vocational courses, whilst adult and employee learners joined day release
and evening class programmes linked to the industry demands of the day.
In the colleges 40th year (2010 - 11) the college now educates and trains over 11,000 young people and adults, full time and part time, from the city of Exeter, Devon and the South West. Our 4,450 16-18 year olds choose from an impressive 35 A levels, the International Baccalaureate, and over 80 vocational and industry-led courses - many covering subjects that were not even thought of 40 years ago. The college welcomes over 600 14 - 16 year old students from a range of local schools, trains over 550 apprentices and over 300 higher education students graduate each year with Foundation Degrees and other university level courses. In 2011 over 280 adult and employer training courses are being delivered to local and regional learners.
Our student numbers, faculties and range of opportunities have flourished in the last 40 years and the college continues to provide an 'educational centrepiece' of excellent teaching and learning in our community. We acknowledge the staff and students, both past and present, who have contributed to our success and look to the future in which Exeter College continues to thrive and be inspired by the achievements of each individual student.