City of Oxford College, the winner of several Association of Colleges Beacon Awards, was known to many people as Oxford & Cherwell Valley College (OCVC), until it became part of the Activate Learning group in 2013.
Balancing its expert knowledge of neuroscience, emotions and motivation, its unique learning philosophy is designed to help students develop the skills and confidence needed to pursue their chosen career. Learners work on real-life projects, are trained in industry-standard facilities, and put their new talents to good use in commercial settings, with the support of modern technology.
The college offers vocational training programmes, predominantly for post-16s, across a range of subjects. There is vocational training for school leavers and adults/professionals, apprenticeships, A-Levels, higher education, international study, leisure learning, and courses to help unemployed people return to a sustainable job.
Comparatively young as an education provider, it can trace its roots back to 1960, when the Oxford College of Further Education was unveiled, providing courses to students of any ability at the current Oxford city centre and Blackbird Leys campuses. The turn of the century saw more than 1,800 full-time and over 7,500 part-time students join the college, which was divided into Engineering Services, Business, and Technology faculties.
In the summer of 2003, it merged with North Oxfordshire College in Banbury, to become Oxford and Cherwell College. It would also be home to Rycotewood Furniture Centre, which switched from Thame to the Oxford city centre campus. Two years later, a new campus opened its doors in Bicester, at which point the college was renamed Oxford & Cherwell Valley College. By the end of the decade, OCVC, along with the Learning Skills Network, started running Reading College. OCVC evolved into the Oxford & Cherwell Valley College Group.
A restructure in 2013 led to the group being rebranded as Activate Learning, and the two OCVC colleges – Oxford and Banbury – changing their names. OCVC (Oxford) was now City of Oxford College.
If you've been made an offer for a place at the college then have a look at some of our centrally located Oxford student accommodation below:
Recent years have been kind to the college. Ofsted awarded it a Good grade, accompanied by Outstanding features. Student success rates have increased annually in 2015, 2016 and 2017, and are now going above and beyond the national average figures.
Nine out of 10 students continue into higher education or employment when they come to the end of their time at City of Oxford College. Statistics from UCAS demonstrated that the college manages to pave the way for more students to reach university ever year than any other school or college in the Oxfordshire and Berkshire regions.
Its students typically secure between one and three grades better than had been anticipated when they first arrived. And 90% of the college’s higher education students have declared themselves satisfied with the quality of their learning. That is 10% higher than the national average for college-based, higher education courses.
The Oxford city centre campus boasts furniture workshops, a restaurant, hair and beauty salons, and studios for creative media, music, and performing arts. Students make use of these facilities for their training, with the salons and restaurant also open to the paying public.
At the Blackbird Leys campus, there is a Centre for Autistic Learners, along with courses in Carpentry, Joinery, Brickwork, Painting, Decorating, and Plumbing.