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Students working with Siemens PLC

Barking & Dagenham College has secured the highest industry-backed recognition for the quality of its STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) based education and training by achieving STEM Assured status.

STEM Assured is the only educational standard that independently verifies and benchmarks the quality of STEM provision. It is the most prestigious accolade an institution can receive in STEM.

As part of the STEM Assured process, the college has been validated against NEF’s rigorous outcomes-focused framework, which covers a wide range of factors including strategic planning, course design and delivery, innovation and impact. The framework also examines the college’s capability to track industry trends and engage with local employers.

By achieving STEM Assured, Barking & Dagenham College has demonstrated that:
• Its STEM-based training is of a consistently high quality and aligned with industry requirements

• The college is taking a multi-disciplinary approach to STEM education and learning

• Employability skills are embedded into the curriculum

• The college is committed to continually improving its training provision to ensure that it keeps pace with rapid advances in technology and the changing jobs market

NEF’s validation panel particularly praised the college’s innovative approach to curriculum development as well as its investment in specialised facilities, in collaboration and consultation with major employers.

Barking & Dagenham College’s substantial STEM investment programme includes the opening of the Siemens Mechatronics Academy in February 2015. The college is the only UK partner approved to deliver the Siemens Mechatronic Systems Certification Programme (SMSCP) to trainee engineers and to industry practitioners who want to up-skill.

As well as Siemens, the college has developed a number of other strategic partnerships with leading employers. The Green Technologies Centre, a training facility containing workshops and classrooms dedicated to the delivery of sustainable construction and environmental courses, is supported by heating specialist Viessmann. A joint venture with formwork and scaffolding specialist, PERI, is enhancing Barking & Dagenham College’s already significant construction training provision. In addition, a partnership with CNet Training, the global leader in training for the network infrastructure and data centre industries, has established a national training hub on the main campus.

NEF Chief Executive Professor Sa’ad Medhat said:

“Innovation and entrepreneurialism are thriving at Barking & Dagenham College, under the strong leadership of Principal and CEO, Cathy Walsh OBE.
“The college has developed powerful clusters of excellence across a range of sectors and we have been particularly impressed with its approach to new programme development, which is very much in tune with industry requirements, both locally and nationally.

“Congratulations to staff and students on reaching this major milestone.”

Cathy Walsh OBE, Principal and CEO, at Barking & Dagenham College added:

“My colleagues and I are delighted that our work has achieved national recognition. The training we offer to students and apprentices must be linked to the demands of the local, regional and national economies. The world of work is becoming increasingly hi-tech and employers need access to a pool of talent with excellent STEM skills. As London is moving eastwards the college is ideally placed to meet that demand.”

For more information or to arrange an interview with Professor Sa’ad Medhat, please contact Emma Crates mob: 07843 273103 To contact the NEF office email: For more information from Barking & Dagenham College please contact:
Alaine O’Brien, Wow! Marketing Ltd, 020 8441 8615,

About NEF

NEF: The Innovation Institute comprises the Institute of Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (IKE) and the New Engineering Foundation (NEF). Over the past 10 years, we have worked with more than 600 companies to drive productivity and improve performance. We have also helped more than 250 educational institutions develop vibrant and industry-relevant curricula.
Our professional development grants have positively impacted more than
600,000 learners in science, engineering and technology, and have influenced policy and decision makers through think-tanks and evidential research.

NEF’s work is guided by the Innovation Council with members from:


About Barking & Dagenham College: Barking & Dagenham College is one of the largest in the UK and London’s number one College for training that leads to work. It is an award winning college and has a turnover of c. £35 million and over 12,500 students. It has been praised by Ofsted for its outstanding support for students, its leadership and management and its excellence in innovation and entrepreneurship.

The college offers hundreds of courses but recognises that all students, irrespective of their career path, need the opportunity to develop enhanced STEM skills. The vision to offer the highest quality training delivered in industry-standard facilities is behind Barking & Dagenham College’s substantial STEM investment programme, often in partnership with employers, but always with students at its heart.

The investigative labs and 3D cinema in the College’s regional Gazelle STEM Centre, opened in October 2013 by TV’s Carol Vorderman MBE, are used both by the College’s own students and local schools. A year later, in October 2014, HRH The Duke of York, KG launched iCreate@BDC, the 1000 sqm digital creative hub with its own live TV studio. In February 2015 Lord Kenneth Baker officially opened the Siemens Mechatronics Academy. Lord Baker is Chair of the Edge Foundation, whose generous grant helped the College to establish the Academy.

More information can be found at

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