A key partnership has been formed with Pembroke College, Oxford

Posted by on 31 Oct 2022

Image: A key partnership has been formed with Pembroke College, Oxford

Photo L - R Professor Clive Siviour, Tutor and Fellow in Engineering Science, Pembroke College, Mark Robinson, Director of Economy, Rochdale Borough Council and CEO Rochdale Development Agency, Rt Hon Sir Ernest Ryder Master, Pembroke College, Dr Paul Ormerod, Chair RDA, Chris Dobbs, Coordinator of Pembroke Youth Scholars, Hollingworth Academy, Dr Peter Claus, Access Fellow, Senior Research Fellow in History, Director of OxNet & CredOx Pembroke College, Oxford,  Morgan Lewis, OxNet Programme Administrator Pembroke College, University of Oxford and Julie Saunders Bursar, Pembroke College, University of Oxford.

A key partnership has been formed between Rochdale Development Agency and Pembroke College, Oxford to provide a programme of academic engagement for the most able pupils across Rochdale, Heywood and Middleton.

The partnership will initially offer a pilot programme of academic enrichment that will support pupils from a range of schools across the Borough to enhance future possibilities for their education and career. These events are hosted at Hollingworth Academy, Milnrow and are coordinated by Chris Dobbs who runs Pembroke Youth Scholars, part of the OxNet organisation, is a very experienced teacher and committed to challenging education inequality.

Founded in 1624, Pembroke College is a constituent part of the University of Oxford.  Its core purpose is to inspire and nurture a spirit of lifelong learning and enquiry. Pupils in the pilot programme will be engaged in seminars, lectures, study skills activities, summer schools, and university-style learning. The colleges’ outreach work is carried out under the OxNet banner, which has an extensive network of link schools and sixth form colleges.

The aim is to inspire young people to reach their full academic potential and in turn through developing these skills and knowledge, support companies to be more innovative and productive. This is especially important for the developments taking place in Rochdale, most notably Atom Valley.

Atom Valley, a mayoral development zone, located north of Manchester city centre across the Boroughs of Rochdale, Bury and Oldham, will offer 1.6 million square metres of employment space, 20,000 jobs and will be home to the Advanced Machinery and Productivity Initiative (AMPI) and a Sustainable Materials Translational Research Centre. Atom Valley will bring together businesses and academia to turn research into reality. It is critical to the success of this initiative that it attracts and retains the best talent from across the region and the UK.

The Head Teacher of Hollingworth Academy, Robert McGinty said “we are incredibly proud to be part of this initiative. It is a privilege to be collaborating with Pembroke College and OxNet and one that the children of Rochdale will benefit from immensely.”

Councillor John Blundell, portfolio holder for economy and regeneration, said “If we are to realise the true benefits and value which developments such as Atom Valley can bring to the Borough, then it is absolutely essential that we give young people the best chance to develop their full potential and the skills needed to support ventures such as this. The partnership with Pembroke College will give all parties the best possible chance to meet the challenges ahead.”

Sir Ernest Ryder, Master of Pembroke College Oxford said: “We have a great deal of experience working with schools across the UK through OxNet and I am confident that our programme in Rochdale will be a great success. Everyone involved has the determination and enthusiasm necessary to give those in schools and colleges across the Borough of Rochdale a fabulous opportunity for the future. I look forward to a very successful and innovative future.”

Pembroke College


Dr Paul Ormerod, Chair RDA Mark Robinson, Director of Economy, Rochdale Borough Council and CEO Rochdale Development Agency, Rt Hon Sir Ernest Ryder Master, Pembroke College,


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