LESS than 10 years ago it was struggling to cope with its finances.
But Highbury College has bounced back and is throwing its hat in the ring for next year’s eagerly-anticipated Business Excellence Awards contest, which are run by The News.
It leads the way as the first entrant in the Big Business of the Year category.
Matthew Tanner, who works in the college’s Business Development and Innovation Department, submitted the institute for the competition.
In 2003, Ofsted summed up Highbury College’s services as ‘satisfactory’.
Eight years on, inspectors returned and were blown away by the improvements made, awarding the college with an outstanding grade.
Matthew said: ‘Highbury College has undergone a radical transformation.
‘Less than 10 years ago it was a financially ailing institution that suffered from poor inspection results, indifferent success rates and a dilapidated infrastructure.
‘Fast-forward to June 2011, and the college has been graded as outstanding by Ofsted.
‘Our journey from satisfactory to outstanding has been realised through our approach to success under the determined and diligent leadership of Highbury’s principal and chief executive, Stella Mbubaegbu.’
In recent years, the college’s £56.4m investment programme culminated in the building of new premises at its existing site on Dovercourt Road, Cosham.
The facility, which opened in 2009, offers course ranging from media and journalism, business and retail to hair and beauty.
Matthew said: ‘The opening of the new Highbury campus means that Portsmouth now has a world-class college which it can be truly proud of.’
n To enter the 2012 Business Excellence Awards complete an online form which can be found at portsmouth.co.uk. Send it back by email to firstname.lastname@example.org or by post to Emma Judd, Business Editor, The News Centre, The News, Hilsea, PO2 9SX.
Shortlisted entrants will be invited to a black tie dinner and awards ceremony, in Portsmouth Guildhall, on February 10.