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RCU celebrates 25 years supporting the FE Sector

RCU celebrates 25 years supporting the FE Sector

On 25th February 1993, RCU (or the Responsive College Unit as we were then known) became a registered company. Prior to that time, our organisation was a unique research and market intelligence function part of the Responsive College project, run by Lancashire County Council.

I must admit I was still in secondary school at that time but one of our Research Directors (Peter Byram) who was part of the organisation then, and is fortunately still with us now, reliably informs me that it was a difficult and challenging time. I sometimes wonder how things have changed?

25 years on, I am delighted to be part of a specialist organisation supporting a great many organisations operating within the technical and professional education sector, including combined and local authorities, awarding organisations, government and education departments, as well as hundreds of colleges.

RCU now also work as a data partner for the Association of Colleges and in 2011 launched the MIDES shared service which provides powerful and timely data and intelligence to hundreds of member colleges and the AoC National office.

In recent years we have led the way with the introduction of unique and highly visual data and analysis platforms including Vector and the Apprenticeship Analyser which inform decisions and planning within around half of all FE colleges in the country.

It’s also true to say that over years we have had the pleasure to work on a large and diverse range of projects with a wide variety of clients, from Mapping the Higher Technical Landscape with the Gatsby Foundation to analysing the Adult Education Budget for Manchester Combined Authority. From my own experience, the one thing that I see time and again, is the desire and enthusiasm of our team and all our clients alike, to continually ensure that technical and professional education meets the needs of the local community and economy.

At RCU we strive to develop and deliver practical and relevant research solutions for clients through innovation, professionalism and market expertise. We strive to be seen by the sector as the market leader in innovative data analysis and pragmatic and effective research and our goal is to achieve that by ensuring planning and decision making within the sector is properly informed.

Our future is intrinsically linked to the future and direction of the technical and professional education sector. So, while we celebrate our growth over the last 25 years we would like to take the opportunity to thank all our clients for their continued support – and here’s to the next 25 years!!