NEWCASTLE College has appointed Carole Kitching as its new principal.

Ms Kitching, who has been interim principal of the college since January, is taking the helm at one of the country's largest further and higher education institutions.

She said she would build on existing good links with regional employers to make sure the college continues to deliver what learners need in today's highly competitive job market and challenging economic landscape.

Newcastle College is one of the largest FE and HE institutions in the country with over 22,000 students. The college has excellent links with employers and, with over 80 Foundation, Honours and Postgraduate Degrees. The college was one of the first to be awarded foundation degree awarding powers and is one of only seven FE colleges in the UK to offer full time courses for 14-16 year olds.

More than 93 per cent of higher education students go on to employment or further training, but the new principal said she would be looking for ways in which courses at all levels could be developed in even more ways to give students the skills that will get them a job or help them start their own business.

Ms Kitching said: "I am optimistic that we can continue to build on the great things that we have achieved over the years and create new opportunities to help the people of the North-East fulfil their true potential."