The University Centre and College welcomed the Prime Minster to its newest facility on 18th July to officially open the Aerospace Research and Innovation Centre.

Visiting the Ofsted-Outstanding college, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson was given a tour of the new research centre where both employers and students will collaborate on STEAM initiatives.

Led by Principal CEO Virginia Barrett, Mr Johnson was also introduced to the College’s hugely successful Esports team alongside a group of aeronautical engineering apprentices who were working on the College’s light aircraft.

The Aerospace Research and Innovation Centre (ARIC) was part-funded by the EM3 Local Enterprise Partnership. It features a range of spaces for employers, universities, and students to work together in a neutral space where ideas can be brought to life with the support of industry experts.

A number of guests from the aviation, economic, and education sectors were also in attendance for the opening, which ended with Mr Johnson unveiling a plaque crafted by the College’s engineering department, before being presented with gifts from the catering department, including alcohol-free bottles of mead wine.

Speaking at the event, the Prime Minister said:

“It’s been fantastic to meet students at the Aerospace Research and Innovation Centre here in Farnborough, who are going to be the future of the UK’s aviation industry.

 “We need to keep investing in high technology and skills, not only because it drives jobs and growth, but because it will help us tackle future challenges and opportunities – from bolstering our aviation security to powering zero carbon flights.”

Principal CEO Virginia Barrett said:

“We were immensely pleased to end the first year out of lockdown with both our Outstanding Ofsted rating and this fantastic visit from the Prime Minister. Staff and students have worked so hard in the past year to be their best and therefore this visit was a great way to show Mr Johnson what has been happening at the College.

“With ARIC formally launched, I look forward to seeing the Centre continue to expand with more companies working with the College as the industry continues to work towards more low-carbon and green initiatives.”

Organisations interested in collaboration with ARIC should visit to find out more, while those interested in college or university-level courses can see the full range of courses available and apply to join this September at

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University of Surrey
Ofsted Outstanding Provider
UK Quality Assured
University of Surrey
Ofsted Outstanding Provider
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