Susanne Stent is appointed Huntingdonshire Regional College’s new principal and will join the team in January.

WITHIN days of being offered the job as Huntingdonshire Regional College’s new principal, Susanne Stent had already met with some of the students she will be responsible for when she takes up the reins in January,

The 44-year-old says she is “student focused” and believes in allowing students to have an input into the process of running of their college.

However, her focus seems far from being blinkered and will also be on the local economy, businesses and their needs. Indeed, the role she describes for the college is that of match-maker, providing the businesses of Huntingdonshire with a work force that has the skills that are in demand.

“It’s about matching students with employers,” Ms Stent told The Hunts Post. “The college needs to make sure it is helping to meet those needs identified in the local economic strategy document.

“This could be providing skills in digital technologies or in gaming software - something which the college is doing very well and there seems to be an opportunity to promote to businesses the work going on at the college.”

She added: “The college needs to meet the demands of its customer base, not just now but also in the future.”

Married to Bruce Garside (she uses her maiden name for work), Ms Stent has spent much of her career at colleges in London boroughs.

Currently she is director of learning at Barnet College, a role she mixes with that of deputy principal.

The college is part of the 157 group - an organisation that represents 28 large, highly successful and influential further education colleges which are committed to excellence.

It has just moved into a new £15million building - something HRC can only dream of at this time.

While the college is currently having its buildings refurbished, Ms Stent’s experience of moving a college into new premises could prove useful when HRC’s huge funding hurdle is finally cleared.

The college’s governors are delighted witht heir appointment.

Jackie Jenkins, chairman of HRC’s corporation of the governors, said: “I am really pleased to announce the appointment of Susanne Stent. We had a high calibre of applicants who went through a rigorous interview process.

“Susanne’s qualifications include a BA in English literature from Loughborough University and a MA in teaching English from the University of London. She has been in her current role at Barnet College since August 2006, and was previously a member of the senior management team at Tower Hamlets College.”

Ms Stent takes over from Anne Constantine who left to become principal of Cambridge Regional College.