The chief executive of the Greater Brighton Metropolitan College, Nick Juba, has resigned after almost five years at the helm.
The governors announced his departure this afternoon and said that Andy Green, the former boss of Brighton Film School, would step in next month as interim chief executive.
Mr Green, 51, is currently the executive principal of the Chichester College Group and has been seconded to the Met from Monday 10 August.
Mr Juba, 45, became chief executive of the Met three years ago when City College – formerly Brighton Technical College – merged with Northbrook College where he was chair of governors for five years.
He joined City College in 2015 after six years as director of the University of the Arts London, a federation of six colleges including Central St Martins and the Chelsea College of Arts.
And he previously worked at the Qualifications and Curriculum Authority, an agency of the Department for Education, as a senior adviser and for the European Commission as a consultant and rapporteur.
Mr Juba, a Brighton University graduate, also served as a trustee of the Brighton Dome and Brighton Festival and previously the Brighton Fringe.
He was a member of the Coast to Capital Local Economic Partnership (LEP) and has sat on the Greater Brighton Economic Board.
He is also a non-executive director of the Sussex Partnership NHS Foundation Trust and recently spoke about the challenges posed by the coronavirus crisis for the education sector.
Mr Juba said: “The biggest challenge is going to be the financial implications. The cultural issues, mental health and wellbeing are all very important, but the lasting impact is going to be financial.
“Those colleges with a diversified income in areas outside of direct government funding are seeing big drops in apprenticeships and commercial and international income.
“This year is bad. Next year is going to be much worse.”
He praised the Met’s staff, describing them as “incredible” and added: “I’ve also learned that all of us – myself included – will have days when we feel low and/or isolated.
“Senior leaders sometimes find it difficult to talk about wellbeing and mental health, but I hope that this crisis will bring more acceptance and understanding.”
Mr Juba took the top job when City College was emerging from financial crisis – in a sector which has faced funding struggles for a decade.
He has been a passionate advocate for preparing colleges like the Met for the changing world of work, in addition to teaching traditional trade and vocational skills.
Last summer a £21 million revamp of the Met’s Pelham Street campus started, aimed at equipping students from Brighton and Hove with digital and creative skills.
But the Met had a tough Ofsted inspection last autumn, with the watchdog saying that the college “requires improvement”.
Since then some of the senior governors have reached the end of their term of office and a new-look board has assumed control.
In addition, the covid-19 coronavirus crisis has added to the financial pressures facing the college, although it is far from unique in the battle to balance the books.
Mr Juba’s interim successor has added to his reputation since moving from Brighton to Chichester College as deputy principal in 2010.
Mr Green was subsequently appointed executive principal and deputy chief executive and in that time the college has grown. It has also been rated outstanding by Ofsted twice.
He previously worked at City College – from 1996 to 2010 – in a number of teaching roles and as a director and as a vice-principal when Phil Frier was principal.
He also owned the Brighton Film School for nine years before selling it in 2018.
The Met’s chair of governors Sue Berelowitz said today: “First of all, I want to take this opportunity to thank Nick for his long service and to acknowledge the significant contribution he has made to the college. I wish him well for the future.
“I am also delighted that Andy has agreed to come and join GB Met. He is an outstanding candidate who will bring a wealth of experience and knowledge to the role.
“His work at Chichester College Group has long been the envy of many other colleges in the country and I am very much looking forward to working with him.”
Mr Green said: “I’m thrilled to be coming back to GB Met, a place I know well, albeit under a different name.
“My connection with Brighton and the local area is longstanding and the college has enormous potential to make a huge difference to the lives of so many people across Brighton, Shoreham and Worthing.
“I am very much looking forward to getting started and getting to know not only the staff but the very many businesses and organisations across the area that GB Met has excellent relationships with.”
The Met was formed when City College and Northbrook College merged in 2017 and offers a wide range of qualifications for school leavers as well as full and part-time courses for adults, apprenticeships, professional qualifications and university degrees.
The Met operates across five sites including Pelham Street, in Brighton, and the East Brighton campus, in Wilson Avenue, Whitehawk, as well as sites in Shoreham and Worthing.
The colleges teaches about 3,500 young people, mostly 16 to 18-year-olds, as well as 7,500 adult learners, 1,000 undergraduates and 800 apprentices.