THE Principal and Chief Executive of Sparsholt College Group has retired from the role after decades of service.

Tim Jackson has been a member of staff at Sparsholt since 1986, becoming principal in 1998 and in 2007 spearheaded the successful merger of Sparsholt College with Andover College.

Under Tim’s leadership, Sparsholt has established itself as one of the top land-based universities in the country, with University Centre Sparsholt recognised for its high quality teaching, specialist links to the industry and level of employability students gain – achieving Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF) Gold in June 2018 by the Office for Students (OfS).

The college says Tim will be leaving to “begin a new stage in his career this summer” and wishes him well with his future endeavours.

Tim said: “I have thoroughly enjoyed being part of a college which is comprised of employers and businesses, who are so supportive and my colleagues who I have had the privilege to lead and who, through their dedication, innovation and passion, inspire and support our students to transform their own lives and go directly into great careers or higher study.”

Neil Hopkins, Chair of the Board of Governors, paid tribute to Tim, adding: “I see at close hand just how much time, energy and dedication Tim has put into his role at Sparsholt and Andover.

“He has a national reputation, far beyond Hampshire, and is rightly seen as one of the foremost leaders of Further Education in this country. His leadership and his vision for the college have been, quite simply, excellent. Many, many students past and present owe him a great debt.”

Stepping into the role of Principal and Chief Executive of Sparsholt College Group will be Julie Milburn, who has been understudying Tim since 2018.

She said: “I have had the privilege of working alongside Tim for the past two years and observed first-hand his outstanding approach to leading such a diverse organisation with great success.”

“His levels of energy and high expectations, set for both staff and students, has been an inspiration to us all and the Senior Leadership Team look forward to maintaining this continuous pursuit for excellence that Tim has embedded within the fabric of this College.”