After more than 30 years of dedicated service to education, Brian Doran Principal and Chief Executive at Southern Regional College (SRC) has retired from service. Brian retired on 31st August after 15 years at the helm in the College’s most senior role. At a special event on Thursday 31st August, Department for the Economy officials, representatives from Northern Ireland’s Further and Higher Education Colleges, Governing Body members and senior staff from across SRC came together at the College’s Newry West campus to celebrate Brian’s career.

Since taking office, Brian has been instrumental in growing the College into one of the largest education providers in Northern Ireland. The College sees approximately 10,000 students enrolled annually and since his tenure began over 437,510 students have enrolled.

Brian has been passionate about lifelong learning and the College’s ethos of ‘Putting the Learner First’. He has been instrumental in developing and delivering programmes of study, from the Schools Partnership Programme, addressing the need for school pupils to be provided with a wide range of learning opportunities suited to their needs and interest, through to the development of a range of Higher Level Apprenticeships (HLAs). HLAs allow individuals of all ages to gain a degree while in paid employment. Under Brian’s leadership, the College has taken massive leaps in the development of HLAs supported by strong links with academic partners and the local business community.

Despite the massive remit, Brian has ensured the College has remained accessible to all. Brian has been vocal in ensuring those with learning difficulties and special needs remain supported and have a route to continue with education after secondary school. Indeed, the College is the only college in Northern Ireland with Autism accreditation.

With retirement commencing, Brian is set to spend more time working on his leisure activities. Having dabbled with cycling over the years including leading the Further Education cycle last year, which saw Brian visit College campuses across Northern Ireland to raise awareness and funds for Air Ambulance Northern Ireland, he is now set to work on his golf swing. After all, Brian is committed to lifelong learning!

Raymond Sloan, Principal & CEO of Southern Regional College commented:

“As incoming CEO of Southern Regional College, I am inspired by the incredible legacy that Brian Doran has built over more than 30 years of dedicated service. His commitment to excellence, innovation, and student success has guided Southern Regional College in becoming a place of knowledge and opportunity for all.

Brian has been instrumental to the advancement of the College and his tenure has seen many significant achievements, including leading Southern Regional College to become the top performing College in the UK in WorldSkills UK 2022, as well as overseeing the delivery of our two new campuses at Armagh and Banbridge. His leadership has not only elevated the College's reputation but has also shaped countless lives. It is an honour that I am now in a position to build upon the solid foundation he has established."

Pictured (L-R): Neil Madeley, DfE; Louise Watson, FE Director, DfE; Grainne Samm, DfE; Mel Higgins, CEO Northern Regional College; Louise Warde-Hunter, CEO, Belfast Met; Brian Doran; Leo Murphy, CEO North West Regional College; Ken Webb, CEO South Eastern Regional College; Celine McCartan, CEO South West College.