Published on February 2, 2023

North Hertfordshire College’s Science department has been working with the Future Vaccine Manufacturing Research Hub (also known as Vax-Hub) to help support our students’ learning!

This new collaboration allows our students to access exciting learning and extracurricular activities and engage in the world of vaccine research. Students have participated in activities at the University College London as part of the Vax-Hub Outreach Programme, involving a lab experience and a range of expert lectures. They’ve also visited the ‘Injecting Hope’ exhibition at the Science Museum in London, and even have the opportunity to complete work experience with Vax-Hub in the future.

But that’s not all! NHC have welcomed Vax-Hub to our Stevenage campus for a masterclass workshop about vaccines and biomechanical engineering with our final-year Applied and Forensic Science students. Our learners were introduced to vaccine bioprocessing through interactive activities aimed at exploring different types of vaccine technologies.

Future activities between NHC and Vax-Hub include further practical classes to be held both at our campus and UCL, allowing our students to gain first-hand experience in vaccine manufacture.

Formed in 2018, Vax-Hub is a collaboration led by UCL Biochemical Engineering and the University of Oxford. The project brings together world-leading experts in vaccinology, biochemicals, synthetic biology, materials, and system engineering under the co-direction of Professor Martina Micheletti (UCL) and Professor Dame Sarah Gilbert (Oxford University). Its mission is to make the UK the global centre for the discovery and bioprocess manufacture of next-generation vaccines.

Working with North Hertfordshire College’s students allows the Vax-Hub to make progress towards its goals including the targets to develop skills and engage with the public on the role of vaccines and how they are developed. It also allows our students to access unrivalled learning and practical experiences, helping them make career and higher education decisions with confidence.

Dr Rana ElFarra, one of NHC’s Biology tutors, said: “This is a great opportunity for our students to appreciate all the knowledge they have acquired and practice its applications in an industrial setting. They are being trained by top specialist scientists that have worked with many industries within the UK and experiencing all the steps of making a real vaccine, as they will manufacture a vaccine for the Dingy virus as part of their course.”

Nadia Hodges, Director of Curriculum for North Hertfordshire College’s Stevenage campus, said: “This has been a fantastic opportunity for our students to be involved in the Vax-Hub project. Their understanding of the manufacturing of vaccines has been amplified through the expertise of the speakers, and it has given them focus on their future careers and possible pathways in the industry. We are looking forward to future partnership work with the Vax-Hub team in the coming months.”


Thank you again to University College London and Vax-Hub for this opportunity!

If you’re interested in unlocking your own career in the Science sector, be sure to check out North Hertfordshire College’s Science courses! With NHC, you can stay close to home while you build the skills you need to go far in your future career.