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WLIoT BuildingWest London Institute of Technology (WLIoT) has announced 2nd December from 5-6pm for its first Virtual Open Day following the launch of its new website.

WLIoT - one of just 12 Institutes of Technology licenced by the UK Government to provide employer-led education and training at Levels 4 and 5 (equivalent to up to the first two years of an undergraduate degree) - offers courses in Digital, Engineering and Construction subjects.

The IoT’s first Virtual Open Day on Wednesday 2nd December 2020 is set to include:

* Presentations from Dr Darrell DeSouza, Group Principal and CEO of HCUC
* Presentations from heads of the relevant departments
* Walk/fly through of new IoT building

WLIoT, which was launched in September 2019, is led by the merged college group HCUC in collaboration with anchor partners Brunel University London, Fujitsu, Heathrow and West London Business. Classes are currently moving into its remodelled workshop and learning space on Uxbridge College’s Park Road site in Uxbridge, with courses also being run in professional skills workshops and classrooms on the site, as well as at Uxbridge College’s Hayes campus in Coldharbour Lane and at Harrow College.

Dr Darrell DeSouza Group Principal and CEO of HCUC, said: “It is a landmark in the progress of WLIoT that we have been able to announce our first Virtual Open Day. Even though we are unfortunately unable to invite prospective students and employers on site due to the situation with Covid, we hope this event will give our virtual visitors a flavour of our fantastic new accommodation, as well as the high quality teaching and learning opportunities on offer through WLIoT.”

IoTs are aimed at tackling the skill gaps within the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) sector, and boosting opportunities for students, trainees and Apprentices to achieve the higher technical qualifications and industry skills demanded by employers.

For more information and to book your space on the open day go to: https://www.westlondoniot.ac.uk/events/virtual-open-day

Magdalena and Alastair Elbows 1200Uxbridge College A Level achiever Magdalena Prus is celebrating after being selected to receive the Gavin Taylor Bursary Award 2020.

Magdalena (22), was chosen to receive the grant of £1,000 following her successful application earlier this year. During her A Level studies she overcame various challenges, including juggling the demands of her studies, dealing with anxiety, and looking after her daughter Antonina who is now four years old.

Magdalena also demonstrated her commitment to the college, where she helped her tutor prepare lessons, and to her own community where she is an active member of Polish church and community and involved in fundraising activities.

Following her A Level successes in Biology, Chemistry and Sociology, she is now in the first year of BSc in Human Nutrition at London Metropolitan University, and plans to become a Dietician specialising in eating disorders.

The bursary fund was set up in memory of Gavin Taylor, who was a lab technician at college for 40 years. Its aim is to support students who demonstrate achievement, commitment to the college and the wider community, and who progress to Higher Education from the college’s Sixth Form in a science-related area.

Magdalena said: “I am very pleased to have been chosen for the bursary through the Gavin Taylor Charitable Trust, it is very welcome to be recognised by the college for my achievements and overcoming challenges. This award is giving me an extra boost of confidence and self-awareness, which I believe will support me to achieve well at university.”

The award is normally made at the college’s Annual Awards event, but as the college was unable to hold this due to Covid restriction this year, Dr Alastair Mullins, Director of 14-19 Programmes at Uxbridge College, presented Magdalena with her cheque.

Dr Mullins said: “Uxbridge College is very grateful to Gavin Taylor’s family for their continued generosity in supporting our science students in this way, and are very pleased to be able to support somebody with the commitment and drive demonstrated by Magdalena in moving forward in her education and career. We wish her all the best in the future and look forward to seeing how she progresses going forward.”

As part of the conditions of her bursary, Magdalena will come back into college to talk to current students about university life and what she has learned about life and A Levels, particularly overcoming challenges.

Kwame Kwei Armah Leon Puplett 01696 01696 2Photo courtesy of Leon Puplett

Theatre heavyweight Kwame Kwei-Armah - whose raft of global accomplishments range from his current position as The Young Vic’s Artistic Director to staging original plays in the UK and America’s top theatres - has become patron of Uxbridge College’s Performing Arts School Praxis.

Praxis is delighted to welcome the internationally renowned actor, playwright, director and broadcaster, who was made OBE in 2012 for services to drama and who has been a key voice in the recent #blacklivesmatters campaigning and in supporting the progression of young black actors and directors.

Kwei-Armah, who was born in Hillingdon and grew up in Southall, said: “I’m honoured to be patron of this amazing institution. Exposing young people to the joys of live performance, to the honour deeply bound in its execution and reception is for me one of the most important roles we have as citizens of any nation. For art is how we are remembered.”

Kwei-Armah agreed to become patron after Performing Arts Lecturer Rob Lane contacted him following the recent BBC imagine documentary entitled ‘My Name is Kwame’ with Alan Yentob, where he revisited his local roots. Students had also been to see his production of Kemp Powers’ play One Night In Miami at the Donmar Warehouse, set in 1964 on the night of boxing heavyweight Cassius Clay’s defeat against Sonny Liston; Clay went on to become Mohammed Ali after converting to Islam. Students also attended a talk by Kwei-Armah.

Rob said: “We are absolutely thrilled to have Kwame on board, not only is he an amazing actor, writer and director but he has a massive commitment to supporting young actors especially young people of colour - he knows how tough it is for our students to come through in the performing arts. He is someone all our young actors look up to and it is a huge inspiration to have him on board as patron.

“Kwame gets huge numbers of requests to become a patron or to become involved with organisations in other ways, so it is a real honour that he has agreed to support us in this way. We are really looking forward to having a visit once lockdown restrictions have eased and I know that all our students are following his work with continued interest.”

Kwei-Armah, who was born in Hillingdon Hospital, grew up in Southall and has had a prolific career across the UK and America. In 2018 he was made Artistic Director of the Young Vic Theatre, is former Chancellor of the University of the Arts London - the awarding body for Uxbridge College’s creative arts qualifications. Kwei-Armah also achieved popularity on television by playing the paramedic Finlay Newton in the BBC drama series Casualty from 1999 to 2004 as well as acting in numerous other television productions and radio.

Playwright credits include Elmina’s Kitchen, Fix Up, Statement of Regret (National Theatre), Let There Be Love and Seize the Day (Tricycle Theatre), Tree (Manchester International Festival, Young Vic), One Love (Birmingham Repertory Theatre), Beneatha’s Place (Baltimore Center Stage).

Kwei-Armah was Artistic Director of Baltimore Center Stage from 2011-2018, Artistic Director of the Festival of Black Arts and Culture, Senegal, in 2010, as well as having served as an Associate Director of the Donmar Warehouse and served on the boards of the National Theatre, Tricycle Theatre, and Theatre Communications Group. In 2019 he was the Chair of the Bruntwood Prize for Playwriting. He is also a patron of Ballet Black and a visiting fellow of Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University.

He has also won numerous awards and nominations including in 2012, 2013 and 2014 being named Best Director in City Paper’s Best of Baltimore Awards and in 2015 nominated for the prestigious Stage Directors and Choreographers Zelda Fichandler Award for Best Regional Artistic Director. In 2016 he was awarded the Urban Visionary Award alongside House Representative Elijah Cummings by the Center for Urban Families for his work in the Baltimore community.

Praxis Performing Arts provides a dynamic environment for students to hone their skills and also the name given to the college’s theatre, where productions are staged to in-house and public audiences. Praxis, which is based at the Hayes Campus of Uxbridge College, offers courses in Dance, Music & Acting at Levels 1-4, for a wide range of starting abilities - all taught by industry professionals.

For more information go to https://www.praxisperformingarts.com/ and https://www.uxbridgecollege.ac.uk/courses-west-london/performing-arts.html

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