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West London Institute of Technology (WLIoT) marked its first Anniversary with a Virtual Celebration event.
This event showcased and celebrated what WLIoT has achieved in its first year and beyond, including sharing plans for the future.
WLIoT is one of just 12 Institutes of Technology licenced by the UK Government to provide employer-led higher technical education and training at Levels 4 and 5 (equivalent to up to the first two years of an undergraduate degree). The IoT, which was supported with £8.6m Government funding, offers courses in Digital, Engineering and Construction subjects.
Highlights of the event included:
* Presentations from:
Boris Johnson, MP for Uxbridge and South Ruislip and Prime Minister.
Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills.
Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, GLA.
Steve Cochran, Vice Chair for HCUC.
Dr Darrell DeSouza, Group Principal and CEO for HCUC; and Pat Carvalho, Deputy CEO of HCUC and the development lead on WLIoT.
* A Virtual Tour of the remodelled workshops, learning and breakout spaces.
* First Year Highlights: Led by WLIoT Anchor Partners Brunel University London, Fujitsu, Heathrow and West London Business.
* Student Awards: Announcing winners for employer-set mini-projects 2020 - Heathrow, MTC (Material Technology Centre) Ltd and Palo Alto Networks. Brunel University London PhD students were also involved in the supervision of mini projects.
Around 100 guests including employers, students and staff, and other stakeholders and supporters, attended the event.
Boris Johnson said: “Higher technical qualifications are more important than ever, with the impact of Covid 19 affecting individual jobs and businesses. I know West London IoT will continue to inspire individuals from all ages, genders and backgrounds to consider the opportunities and benefits of taking their studies higher."
Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, said: “Congratulations to West London Institute of Technology for all that it has achieved in its first year. I know this will be the first of many years of success, helping students and employers get access to the high level skills they need to succeed.
“Institutes of Technology are the pinnacle of higher technical STEM education and training in many key sectors including digital, construction and engineering. By bringing together FE colleges and universities with employers, IoTs are uniquely placed to unlock home-grown talent, ensure learners are equipped with the skills of tomorrow, and play a key role in helping to rebuild the economy after the pandemic.”
Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills, said: “The role of technical education is more important now than ever. IoTs delivering this will be key platforms to take the agenda forward, by enabling employers and higher education partners to be truly at the heart of shaping what FE can do for our local communities.”
Julia Buckingham CBE, Vice-Chancellor and President Brunel University London said: "I am delighted that Brunel is a partner in the West London Institute of Technology, working with HCUC and others to support our local community and the neighbouring areas. Our joint goal of enabling both young people, and those with experience of the workplace, develop engineering and technology skills will play a critical part in enabling economic and social recovery locally and nationally as we emerge from the pandemic."
Dr Darrell DeSouza, Group Principal and CEO of HCUC, said: “We are delighted to be celebrating a solid start to this exciting new facility at HCUC in the shape of West London Institute of Technology, and to have the support of our local MP Boris Johnson for this event as well as Gillian Keegan, Minister for Apprenticeships and Skills, and Jules Pipe, Deputy Mayor for Planning, Regeneration and Skills at the GLA. Our first anniversary celebration is another great opportunity to find out more about the higher level opportunities in technical training on offer to students across west London and to have a look at our wonderful new learning areas, albeit virtually.”
The celebration event came just days after publication of the Further Education Skills for Jobs White Paper, which outlines Government proposals to support people to develop the skills they need to get good jobs. The White Paper includes a range of measures already underpinned by the Institute of Technology agenda and WLIoT, with programme design being employer led to ensure the development of the right blend of work-ready and higher level technical skills, supported by outstanding teaching.
WLIoT, which was launched in September 2019, is led by the merged college group HCUC (Harrow College Uxbridge College) and run in collaboration with its anchor partners. Subject to Covid restrictions, on-site delivery is focussed in its remodelled workshops and learning space on Uxbridge College’s Park Road site in Uxbridge, with courses also being delivered in established professional skills workshops and classrooms on the campus. Courses are also run at Uxbridge College’s Hayes campus and at Harrow College, and will also be taught at Brunel University London campus from next year.
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 view post-event footage, please click here.
For more about the FE White Paper, please visit: Skills for jobs: lifelong learning for opportunity and growth - GOV.UK
Uxbridge College student Rachel Fernandes is one of a number of women whose original poetry is now being showcased on Hillingdon Women’s Centre’s website.
Her poem ‘Nobody Owns Her’ was one of a high number written and submitted by women across the borough, with the best being chosen and published on the ‘Community Hub’ section of the Centre’s website.
Submissions were invited to mark the International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women, on the theme of the ‘resilience of women’.
Rachel’s poem, along with information about how to get help for domestic violence whatever your identifying gender or cultural background, was also circulated to all students and staff at Uxbridge College.
Izzy Sutherland, Project Support from Hillingdon Women’s Centre, said: “Thank you so much to Rachel for writing this incredibly moving poem to mark International Day for the Elimination of Violence Against Women and Girls. We are overwhelmed by the amount of responses we've received from students at Uxbridge College.”
Hillingdon Women’s Centre, based in Long Lane, Hillingdon, is a charity which provides support and opportunities for women regardless of all ages, background, and culture and sexual identity. Their main services are related to domestic abuse and they also work with women experiencing mental health difficulties, unemployment, isolation, as well as those needing legal and benefits advice.
Nobody Owns Her
Nobody owns her
She's just a woman but a whole lot of explosion
She believed in her heart and still has a whole lot of sparkle
Flames of fire burning in her eyes
Pay no heed to the critics but she’d hurdle
Got her feet grounded beneath the surface
Standing a little taller
Chin a bit higher
She got the power, Cause nobody owns her
There's more to her then just what they know
Her comeback cannot be tamed but she’d hustle
And when she quit, she still rise higher
Unmasking herself, fixing her crown
Speaking a bit louder
Soul a bit stronger
Heart a little prouder, Cause nobody owns her
She's just a woman but she's unstoppable
She needs no one to believe in her, Cause no one can stop her
Nobody owns her.
Oxford and Cambridge Universities, Medicine, Dentistry, Law and Veterinary Medicine are among the targets for A Level students currently applying through UCAS from Uxbridge College.
This year sees a record number in the college’s history of early applicants - a total of 22 - to the prestigious Russell Group universities, as well as for highly competitive subjects. There are a total of nine Oxbridge applications and 13 applications to Medicine, Dentistry and Veterinary Science.
A significant number of the students have progressed through Uxbridge College’s GCSE programmes, both through re-sit programmes and taking their exams for the first time, and a number have also completed ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Language) courses after coming to the UK from overseas.
Jack Harris, Head of Uxbridge College Sixth Form Centre, said: “The fact that these students are in a position to look at progression at this level is testament not only to their incredibly hard work and consistent achievement, but to the quality of our teaching and the supportive environment we provide. Whilst it has been a difficult year for everyone, the indications are extremely positive and we are all working hard to ensure the best possible outcomes for everyone.”
Dr Darrell DeSouza, Group Principal of Uxbridge College and HCUC, said: “It is fantastic news to see such a large number of our students in a position to make such strong applications. This is an indication of the strength of our results both in 2020 and prior, which is even more impressive given what a difficult year it has been. It is also testament to the efforts of staff over the lockdown period and since returning.”
The high number of applicants is underpinned by the results achieved by students in 2020, as well as the range of additional extra-curricular activities and work experience placements students have undertaken to support their studies and personal development more generally.
Many students have already received conditional offers from other highly competitive Russell Group universities including Birmingham, Warwick, and Exeter, and Oxbridge interviews will continue early in 2021.