News & Press

IMG 1783 for NO 1Students and staff at Harrow College and Uxbridge College are celebrating after jointly hitting the No. 1 spot in London for success for 16-18 year olds.

HCUC (Harrow College Uxbridge College) - the merged ‘college group’ for the two individual organisations - achieved the highest overall achievement rate at 85.6% for 2017/18 in the figures released earlier this month.

Laraine Smith OBE, Principal and CEO of HCUC, said: “We should all feel very pleased about this fantastic headline which is particularly positive given 2017/18 was the first year of HCUC’s existence following the legal merger of Harrow College and Uxbridge College. Whilst the two colleges continue to stand as separate establishments and to each work individually to the highest possible standards, we would also like to acknowledge the fantastic collective effort that has resulted in this very commendable overall outcome. Congratulations to all students and staff involved in making this excellent result possible.”

HCUC’s QAR (Qualification Achievement Rate) in the Department for Education’s National Achievement Rate Tables places it 1.4% above the next best performing college in London, and 3.3% above the next best performing college in west London.

The figures rank London’s 30 colleges and college groups in the tables published by the Education and Skills Funding Agency in April 2019. The data covers achievement rates in classroom-based qualifications including in science, engineering, computing, business and the creative arts.

QAR figures replace the previously used ‘success rates’ and this is the first year results for Harrow College and Uxbridge College have been published under the HCUC umbrella. QAR is a measure of those students who were successful compared to the number who started the course in the first place, so is a more demanding measure than achievement rates such as those published by most schools, which generally show the percentages successful compared with the total number who were entered for the qualification.

STEM IMG 4633HCUC - the merged college group for Harrow College and Uxbridge College - is delighted to announce it has been chosen to go forward to the pre-award stage with the Department of Education (DfE) to open one of the country’s first Institute of Technology (IoT) centres.

Working with its anchor partners Brunel University London, Fujitsu, Heathrow and West London Business, HCUC is among 12 education and training providers nationally to be selected by the DfE in a competitive bidding process.

HCUC will get a share in a £170m capital fund earmarked by government to establish the specialist technical education provision, and the IoTs will promote and deliver education and training provision predominantly at Level 4 and above through a unique alliance between further education, higher education and employers.

Laraine Smith OBE, Principal and CEO of HCUC, said “It is fantastic news that HCUC and its partners have been successful in this highly competitive process to be among those leading the way in launching the Institute of Technology centres programme. HCUC is delighted to be at the forefront of developing the provision of these essential high level skills, which form part of the broad range of vocational and employment-related education and training supporting the UK to build the skills it needs going forward. We will be working closely with our partners to build relationships with a broad range of employers, to ensure the success of the West London IoT. I’d like to congratulate and thank everyone involved in leading our application through to its successful conclusion.”

Professor Julia Buckingham CBE, Vice-Chancellor and President of Brunel University London, said: “I am delighted that Brunel is part of HCUC’s successful bid, and that we will be working together with our partners to establish an Institute of Technology for people in west London and surrounding areas. Increasing the opportunities for young people and those already in employment to build essential engineering and technology skills – part of the STEM subjects, which have significant skills shortages – will help our local and national economies thrive.”

Ash Merchant, Education Director for Fujitsu UK&I and Global Subject Matter Expert, said: “We are delighted that HCUC have been successful in their application for the proposed Institute of Technology (IoT). As an Anchor Employer Partner to HCUC we are committed to supporting the vision of creating a strong digital infrastructure, with outstanding curriculum that will support the digital economy for west London and beyond. We look forward to working with HCUC, making their vision come to reality and creating an IoT that will enable individuals to be fit for a digital economy.”

Bally S Grewal, Director of IT Programmes at Heathrow Airport said: “We are proud to be a partner of the West London Institute of Technology. There is a vital need to bridge the skills gap in the UK, achievable through the provision of top quality training and apprenticeships. This is the latest step we have taken which will ensure future generations are more skilled than ever and we look forward to working in this partnership, increasing skills in west London and beyond and helping the next generation realise their potential.”

Andrew Dakers, Chief Executive of West London Business, said: “Securing funding to launch the West London Institute of Technology is a huge achievement for the team of partners working with HCUC. Sat at the heart of the UK’s global gateway the IoT will be both a local and national asset that helps ensure we have the talent pipeline to propel west London’s £73bn economy forward filling some significant skills gaps. We look forward to building the community of employers that will help shape the curriculum, bringing new partners on board as we plan for launch and beyond.”

IMG 0313Dr Darrell DeSouza has been appointed as new Group Principal and CEO to the merged college group Harrow College Uxbridge College (HCUC) starting in September.

Darrell will take up the reins from Laraine Smith OBE when she retires from the role, stepping up from his position as Vice-Principal of HCUC, which he has occupied since the merger in August 2017. Prior to the merger, Darrell had served as Vice-Principal Curriculum and Standards at Uxbridge College since August 2007. He was the successful candidate in the Governor-led selection and recruitment process, which was a nationally advertised and competitive process.

Nick Davies, Chair of HCUC Governing Body, said: “HCUC Governors would like to congratulate Darrell on his appointment following what was a rigorous and highly competitive selection and recruitment process. We have every confidence that Darrell will lead HCUC successfully in its ambitious plans for the future as we approach the 2020s. Darrell has a substantial track record of success at HCUC, and his commitment, expertise and passion really shone through throughout the appointments process.”

Darrell said: “I am extremely pleased to have been chosen to lead HCUC into its next phase of development. Thanks to the collective efforts of everyone at Harrow College and Uxbridge College, we have been able to build on the excellent progress made in the first year of merger which has already seen HCUC establishing a strong track record in west London and the wider London region. I am determined to ensure this strength of provision in serving our learners and the local and regional economy, continues.”

Darrell’s work with both organisations has included:

● Steering development of new projects including the pilot T Levels (Technology Levels) establishing HCUC as the only London GFE provider due to launch in 2020

● Leading the Uxbridge College Ofsted Inspection as nominee which resulted in an Outstanding outcome (2008)

● Leading curriculum and quality developments to ensure the College has stayed at the forefront among London GFE providers

● Sustaining high learner success for more than a decade - presided over sustained 16-18 years growth resulting in the largest 16-18 provision in west London (Uxbridge College and now HCUC)

● Leading London Beacon project work

● Chair of the Association of Colleges’ (AoC) Quality Forum

Prior to joining Uxbridge College as a Director, Darrell worked in various roles at Coulsdon College, East Berkshire College, at Maidenhead, Windsor and Langley colleges, the latter where he began his lecturing career in Sciences and Psychology.

In his spare time Darrell enjoys sports, photography and music - and has been known to pull on a pair of football boots or brandish a guitar on the premises!

Laraine Smith has been Principal and CEO of HCUC since the merger, before which she had been Principal of Uxbridge College since 2007, having joined as Vice Principal in 2003.


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