This section provides information for Ruislip residents on Further and Higher Education. Although at post-16 Ruislip residents may attend other FE & HE institutions outside the Hillingdon area, this section covers the local further education colleges and the most local universities for Ruislip residents and will include contributions and articles from local institutions.
Further Education in and around Ruislip
Some 150 students from Uxbridge College and Brunel University took part in this year's Good Deeds Day, performing voluntary activities - from bag packing to entertainment - across Uxbridge and the surrounding area.
This February event was a huge success, attracting huge crowds of shoppers with vibrant and energetic dance displays provided by Uxbridge College dancers and soulful performances from music students. Brunel students entertained with a Mannequin Challenge and flash mob performance.
Numerous Good Deeds Day activities were on offer, from free tea, coffee and cakes to exercise information offered by More Energy, craft activities, board games, Digi Drop-in at Uxbridge Library and volunteering at Thames Valley Hospice charity shop.
Students also served lunch at St. Margaret's Church and Christchurch Uxbridge, held an activities afternoon at Pield Heath House School, a tea dance at Yiewsley Community Centre, packed bags in local supermarkets, litter-picked in the town centre and fundraised for the Mayor of Hillingdon's Charitable Trust.
The theme for 2017 was Thirty Years of Pavilions Uxbridge and event attendees were encouraged to share their memories of Uxbridge over the last thirty years.
Events such as Good Deeds Day, which began in 2013, are extremely important as they help to promote and encourage student volunteering in Hillingdon, raise awareness of the positive impact that students have in the local community and develop important community relationships.
This event was jointly organised by Uxbridge College, Brunel University, The Pavilions, Uxbridge, Uxbridge Forward and INTU Uxbridge.
The College has celebrated its fiftieth anniversary : Creating Success Since 1965. Around 8000 full and part time students study at the two campuses ( Uxbridge and Hayes) and the College employs over 500 staff, some who come from industry and the professions to whom the college offers teacher training courses.
As expected the College offers the traditional subject courses i.e. GCSEs, A Levels and subject resits but I should like to make residents and local young people aware of some of the innovative apprenticeships and study programmes that the College offers.
The new IT and Media Block was opened by HRH The Countess of Wessex in 2011. Skilled professionals are in demand in this age of the ever-growing technology industry. Students can train in the software being used in the industry. Courses cover a range of skills including : Computing & IT Systems & Networks, Cybercrime and Security to Games Development with design or programming routes plus developing Digital Technologies and Mobile Apps.
The College has great sporting facilities including Hall, Gym, MUGA ( facility for use by several sports) and 3G pitches outside and the use of Hillingdon Athletic Stadium close by. Students can combine their practical sports aptitude with theoretical study skills to gain a highly recognised vocational qualification. Lecturers have worked in the sport, health and fitness industry as coaches, personal trainers, sport rehabilitators and professional sports people. Having gained a Level 3 In Sports Science, students may progress to a university course.
The Technical Institute for Engineering was officially opened by Sir Digby Jones, Director of the General Confederation of British Industry and has useful links with industry and external agencies such as Transport for London. The workshops are very well equipped and students can prepare for a career in the Engineering industry and from learning the engineering basics they can take their study through to university-level qualifications.
Young people can apply for a variety of apprenticeships including : Building Services, Plumbing & Electrical, Motor Mechanics and other courses in Hairdressing, Health & Social Care, Travel & Tourism, Catering & Hospitality, Art, Design & Fashion, Performing Arts & Dance, Childcare and Beauty Therapy.
The Public Services courses develop practical and theoretical skills students require to prepare them for a career in the Armed Forces, Police, Fire and Ambulance or other Public Services. Students have progressed to university courses studying policing and criminology, forensic science and government and politics.
The College is all inclusive as they also offer Essential Skills & Supported Learning which provide courses for students with a wide range of learning difficulties and disabilities, who have few or no formal qualifications and who require support to help them to work towards a specific goal or gain a qualification.
This article by no means covers every course offered by the College, so if parents and young people think that studying at Uxbridge College could be an option for them I would encourage them to send for the College's excellent Prospectus or visit the College on one of their Open Days (see below).
Uxbridge College Open Days
Saturday, March 4th. 2017; 11.00am - 2.00pm at Uxbridge Campus
Wednesday, March 15th. 2017; 3.00pm - 7.00pm at Hayes Campus
Wednesday, June 14th. 2017; 3.00pm - 7.00pm at Uxbridge CampusSusan Midgley
GOLDD Project - Great Opportunities: Learning Difficulties and Disabilities - is funded by the European Union Social Fund to support young people aged 16-24 years who are Not in Education, Employment or Training (NEET) to find a way back into education, employment or training through information, advice and guidance from a named Caseworker.
The education and training will be delivered by Uxbridge College if there is a suitable pathway available. Other providers may be used where other appropriate training is available on a case by case basis. Each young person will have an Individual Learning Plan where Actions will be agreed and reviewed at least every three months by their Caseworker who can be contacted any time from 9.00am - 5.00pm Monday - Friday.
Anyone who might be interested in this project and would like further details* should contact : Giles Strachan at Uxbridge College, Hayes Campus, College Way, Hayes, Middlesex, UB3 3BB. Telephone : 01895 853653 / 07956 358630
* Please note that places on the course are subject to eligibility being met and spaces being available.
At the ceremony at Brunel University the students wore traditional gowns and mortar boards to officially graduate in their qualifications. HNCs and HNDs are Higher Education Courses taught at university level at Uxbridge College. HNDs can offer access to a "top-up degree" where students enter an honours degree course in the final year.
During the ceremony awards were presented to graduates in Business, Computing & Games Development, Computing & Systems Development, Electrical and Electronic Engineering, Mechanical Engineering, Health & Social Care,Travel & Tourism Management and Sport (Coaching & Development).
Laraine Smith, Principal of Uxbridge College, said: Congratulations to all our HNC and HND graduates on achieving their qualifications.It was wonderful to see everyone in their gowns and mortar boards, and during our celebrations afterwards to hear more about where their successes are taking them; whether to a top-up degree or straight into employment. These qualifications are where university level education, professional skills and a cost-effective route to completing a degree all come together, making them a brilliant option whatever your plans for the future.
Over fifty percent of the College's HND graduates each year go on to top-up degrees at universities around the UK.
Jason Clark, Elmi Lluigiqi, Bradley Ranger and Alfie Wilson all come from Hillingdon. They will spend four days working at the council and one day a week at college, learning a mixture of theory and practical skills. The council will help these four young men to gain the knowledge and skills necessary to achieve their chosen trade apprenticeship qualifications and set them on their way to a bright future career.
Bradley, 16, who comes from West Drayton,is the youngest of the group. He attended Stockley Academy and is embarking on a Level Three Electrical Installations Apprenticeship. Bradley says he was inspired by an electrician who came to fix something in his home when he was younger and he found out about Hillingdon Council's Apprenticeship Programme through a council worker who came to install a window some years later. In his first week Bradley said that he learned how to turn off the power and has assisted with fixing a storage heater,light fittings and power sockets. When he completes his course he hopes to continue working for the council.
Barry Cooper, Apprentice Manager at Uxbridge College, said : Uxbridge College is delighted to join Hillingdon Council in supporting its commitment to create opportunities for young people, through its work with schools and colleges. Our recent involvement in recruiting and training four of the Council's apprentices is a great example of the successful partnership work which both our organisations value so highly.
Councillor Bianco, Cabinet Member for Finance, Property and Business Services, said: It's important for the council to nurture young, local talent but there is also the need to keep traditional skills alive. By taking on these apprentices, we are ensuring young people are coming through to continue providing important services. Hillingdon's Repair teams have assigned Mentors to the apprentices, experienced Hillingdon employees, who will teach and support them throughout their journey, as they visit council-owned properties to learn their new trades. I would like to welcome them to the council and wish them the best of luck.
Expeditions is a new product which uses cardboard viewers and collections of virtual reality panoramas - 360 degree photo spheres, 3D images and video as well as ambient sounds - to create the experience of a field trip in the classroom.
Around 950 students took part from diverse courses:Engineering, Creative Studies, Sports, Travel and Tourism, Foundation Studies and Business. The trips included a tour of the Subaro factory, an ocean safari and the human digestive system which were chosen from the range of virtual trips which can be downloaded online.
The workshops were presented with the help of Google Expeditions staff who brought with them headsets and mobile 'phones for use by each student and who led the educational sessions.
Dr. Nagham Saeed from Uxbridge College was among lecturers involved in the event with her Engineering students who toured the Subaro factory in 3D. She said : This was a really exciting and novel way to discover more about engineering from a completely different perspective. It is a very effective and interesting approach to learning. Students could watch technicians work and see everything close-up from every angle and it was almost as good as actually being in the Subaro factory.
Uxbridge College will be training staff on Expeditions so that lecturers and students can create their own material to use in the classroom.
The Picasso Portraits Installation Tour, a preview tour of the exhibition held prior to its opening to the public and during the installation of the work, provided an insight into the hanging and planning of the exhibition. It was led by the curator of Picasso Portraits, Professor Elizabeth Cowling.
Art and Design Lecturer, David Storer said : This was a once-in-a-lifetime chance for our students - not only to see some incredible works of art, but to get an insight into curating processes and to what goes on behind the scenes at an internationally renowned gallery. I'd like to say a massive thank you to Goldman Sachs and the National Portrait Gallery for making this possible for our Uxbridge College students.
Picasso Portraits runs at the National Portrait Gallery from October 6th.
Amanda Washbrook, Head of Uxbridge College Academy, the College department which teaches A Levels, GCSEs and Vocational Science, said : Uxbridge College and other Further Education colleges which teach GCSE programmes are unique in that they allow students to sit their exams in just one year. Our Academy students take five GCSE subjects, all in one year and often from scratch. Successful students may progress straight on to A Levels, BTEC National Diplomas and other courses of an equivalent level. I would like to say a huge congratulations to all our GCSE achievers.
Among the top ten achievers at Uxbridge College, where the pass rate was 98% at grades A* - G were:
Lucien Mukendi, 17 (pictured right) came to the UK from the Congo to escape the conflict situation and progress his education. He achieved A* in Maths, Biology and Chemistry, an A in Physics and a B in English.
Lucien who lives in Uxbridge will return to College to study Physics, Maths and Chemistry A Levels, said : It feels amazing because the whole year I have worked very hard. In my first assessment for Physics, Maths and Biology I got C grades so I decided then I needed to work as hard as I could. I am very satisfied with my results and I would advise other students to work hard - it is the only way to be successful.
Margarita Popa, 17 (left) who achieved A grades in Maths, Biology, Chemistry and Media Studies and a D in English. She will be returning to College to take A Levels in Maths, Biology and Chemistry and resit her English.
Originally from Moldova, and now living in West Drayton, Margarita said : I am very happy with my results. It was more difficult to study as English is my second language, but the teachers understood that I might find it harder and gave me all the help I needed. Everyone is very friendly and supportive and I enjoyed studying the subjects.
Having recently received their GCSE results there may be some local students who were disappointed that they did not achieve the grades they hoped for in some subjects, particularly in Maths and English, but do not want to take resits at school. Some schools do not have the facilities/staff for students to resit these exams in the sixth form.One of the possible options might be to contact Uxbridge College and to explore their options.