It is several years since I had the pleasure of making my first visit to Uxbridge College so I was delighted to be invited to make a tour of the latest refurbishment and new building on Wednesday, October 20th.
The area where there has been total refurbishment is the West London Institute of Technology (IoT) I was shown round the various classrooms by Caroline Barbour, Senior Marketing Executive. Here students study a range of higher level STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) subjects including Mechanical Engineering at Levels 4 & 5, HNC & HND. Many students then progress to university courses. Classrooms were full of the latest technology such as a 3D Printer and a Robotic Arm where students are taught precision programming used on a manufacturing production line. The IoT is in partnership with Brunel University, Fujitsu, West London Business and other employers.
Next on the tour was the new building for Computing, Health & Social Care and Creative Arts which opened in 2020. I was shown round by lecturer Ros Walecki and David Storer, Section Manager Art, Design and Media. Most of the time was spent in the Creative Arts section viewing the brilliant examples of students’ work. One stunning example which caught my eye was a mural (pictured). Seth Maximen, Lecturer in Art and Design, explained that it was the work of students who had previously done little Art & Design. They not only designed the mural, but pitched and presented the idea and finally worked out the time frame for completing the project which made it even more special.
The building also houses a 3D Workshop with high tech machinery equivalent to industry standard.
More displays of work were to be viewed in the Fashion Room where students prepare for Level 3 Fashion & Textiles. Eighty per cent of students progress to university having successfully completed their course. Every year students’ work is displayed on a site for public viewing in Uxbridge. Currently a site is being sought for this year.
Finally I visited the vast Gallery Space where students had displayed a design as part of a live competition for set designs for the Royal Opera House.
Uxbridge College continues to provide diverse courses for all abilities. Young people in our area are very lucky to have such an excellent facility on their doorstep.
I should like to thank Liz Driscoll, Public Relations Consultant, for arranging the visit and all those colleagues who gave up their time on the day to show me around their specific area, of which they are rightly proud, and tell me about the courses offered.