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
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.
Timothy had taken time out from education to work in various jobs including a shop assistant and lifeguard before studying for his A Levels at Uxbridge College.
Timothy said : I am very happy and somewhat relieved to know that I have achieved my goal to get to Oxford University. I really didn't think I was going to get in as my GCSEs were mostly Bs, including a B in Physics and I've had to sit my A Levels twice; but Oxford is not about your background and qualifications. In fact, 90% of the entry requirement is to do with the admissions test and interview process. Oxford and Cambridge are looking for well-rounded people, so whatever you've been doing in past years and even if your GCSEs aren't that good, you can still do it.
Amanda Washbrook, Head of the Academy at Uxbridge College, which teaches A Levels, GCSEs and Vocational Science, said : I would like to say a huge congratulations to Timothy and all our other A Level achievers this year. We have seen some really excellent individual performances, both in terms of high grades and distance travelled.
When students are making the choice of where to study A Levels they don't always realise that Uxbridge College offers a route to prestigious and world class universities including Oxford and Cambridge. We always offer the highest level of
support to students wanting to achieve this, in their academic studies, through the UCAS process and in preparing for any entrance tests and interviews.
When considering where to study for their A Levels perhaps local young people should research what the College has to offer before making their final decision.
Richard spent the first two months of his life in hospital having been born with a hole in the heart and related issues. As he grew up he was repeatedly warned by doctors to avoid strenuous exercise. However, he has taken part in cross-country running and other sports since he was a teenager and continues to be in better health than was expected.
Richard said : This was harder than any of us expected and a massive team effort. The word that defined the whole event is character - the students showed incredible character and dedication, and despite being fatigued to the max, kept going through the whole 24 hours.
Man of the Match was Jack Pitcher, 20 who was the top goal scorer and clocked up 12 hours of play. Also honoured for their performances were Dylan Pollington and Joe Holland both 18. Each was chosen to receive a winner's trophy for their team because, as well as playing for hours on end, they both fulfilled key roles in organising the event and motivating others.
The local representative from CRY, Jeff Markham from Ruislip, attended the event and spoke to students about how he had become involved with the charity. Sadly, Jeff's son died suddenly in 2001 at just aged 21 from undiagnosed heart problems and he and his family were supported by the charity at this very difficult time.
Jeff said : It was lovely to be involved and quite emotional for me on a personal level. It was an amazing effort done with real enthusiasm and commitment. Congratulations to everyone for their incredible performances and for the money raised for CRY.
CRY works to reduce the frequency of young sudden cardiac death (YSCD), supporting young people diagnosed with potentially life-threatening cardiac conditions, promoting and developing heart screening programmes and funding medical research. The charity also provides support for bereaved families.
Team Spectre triumphed out of a total of twenty teams by designing an App for use by TfL customers. The students were praised for the quality of their product, as well as their teamwork and communication skills.
A group of students from the College's Business School, Team Falcon, were also one of the four teams who won through to the finals.
Pictured are Alex De Oliveira from Team Spectre, Lorraine Collins (right) Executive Director Enterprise & Development and Tricia O'Neill CEO of Cleshar.
Laraine Smith OBE, Principal of Uxbridge College said : We are really appreciative of the links we have developed with TfL. The students develop their employability skills and contacts through such activities as the TfL Schools' Challenge, helping to ensure that when they leave the College their future prospects are even brighter.
Rakesh Thapar, Section Manager of Electronic Engineering, who worked with the winning team said : This was a great result for our students who showed strong technical and creative skill in producing their winning idea. The other teams put up strong competition and the brief was very demanding so Team Spectre was particularly pleased to win.
Team Spectre said : Winning the TfL Challenge was really exhilarating because it showed each of us that our ideas could be made into reality and that our hard work paid off. As engineering students we were thrilled that TfL staff thought we had a stron business plan as this was not our subject area. We had a brilliant time networking and learning how many of the directors were from engineering backgrounds.
Both teams have now secured work experience with TfL as a result of their participation, which is expected to take place later this year.
Kelly said : Jordan is so meticulous with her technique and so focused on an excellent end result that clients have named her The Perfectionist. She has built up an extremely loyal client base who adore her for her approach and ability to talk to anyone about anything, as well as her brilliant skills.
There has never been an apprentice to progress so quickly through their course with such a great attitude to learning. Although she was only 17 when she started working with us, she is the most pro-active apprentice we have ever had; she doesn't just want to learn her craft, she wants to be the very best. Because of her level of technical skills and ability to explain details clearly and fully, Jordan is involved in training junior apprentices and new team members, even those who have had longer industry experience than her.
We are just a small business but this proves it's not the size of the business that counts, it's what you put in place to help your staff to achieve.We have a training programme for all our staff and this helps everyone grow and supports the business as a whole. I would definitely recommend taking on an apprentice. We've had great support from Uxbridge College and it is a perfect way to shape people for your business.
Local young people who are considering undertaking an apprenticeship when they have finished school would be well advised to consult the many apprenticehips on offer at Uxbridge College. It could certainly be the first step towards a rewarding career.
Initiatives between the College and SEGRO have included work experience, training schemes and guaranteed interview opportunities across two major developments in Stockley Close, West Drayton and Riverside Way, Uxbridge with more planned for future investment sites. The SEGRO team is also supporting unemployed adults enrolled at the College with confidence building and job readiness training sessions.
In the wider community of Uxbridge SEGRO supported two charities during 2015 - the YMCA West London and the Horn of Africa Youth Association. Both charities are part of SEGRO's London Community Fund which specifically targets youth training opportunities and receive financial support.
Lorraine Collins, Director of Enterprise and Development at Uxbridge College, said : SEGRO has shown exceptional commitment to supporting training and employment opportunities in Hillingdon through its partnership schemes with the College and Hillingdon Council. We look forward to continuing our successful work together as more investment opportunities arise.
Uxbridge College works with over 1500 employers and recognises special contributions with its Employer Champion scheme. The College has currently recognised fifteen companies representing different industries for their ongoing commitment to supporting the work of the College and helping their students maximise their career opportunities.
The event was attended by the Mayor and Mayoress of Hillingdon, Councillor George and Councillor Judith Cooper. As part of the exhibition on loan was a miniature of the ceremonial mayoral mace which was made at the then Uxbridge Technical College. The mini mace, displayed alongside the full size version, was presented to RAF Uxbridge to mark the 25th. anniversary of the granting of the Freedom of the Borough.
Laraine Smith OBE, Uxbridge College Principal, said : Uxbridge College has changed and grown tremendously over its fifty years and it has been wonderful to see all that laid out in front of us. It really highlights how much has been achieved and how the College has also been kept fit for the challenges of the day. We have been delighted to welcome so many former staff and students, including one of the College's original staff members and two of my predecessor principals.
Initially the College offered courses in engineering, science, commerce and general studies to 1,386 students and today delivers an extensive range of programmes across every key academic and professional area to over 9,000 students. The College was graded Outstanding by Ofsted in May 2008 and remains such to this day.
Over its fifty years the College has had five principals including Laraine Smith (centre) who is pictured with her predecessors Noel Otley and Rachel Davies.