Education Minister Michelle Donelan MP praised Uxbridge College’s “fantastic work” following a recent visit.
Minister Donelan said: “Further Education is a big priority for this government. That’s why we recently announced an additional £400 million for sixth forms and colleges next year - the biggest injection of new money in a single year since 2010.
“Uxbridge College are doing fantastic work to make sure more young people can gain the skills they need to progress and secure rewarding careers. It was great to meet students and staff, and see how the college is preparing to deliver new T Levels from September 2020, and working with employers including Heathrow and Fujitsu and Brunel University London to provide high-quality technical training through the West London Institute of Technology.”
The high profile visit focussed on the college’s STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Maths) provision, including the new West London Institute of Technology, run under HCUC, the merged college group for Harrow College and Uxbridge College. Minister Donelan is overseeing major changes in the UK around how technical skills are taught, having recently taken over Ministerial responsibilities including the introduction of T Levels and the national Institute of Technology (IoT) programme.
The Minister visited electrical and electronic engineering workshops and classrooms, chatting to students and staff and finding out more about their theoretical and practical teaching and learning. She discussed HCUC’s work to develop both its Institute of Technology, and to introduce T Levels, the new technical qualification equal to three A Levels and including an industry placement, next year.
Dr Darrell DeSouza, Principal of Uxbridge College and CEO of HCUC, said: “It was really pleasing to be chosen for this visit by Minister Donelan and to have a chance to show her our excellent academic and practical facilities. It was also extremely interesting to discuss the key work taking place in Further Education and with employers towards equipping more young people with technical qualifications and work skills in these sectors, and increasing STEM provision, and any additional funding for Further Education is undoubtedly always welcome. It’s a great privilege for HCUC to have been chosen both to head up the West London Institute of Technology and to provide T Levels, and to have such a high level visit in support of our work.”
Minister Donelan is pictured second left with Principal of Harrow College and HCUC Deputy CEO Pat Carvalho (far left), Dr DeSouza (third left), and the Minister’s Private Secretary Alex Jones.
HCUC is at the helm of one of just 12 collaborations selected nationally to set up an IoT, working with partners Brunel University London, Fujitsu, Heathrow and West London Business. IoTs provide higher level STEM education - HNCs, HNDs, and Higher Apprenticeships, which are equivalent to up to two year’s undergraduate study (Level 4 and 5). T Levels (Level 3) will be offered in Childcare and Digital Production, Design and Development from 2020, and no other London FE College has been offered the T Level pilot by the Government for the launch.