2018 Round up - It’s been a fun year!
With 2019 just around the corner, we thought we’d share some of the amazing things that took place throughout the year at Perth College UHI.
As part of Perth College’s partnership with the University of the Highlands and Islands (UHI), January saw Perth gain the status of being a university city. To celebrate this, Perth & Kinross Council installed new boundary signs on the roads leading into Perth welcoming people to the University City.
Staff and students hosted a panel discussion event with Help Musicians UK to explore the support networks available to musicians in Scotland. Ayrshire musician, Jamie McGeechan, spoke to students, staff and visitors about his own experience with alcohol abuse whilst maintaining a career as a musician.
Professor Martin Price, Director of the Centre for Mountain Studies, was elected as a fellow of The Royal Society of Edinburgh for his contribution to public engagement and understanding. He joins 66 new members including leading figures from academia, public service, business and the Arts.
As part of Scottish Apprenticeship Week 2018, the Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Secretary for Education and Skills visited Perth College UHI.
John Swinney, said: “I am very pleased Perth College is delivering innovative Foundation Apprenticeships, and helping to create life changing opportunities. Foundation Apprenticeships provide a chance to achieve an industry recognised qualification to support future career ambitions, to obtain work experience, and to learn. Not only that, but they help to develop a strong workforce and contribute to business and economic growth. I want to wish the Foundation apprentices here all the best in their future careers and I am confident their experience will help them make informed choices.”
Eight members of staff took part in the Great Row to raise funds and awareness for Cancer Research UK. Clocking up the miles in lunch hours, after work and at the weekend - the teams quickly rowed their way to success. They achieved a total mileage of 76.2 miles and raised an amazing £1265!
Two students, studying HND Business at Perth College UHI, attended a UK Universities Sales Competition organised and hosted by Edinburgh Napier University. The event was attended by over 60 masters, postgraduate and undergraduate students from 12 UK based universities and 1 university from Kansas.
The event was sponsored by Gartner, who were judging the competition alongside industry specialists, sales professionals, recruiters and university coaches. Anna Bloch won the speed-sell event on the first day and also won the sales pitch event in her category on the second day. Matthew Leitham also achieved very high scores, and both students have been given an opportunity to follow up on employment opportunities with Gartner, who are looking to recruit graduate sales and account management positions in the UK and Europe.
May saw our Talented Chefs of the Future showcase their skills by serving up a Celebration of Skills ‘Scottish Spring Awakening’ dinner to invited VIPs and industry heads.
The showcase dinner – for guests including Scotland’s Deputy First Minister John Swinney – marked the culmination of a unique Craft Skills Week mentored by leading Executive Chef David Ward and sponsored by global food and beverage management services employer Sodexo. More than 60 Food Studies and Hospitality students were involved, taking their training to a new level at the hands of industry experts in advanced skills such as game handling and chocolate work.
A graduation ceremony with a difference took place at Perth College UHI. All those wearing gowns, and proudly celebrating their achievements, were from Tulloch Primary School and were the first to graduate from Children's University in Perth and Kinross.
Children’s University recognises and celebrates young people’s participation in activities that take place outside the school day. Young people can gain credits by undertaking exciting, interactive and voluntary learning at a range of "learning destinations". Activities can also include their own school's lunchtime and after-school activities. Certificates charting their progress are then awarded at graduation ceremonies.
Over 90 students received prizes in honour of their exceptional success in further education learning from Perth College UHI Principal, Dr Margaret Cook and Keynote Speaker Vonnie Sandlan Senior Policy Officer, Colleges Scotland.
Margaret, said: "Our students who are being rewarded today have worked incredibly hard to achieve their outcomes in their chosen programme of study, and demonstrated a high level of commitment and determination.
“They have been supported by their families, their friends and by the staff of the College who have encouraged them to achieve the best that they possibly can. Many of our students have also been supported by employers and sponsors and our thanks go to everyone who has provided this level of support. My congratulations go to all of our prize winners, and we look forward to welcoming back those returning to the College to continue their learning journey.”
Diverse CiTay Festival took place as part of the Scotland’s Year of Young People celebrations happening throughout 2018. Perth College UHI was proud to be a key partner in the event, in collaboration with Perth & Kinross Council and Horsecross.
Students and staff from several departments including Food Studies and Hospitality; Sport and Fitness; Hairdressing; Creative Industries; and Beauty Therapy showcased their talent in the Health, Sport and Wellbeing Village, which was co-organised and supported by staff from Perth College UHI’s Academy of Sport and Wellbeing.
Veronica Lynch, Vice-Principal, External Engagement at Perth College UHI, said: “Perth College UHI were delighted to be one of the key organisers of this festival. It was inspiring to see so many young people show their talents in music, sport, design, creativity, and enterprise. This event provided an excellent opportunity to showcase the skills of young people and inspire the next generation to achieve their full potential. This event would be a welcome addition to the cultural calendar in Perth city.”
Four Perth College UHI students were awarded Sporting Blues by the Highlands and Islands Students’ Association. Blues are used to highlight the outstanding sporting achievement of UHI students, these prestigious awards are presented to sportsmen and women who attain an exceptionally high standard of performance in their sport. Congratulations again to Fergus, Alfie, Toby and Stephen!
The University of the Highlands and Islands received its highest ever rating from satisfied students. The National Student Survey 2018 results place the university fifth in overall satisfaction in Scotland, with an increase of 6% in overall satisfaction. This puts the institution 2% above the Scottish average. The university has performed above the Scottish sector in almost all measures and this high level of student satisfaction can be found across all areas of the partnership.
The Perthshire Conifer Conservation Programme (PCCP) celebrated its 10th birthday by planting five internationally threatened conifers in the grounds of Perth College UHI.
Perth College UHI Principal Margaret Cook planted one of the trees, a Fitzroya, in the grounds, continuing the long history of exotic tree species there. The site is on the former gardens of what was Brahan House, an Arts & Crafts style mansion where previous generations of Perth’s famous Pullar family planted unusual and striking trees. Each new tree will have its own specially designed ‘cage’ to protect it while it grows. The cages have been made by the horticulture students at the college and they will look after the trees as part of their studies.
On the 10th of October, John Swinney, Deputy First Minister and Cabinet Minister for Education and Skills, visited Perth College UHI to launch the new gender based violence support cards.
The cards have been distributed to every college and university across Scotland, and are designed to enable any member of staff to provide the correct support and quickly refer someone experiencing gender based violence to dedicated services. In turn, the promotion of this initiative will ensure that all students know they can approach any staff member and receive immediate and effective assistance.
Perth College UHI Hospitality and Professional Chef students proved they had talent to be successful in their chosen industry, after pitching their skills against experienced hospitality employees at a competition run by Sodexo – one of the world’s largest catering companies.
Ten students won awards at the recent Sodexo Salon Culinaire 2018 competition held at Hampden Park, Glasgow. The event showcases the best of Sodexo employee’s culinary talent and the students were eligible to enter due to the unique sector-leading partnership Perth College UHI has with Sodexo.
We were so proud of Hannah Vincent for reaching the final three in the ‘Apprentice of the Year’ category at the Perthshire Chamber of Commerce Business Star Awards.
Whilst completing the Business Administration Modern Apprenticeship, Hannah has gained valuable hands on experience in the Student Records team at the College.
She said: “Working at Perth College UHI has allowed me to develop my skill base, knowledge, interpersonal and communication skills and gain the experience that many employers look for. My colleagues in Student Records have supported me massively and they have provided me with the training I require to undertake my role and complete my apprenticeship earlier this year.
“Being nominated for ‘Apprentice of the Year’ has really motivated me to do my best. It’s a great feeling to know I am valued by others, my efforts are acknowledged and my hard work is appreciated.”
After qualifying at the Scottish Heat held in June, Kyle once again demonstrated a high level of skill and narrowly missed out on coming away with a medal. All competitors were tasked to complete a copper pipe work installation of Hot and Cold Water, plus a Domestic Central Heating System, with dimensional tolerances of two millimetres, which is a World Skills standard.
Gordon Nisbet, Course Tutor at Perth College UHI, said: “The standard of work was very high, the SkillPLUMB judge for UK Skills even indicated that the standard of work was much higher this year compared to previous years with a much more difficult installation task.
“Even though Kyle did not get a medal, he is still a winner, he made it to the Final of SkillPLUMB UK and only the best 8 plumbing students in the UK get to go there. We are very proud of the way he conducted himself during the three days of competition, he was a very good ambassador for his employer William Combe & Son. Plumbing & Heating, Auchterarder and Perth College UHI.”
Perth College UHI students, who worked hard and excelled in their studies, celebrated gaining a scholarship with lunch in the College’s Award Winning Gallery Restaurant which also served to thank benefactors for their generous support.
This year, 45 scholarships were gifted from some of Perthshire’s most prestigious and innovative employers. Those present at this year’s event heard from student Lianne Hall who was awarded the Mercure Perth Hotel scholarship and Helping Hand Scholarship in 2017. The benefits and support provided by the scholarship gave Lianne the encouragement and confidence to successfully complete her HNC, she is now a student on the HND Hospitality Management course.
Over 20 students, studying on the Social and Vocational Studies and Moving On courses, were given the opportunity to complete a DofE award and gain a certificate which is recognised by employers.
Karen Downs, Sector Manager Skills for Life Learning and Employment at Perth College UHI, said: “We are delighted to see so many of our students successfully achieve their Duke of Edinburgh Awards. It is always a joy to see students pushing themselves out of their comfort zone and learning new skills. This is a great testament to their hard work and resilience. We are also very grateful for all the support we have received to make this all happen.”
We finished the year on a high by hosting the University of the Highlands and Islands research conference
Held over the course of three days, the annual research conference saw more than 200 research active students and staff attend to collaborate and hear from experts. A number of PhD students, who are working with the Bryden Centre for advanced marine and bio-energy research, were also able to meet for the first time.