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The College Rhymney student named Learner of the year at UHOVI Awards

Learner of the Year 1

UHOVI award winner Thomas Rudge with Real Radio's Jagger and Woody


Thomas Rudge, a student from the Rhymney campus, has been crowned The College Ystrad Mynach UHOVI Learner of the Year 2013.

Thomas was awarded the accolade at the UHOVI (Universities Heads of the Valleys Institute) celebratory evening which took place at the General Offices in Ebbw Vale. The hosts of the event were Real Radio’s Jagger and Woody plus special guests included weather presenter Behnaz Akhgar, Richard Parfitt, lead singer of 60 Foot Dolls, and Huw Williams of Pooh Sticks and a key figure in the Welsh music industry.

Thomas was one of eight worthy award winners recognised for their outstanding commitment and achievements. He has been studying the Foundation Degree in Digital Photography at The College Rhymney for the past academic year. Thomas started the course as a shy and quiet learner but his tutor says he has become more confident, researches extensively and is continually gaining knowledge. He consistently meets deadlines and delivers strong bodies of work, successfully combining the course with significant responsibilities at home.

Part of the University of South Wales, UHOVI provides opportunities to study higher education courses at venues across the Valleys region. Working in partnership with further education colleges, businesses, local authorities and work based learning providers, UHOVI is inspiring people to continue or return to education in order to improve their skills or gain a qualification.

University of South Wales Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Director of UHOVI Graham Rogers said: “UHOVI has gone from strength to strength, providing a first class learning experience for students and working with communities to raise aspirations.

“The award winning students are truly inspirational and it is a privilege to be able to share their stories which demonstrate how learning can make a positive difference to the lives of individuals and their families.”

Alun Davies, AM Blaenau Gwent said: “Higher education should not be something that can only be accessed in our cities; it is something that should be accessible to everyone who wants to learn, irrespective of age and location.

“This is why UHOVI has been such a success.  By tapping into a wealth of students in the Valleys area who have shown a commitment to learn and better themselves, UHOVI has helped to unleash a new generation of qualified professionals into the workplace. 

“Its students are a shining example of its success and it is an organisation I am proud to support.”

A videos of award winner Thomas Rudge and tutor Peter Britton who nominated him are available online at http://www.youtube.com/user/UhoviVideos 


Learner of the Year 2

UHOVI award winner Thomas Rudge with BBC weathergirl Behnaz Akhgar


Posted by marketing at 14:17

New initiative to get students racing towards learning

Motor Sport

Bryn Davies, Principal at The College Ystrad Mynach and Helen Marshall, UHOVI Director with the cars secured for the new motorsport courses

Students will have the opportunity to gain experience building and maintaining real race cars, thanks to a joint initiative between UHOVI (Universities Heads of the Valleys Institute) and The College Ystrad Mynach.

Three cars have been secured – a Subaru Impreza and two Volkswagen Lupos - enabling the College to provide courses in motorsport engineering at its Rhymney campus. Students will be modifying the cars as they learn how to prepare, inspect and repair motorsport vehicles.

The introduction of a range of motorsport courses will help boost skills of local people and will complement other developments in the region.  This follows the confirmation of an enterprise zone in Ebbw Vale with a focus on the automotive sector. Alongside this is the ambitious plan for a motor racing circuit earmarked for the region. If successful, the £200m scheme would include state-of-the-art research and development facilities, together with an international standard motor-racing circuit.

Helen Marshall, UHOVI Director said:  “UHOVI helps local people to gain relevant skills for existing and growing industries in the region. We’re working with our partners to develop an education offer that is both appealing to students and which provides relevant skills to give individuals the best career opportunities for the future.”

Bryn Davies, Principal at The College Ystrad Mynach commented: “These cars will provide students with a rare opportunity to learn using real race cars. It is an exciting development and we’re delighted to be working with UHOVI to offer motorsport courses at our Rhymney campus.”

The first course will be Motorsport Vehicle Maintenance & Repair, available from September 2012. This Level 2 full-time course is suited to those with ambitions of a career in the motorsport industry. The course offers the chance to learn valuable skills for those at entry level or anyone with experience looking to re-train. Higher Education courses will be developed by 2013, to allow progression to further study. It is anticipated that a suite of motorsport courses would include bite-sized modules and subjects such as marshalling and event management, in the future.

For more information, visit the open day at The College Rhymney on Thursday 23rd August 10am – 7pm or contact 01443 810054.

Posted by Marketing at 08:51

Local students celebrate success

Rachel Williams

From left to right: Jeff Cuthbert (Deputy Minister for Skills), Rachel Williams (UHOVI Learner of the Year),                  Chris Corcoran (comedian)

A local student has been crowned as The College Ystrad Mynach UHOVI Learner of the Year 2012.

Rachel Williams, from Abertysswg, received the award at the first Universities Heads of the Valleys Institute (UHOVI) celebration evening at Theatre Soar in Merthyr Tydfil. Awards were presented by Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert along with well-known Welsh comedian Chris Corcoran.

Rachel is studying for a foundation degree in Information Communication Technology with UHOVI at The College Ystrad Mynach.

Rachel’s tutors commented on her excellent academic performance and contribution to the college.  She has achieved distinctions in four of the five modules she has studied this year, and is predicted to achieve success at the end of the course.   

Rachel says “It means a lot to win this award. I hope to go on to complete a BA (Hons) Degree and to eventually become a web designer. I enjoy the practical tasks of the course and I like the convenience of studying locally.”

Launched in 2010, UHOVI is a unique partnership between the University of Glamorgan and University of Wales, Newport and opens up Higher Education opportunities for learners in the Valleys region.

University of Glamorgan Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Director of UHOVI Helen Marshall said, “UHOVI is all about improving skills and qualifications by making learning accessible to people in their own locality. This celebration event shows just how far we have come since launching and how many people are already benefiting from UHOVI courses.
“UHOVI is making a real difference to businesses in regenerating the valleys. Behind the statistics are stories of individual success with over 1500 students whose lives are being changed by their UHOVI study.”

Deputy Minister for Skills, Jeff Cuthbert, said: “I am delighted to be able to celebrate some of the success stories of the Welsh Government’s investment in education in the Heads of the Valleys.
“Over the last two years, the Universities Heads of the Valleys Institute has been delivering ambitious foundation and high-level work-related learning provision for all. It has provided an access route to Higher Education for learners who previously felt excluded or unable to participate in such opportunities.
“I would also like to congratulate the learners for their hard work and ambition that has led to the excellent results being recognised at this event.”

Posted by Marketing at 13:58

The stars are looking down on Wales

Do you want to know about the planets and constellations? Do you want to know more about the night sky? Do you want to learn how to use a telescope? If so, an innovative astronomy course offered by UHOVI (Universities Heads of the Valleys Institute) may be just what you are looking for!

The course is delivered by the University of Glamorgan and aims to introduce anyone with an interest in the night sky to the wonders of the universe, no matter how great or how little their experience.  Through a combination of practical observations and discussions, students will learn the constellations, observe the moon, sun and planets and will learn how to take photos of the night sky, use telescopes and binoculars and view the night sky at arranged sessions in addition to using the Faulkes telescopes in Hawaii and Australia.

The course includes such themes as constellatons, myths and magic: astrophotography; finding your way around the sky; coloured stars and star clusters; galaxies and how to find them and many more.

University of Glamorgan astronomer Martin Griffiths states: 'This course is a unique opportunity for anyone to get to know a little more of our fantastic universe and to enjoy the heritage of the night sky.'

The course will run weeky at The College Rhymney, Whitbread Centre, Rhymney walk, Rhymney, NP22 5XE on Fridays 2-4pm from 7th October 2011.

Students living or working in Blaenau Gwent, caerphilly, Merthyr Tydfil, Rhondda Cynon Taf or Torfaen may qualify for the UHOVI Bursary Scheme, meaning this course would be free.

If you wish to enrol on this exciting course, or require further details, then please contact: Martin Griffiths on 01443 483329, email mgriffi8@glam.ac.uk or call UHOVI on 0800 1223 220 email enquiries@uhovi.ac.uk

Posted by Marketing at 10:28