• Soumik Saha

Education Secretary praises Brunel during campus visit

THE UK’s new Secretary of State for Education, Nadhim Zahawi MP, praised Brunel University London for helping students from underprivileged communities during his campus visit yesterday.

Mr Zahawi’s visit followed the news that Brunel, which attracts over 80% of its undergraduates from disadvantaged backgrounds, is now ranked sixth in the UK for social mobility by The Institute for Fiscal Studies.

Mr Zahawi said: “It is inspirational and incredible. The collaboration between Brunel University and HCUC in creating the West London Institute of Technology is remarkable. Higher education institutions working together on the skills agenda ushering in the era of the skills economy is exactly what I want to see happen as the Secretary of Education.”

The visit started with a presentation on the West London Institute of Technology (IoT), a joint collaboration between Brunel, HCUC (Harrow College Uxbridge College), Fujitsu, Heathrow and West London Business, which aims to provide a wide range of qualifications designed to help young people find rewarding, well paid work with local employers.

Mr Zahawi visited Brunel’s new Simulation Skills Suite; a cutting-edge healthcare training facility built for students studying on the university’s newly-launched nursing courses and the Professional Development Centre to learn about the various programmes run at Brunel to prepare students for entering the workplace when they graduate.

“We were delighted to host the Education Secretary today to show him first-hand the impact we’re having at Brunel,” said Prof Julia Buckingham CBE, Vice Chancellor of Brunel.

“West London is a curious part of the world, mixed with people of immense privilege and people of immense poverty and it is really important to me that as a university we are out there doing what we can to help disadvantaged people. We have seven universities in West London who have come together to develop a strategy as to how we can help West London recover from the pandemic. This is about how we open new doors for young people to get into good jobs and how we can help the many people who have lost their jobs during the pandemic.”

Seven collaborating universities including Brunel University London, Imperial College London, Royal College of Arts, University of West London, Westminster University, Middlesex University, and Bucks New University has come up with four colleges offering short modules to develop professional skills which would enable students to train for a future career in preferred jobs or pursue higher education.

Andrew Dakers, CEO of West London Business, added: “We are getting to the other side of the pandemic we look forward to the ramp up of a national campaign to build recognition of the Institute of Technology brand.”

The Education Secretary with reporter Soumik Saha


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