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Edition No. 1

UNDERGRAD February 2014

newsletter Key Contacts:  hristine Richards – Director: C 01384 363 036 Paula Taylor – Academic Studies Co-ordinator/Administrator: 01384 363 073 College switchboard: 01384 363 000 Student Services: 01384 363 319 iPoint: • Evolve – 01384 363 661 • Broadway – 01384 363 374 • Mons Hill – 01384 363 035 Library: 01384 363 353 Student Finance Office: 01384 363 555 Finance Counter: 01384 363 414 Student Union: 01384 363 412

Welcome to Dudley College’s first Undergraduate newsletter. At the college we cater for a very diverse range of students, some employed, others studying full time, but all with a wide range of previous experience and qualifications.

You have started on a very challenging but potentially rewarding programme of study. I hope you find your course varied and interesting whatever your particular future plans are. I also hope you found your induction useful and it helped you settle into college life. However, during your time at Dudley College you can expect to receive plenty of help and support from lecturers and other staff. I would like to take this opportunity to wish you every success and look forward to personally welcoming you at one of our graduation ceremonies in the not too distant future!

I hope you will find this newsletter both useful and informative.

Christine Richards Director for Higher Education


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Undergrad NEWSLETTER I have a couple of social and representative opportunities I would like to offer you:

Higher Education Student Board of Studies A new student representative group is being formed to ensure the appropriate level of representation and input into the formal College Board of studies takes place. Meetings for this board will run every Wednesday 1-2pm with FREE lunch provided.

Hi, I’m Steven Westwood and I am your Undergrad representative for this academic year. I’ll be meeting and writing to all undergraduates on a regular basis to inform you of how the Students’ Union and Dudley College are collaborating in order to make your student experience at Dudley College is an excellent one. Last academic year Undergrad students told us they wanted a better sense of identity as a cohort and some of the formal college processes to be more reflective of those in Universities. With this information student reps were able to lobby the college for an ‘Undergraduate brand’ including the title ‘Undergrad’ for the HE cohort, easily identifiable lanyards and a funded rep post. Reps also ensured new improved processes for handing in assessed assignments. This year I’m working hard to promote a better sense of community amongst the Undergrads. Being a HE student in an FE environment can be daunting, I know your identities are diverse, you could be mature, part time, a parent, a carer, and so on and studying in a new place for the first time can be isolating.

If you are interested in being part of this group then please let us know.

Undergrad social activities

I’m planning on putting a few events on over the year to bring all the Undergraduates together. Keep an eye out for information.

Look out for student reps in the Undergrad study room

Reps will be around for a chat, to answer any questions regards the SU and opportunities and discuss your experience as a student in general. If you are interested in volunteering, organising a trip or activity, fundraising or being a student representative please contact us by email, phone, text or pop to the office for a chat. All students can use the learner voice text line to let us know your thoughts and opinions, text 07943 593 885. We look forward to meeting you in the near future. Regards, Steven Westwood Students’ Union Undergrad Officer

Visit: The Students’ Union

B4 Broadway Campus

Call: 01384 363 412 Text: 07943 593 885 Email: studentunion@dudleycol.ac.uk

Your Voice – Your Class Reps Your appointed Class Reps are students who are elected to represent the views and be a contact for fellow students on their course at regular staff-student panels. Issues discussed at these meetings could include the quality of teaching and learning, availability of text books, computing facilities, assessment procedures and deadlines, or anything else relevant to your course.


Undergrad NEWSLETTER

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Local college sees undergraduate numbers grow Dudley College has seen an increase in the number of people applying to study an undergraduate course at the college rise in the last year as university tuition fees continue to increase.

With 2013/14 tuition fees set at £4,500, the college is providing an alternative to the traditional university study and living away from home route, which suits those who prefer to stay local and do not want the possible £27,000 debt a three-year degree course can incur. “With some establishments charging up to £9,000 per year, the decision to continue studying is becoming more difficult for some prospective students. We are pleased to see the numbers of applications increase this year, as a result of our undergraduate courses offering an alternative option to the traditional university route,” explained Lowell Williams, Principal at Dudley College.

“The cost of going to university has always been a major factor for young people continuing their studies, and with university tuition fees continuing to increase, coupled with the costs of living away from home, more and more people are opting to stay local. They can continue to live at home, hold onto their part-time jobs and take advantage of the lower tuition fees at the college. With a few places still available, there’s still time to get that all-important high level qualification without the debt.”

We are pleased to see the numbers of applications increase this year, as a result of our undergraduate courses offering an alternative option to the traditional university route.


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Undergrad NEWSLETTER

Annual Graduate Ceremony honours college students and first sports graduands

More than 350 people assembled at Dudley College for the Higher Awards ceremony last November to celebrate the achievements of the college’s graduates.

The annual graduation event saw 120 students from a range of business, accounting, management, engineering, construction, fashion and public services courses, enjoy a traditional university-style event in recognition of their hard work and achievements. The event began at Dudley Evolve on Tower Street, where graduates collected their gowns and mortar boards, before they filed across Coronation Gardens to The Great Hall on the college’s Broadway campus where the official ceremony took place. Lowell Williams, Principal at the college explained “We introduced the procession across Coronation

Gardens so local people could enjoy this colourful and customary event, as it is quite a spectacle to see. Many people don’t realise that the level of the qualifications we offer are equivalent to university courses, and as such, warrant a full graduation ceremony to celebrate and recognise our student’s achievements.” “Our higher level courses are often undertaken by people in full-time jobs, and are essential to their career progression. The accomplishment of their course regularly has the added pressure of working and juggling a home life whilst completing their studies, which is not an easy thing to manage. I really admire our graduates

Studying for my HNC at the college has been great, it’s helped me progress to where I need to be to become a physio. I had great support and encouragement...


Undergrad NEWSLETTER for their commitment and wish them all the very best for the future and in their chosen careers.” The event was extra-special for five sport students as they are the first cohort of graduands from the newly introduced sport and exercise HNC. As raising the level of the population’s engagement in sport and exercise becomes an increasing priority for the government and employment opportunities become more plentiful, the need for highly skilled people in the industry is paramount.

We introduced the procession across Coronation Gardens so local people could enjoy this colourful and customary event, as it is quite a spectacle to see.

Mitch Blackham, 20, from Cosely has completed the HNC and is now studying for his HND, after which he’s hoping to go to Newman College of Higher Education in Birmingham to complete his degree and qualify as a physio. Mitch said “Studying for my HNC at the college has been great, it’s helped me progress to where I need to be to become a physio. I had great support and encouragement, and knew I was starting to understand sports injuries when I recently visited the doctors

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about my own sports injury and could understand the terminology he used and the treatment he prescribed.” Liam Jones, 22, from Gornal has also progressed onto the HND after completing his sports and exercise HNC. He’s currently coaching at the college to get the practical experience he requires to complete his HND. Liam said “At the start of the course the work was a bit of a struggle as it was a bigger jump up than I expected, but I’ve had lots of help and support and graduating is a great way to celebrate all my hard work.”


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Undergrad NEWSLETTER

New Music Production HND launched

The college is continually adding to its wide range of HNDs and new for this year was the HND in Music Production that is being taught in the state-of-the-art recording studio and purpose-built practice rooms housed in Evolve.

Matt Bircher, one of the first students to apply for a place on the new Music Production HND said “I made a good decision to come to Dudley College. I love working with live sound, setting up and managing PA systems and lighting. Now I want to get more skills and experience in how the technology works and the HND will give me the know-how and theory I need to do this.”

Here to Help Our qualified and experienced Careers Guidance Officers can provide individual advice and guidance to help you with career planning and progressing to higher level courses.

Call into Student Service at The Broadway for help and support with the following: • Applying to university through UCAS. • Producing and reviewing personal statements. • Preparation for university interviews.

We also have a Careers Library, HE prospectuses and IT facilities where you can research careers, universities and degree courses.

Study Room Don’t forget you have access to your very own study room located at the Broadway campus – room H208. The door code is (insert new number). We are looking to improve the room décor and its facilities in the very near future.

You also have access to the quiet study room located at the back of the Library. Just ask!


Undergrad NEWSLETTER

Undergraduate Induction Survey 2013-14 Results Every year the college runs an independent survey to find out how learners have found the process of applying, enrolling and settling into their first few weeks at college. This survey is administered by QDP, a national organisation that conducts surveys for colleges across the UK. The results below are a summary of the findings taken from the 117 Undergraduate students that responded to the survey, which an 88% completion rate of the undergraduate cohort is currently studying at the college.

Overall satisfaction Before you started at the college My induction/introduction to the college Teaching and Learning (overall score)

96% 94% 91% 95% 97% 96% 98% 97% 96% 99%

The teaching on my course is good My sessions start at the agreed time I understand my assignment schedule Assignments are spread across the course My teachers treat us all fairly and equally I am learning in a safe environment

Accommodation and Equipment

91%

Dates for the diary: Half Term:

Monday 17th – Friday 21st February 2014

Easter Vacation:

Monday 14th – Friday 25th April 2014

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* “The college is an inclusive and harmonious environment.” Ofsted 2013

* “Learners benefit from excellent initial advice and guidance which ensures that they enrol on the right course and at the right level.” Ofsted 2013

Tel: 01384 363 363 Visit: www.dudleycol.ac.uk Address: Dudley College,The Broadway, Dudley, West Midlands DY1 4AS


The Undergrad Newsletter – February 2014