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1 Issue 2 Newsletter May 2012 Welcome Welcome to the second edition of the HEART newsletter. The HEART team has been busy over the past 2 months, developing the HEART work plan and getting started on project activities. The Board had their second meeting in April and the Business Engagement and Widening Participation Planning Groups have held subsequent meetings. We welcome Nadira Mirza, Dean of the School of Lifelong Education and Development and Director of Access and Community Engagement at the University of Bradford to the HEART Board and also AndreaCowans, Learning Support Manager at Leeds City Council as a co-opted member. Hope you enjoy reading about current HEART activities and welcome your comments and feedback. Ian McGregor Brown, HEART Manager Nicola Akers, HEART Assistant Adult Learner Week A team of 7 HEART partners promoted HE in West Yorkshire on Saturday 12 May as part of Adult Learner Week. Staff and student ambassadors provided information to shoppers in the St John s Shopping Centre in Leeds city centre. Adam Stone from Leeds College of Art displayed students art work and the team fielded queries from potential learners interested in a range of courses from mechanical engineering, sports therapy and nursing. Leeds Metropolitan University already has a student signed up to start a course in September as a result of taking part. The day provided a good platform for raising awareness of HE in the region and provided experience on which to build for Adult Learner Week Plans are already underway to generate a more substantial public presence for Adult Learner Week next year, with all HEART partners involved and offering activities and taster sessions alongside information to generate interest and widen participation. If you have any bright ideas on activities that could be offered in open public spaces please let us know.

2 Leeds City Region LEP - One Year On It has been over a year since the Local Economic Partnership held its first Board meeting and some real milestones have been achieved since then. The LEP has: supported businesses across the city region with their bids to the Regional Growth Fund and as a result our economy is going to benefit from more than 50 million of additional funding secured 36 million investment for infrastructure, energy generation and improving apprenticeship and training opportunities through the Growing Places Fund and over 10m of private sector investment for improving the energy efficiency of 20,000 homes through the Partnership s Domestic Energy Efficiency Programme (DEEP) secured 15m Government funding to roll out ultra-fast broadband access in Bradford and Leeds. launched 5-3-1, the first business-to-business campaign to increase investment in skills, business mentoring, work placements and apprenticeships brought together a panel of experts from across the city region to help deliver the aspiration for a low carbon city region; launched the Leeds City Region enterprise zone, which will help attract new investment and support long term growth The LEP is now stepping up delivery further by negotiating with Government for more powers and flexibilities through the City Deal proposals. These discussions are expected to conclude in June, resulting in additional powers and responsibilities to take decisions locally on investment priorities and funding. For any enquiries please contact: Maraki Mikroudaki, Senior Communications Officer, Leeds City Region Partnership Disabled Student Allowance Assessment Centres Leeds Assessment Centre was established at the University of Leeds in 2000, to provide a Needs Assessment service for disabled students applying for disability support funding, such as Disabled Students Allowances. The service is provided to students at University of Leeds as well as students from across West Yorkshire and elsewhere in the UK. Staff at the centre have very detailed and up to date knowledge of the issues which affect disabled students and has strong connections with national HE disability organisations. Leeds Metropolitan University offers a similar facility offering support and advice to students and a Needs Assessment service. HEART will be working with the Leeds Assessment Centre to help increase awareness amongst disabled students of the Disabled Students Allowances available to them. Deaf Education Advocacy Fellowship HEART is working with the award winning Deaf Education Advocacy Fellowship (DEAF) to take HEART partners out to the Deaf Community. Through a series of road shows throughout West Yorkshire D/deaf students will be given the opportunity to find out about higher education in the region and the support available to D/deaf students. The road shows will culminate in a campus event hosted by University of Leeds in November this year. Eight HEART partners will be contributing to the campaign aimed at reversing the decline, 35.5% drop since 2009, in applications from the D/deaf community. D/deaf students and graduates will also give presentations about their experience of higher education. For more information about this project contact Nicola Akers

3 Vocational Progression in a New Partnership Landscape: 12 July, York St John s University, 9am 3pm Partnership working remains to be as important as ever within the Further and Higher Education sectors. Although national programmes such as Aimhigher and Lifelong Learning Network initiatives have disappeared, there remains a strong will to continue existing networks and forge new partnerships in support of local and regional agendas. This seminar will consider partnership working to support progression, and particularly that which supports those with vocational backgrounds to continue their learning journey into and through HE. The event will showcase some of the innovative working demonstrated by continuing Lifelong Learning Networks and present useful models which could be adopted elsewhere. It will offer a range of inputs from partnership organisations including Linking London, Higher York, Sussex Learning Network and HEART (West Yorkshire). Speakers also include Clair Murphy (HEFCE) and Peter Mulligan (UCAS). A full programme will be available soon To book your free place please visit: HEART in partnership with Siemens HEART is to host events in partnership with Siemens UK to improve the retention of engineering graduates in engineering employment in LCR. Simon Nadin, General Manager of Siemens UK Leeds, is a member of the LCR Employment and Skills Board and keen to encourage engineering graduates into engineering careers - there are sufficient engineering graduates in LCR if they didn t find work in financial services more appealing! Targeted at engineering students (undergraduate and post graduates) and open to students from related subjects and academics, the events will be held across the region. Simon Nadin will speak at each event providing an overview of the wide variety of careers available to engineering graduates and students will hear from a graduate employee what it s like to work at Siemens. The events will be held in the autumn and more information will be in the next newsletter and on the HEART website. Funding Secured HEART has made an excellent start to securing additional funding with a successful bid to AoC/BIS. The funding, which was confirmed in May, is for a collaborative pilot project, focusing on increasing credit accumulation and transfer opportunities supporting progression from across the adult skills, further and higher education sectors. Focusing on the need for leadership and management skills to support economic growth in the region, HEART will work in collaboration with ILM and CMI to build on the ILM progression agreement developed by WYLLN, add the CMI awards to this and work towards clear and robust credit transfer arrangements. A detailed project plan will be submitted by 8 June, with project activity commencing July For more information about this project contact Ian McGregor Brown. Teachers and Advisors Conference On the 10 July 2012 the University of Bradford will be running a Teachers and Advisers Conference. This free event is aimed at those working with learners interested in progression to university and will provide the chance to speak to a range of staff across all academic areas and support services. For further information please contact Caroline Priestley

4 The HEART website is currently being developed by a team of FdA Web Design students at Wakefield College and Statement digital design agency. Following the submission of several proposals from a variety of web design agencies the team at Wakefield outshone the competition and started developing the website in April. At the heart (apologies for overuse of the brand) of their proposal is the belief that a website about higher education advocacy provides an ideal opportunity to support the development of higher education students and their progression to employment. Statement is providing work placement opportunities for the students and one of the students will be employed by Statement at the end of the placement. The team have been tasked with creating a user friendly website and will soon be uploading content. Nicola will be contacting partners for information about forthcoming events and news items for the site. If you have any specific suggestions for essential content for the new website or wish to offer additional information for inclusion on the website please contact Nicola Akers. Securing Additional Funding for Scholarships The University of Huddersfield has run an innovative campaign to supplement the national scholarship funding available to students. In conjunction with the National Scholarship Fund, and with support from the local authorities (Kirklees, Barnsley and Oldham) 1.1 million has been raised. The Vice Chancellor, Prof Bob Cryan, started the campaign by pledging 10,000 of his own money and other members of staff, students, alumni, local residents and businesses have made contributions. The student and local community s commitment to the University has been central to the success of this campaign which provides enhanced opportunities for HE students at the University of Huddersfield. Maximising Graduate Potential Gradcore is a subsidiary of Graduates Yorkshire, which in turn spun out from Yorkshire Universities. They provide graduate level employability training, consultancy and research and manage two regional job boards, Graduates Yorkshire and GradsEast. Gradcore works on a national basis: - helping HE providers produce work ready graduates through strategic consultancy, training and internship programmes - encouraging partnership working between HE providers and business, in particular SMEs - consulting with policy and decision makers to refine their graduate employability strategies A number of HEART partners are already engaging with Gradcore for a number of services. Gradcore has completed a Big Grad Survey and has offered to present findings to HEART partners in July. The survey looks at Yorkshire graduates experiences of the labour market. A record breaking 3,400 graduates gave their views on salary expectations vs. reality, the worth of internships, placements and other work experience, underemployment, how long it takes to find a job and much more. If you are interested in attending a presentation on Monday 2 or Wednesday 11 July to hear the findings of this survey please let Nicola know as soon as possible. Gradcore also offers HE providers an employability programme that covers assessment centre experience, job hunting techniques and the impact of social media and interview skills. Participants can also get valuable work experience by working on a real life business problem given by a local business. To view the employability programme options go to Nicola Doesn t Like a Fuss, But The eagle eyed amongst you will have noticed that Nicola s last name has changed. Nicola got married on Saturday 5 th May. We naturally wish Nicola and Rohan a happy and long life together.

5 SPOTLIGHT ON. We plan to feature a spotlight on a person from the HEART partners in each newsletter. To start us off, Ian McGregor Brown, HEART Manager. What has surprised you most about working with HEART? I m not sure that I have been that surprised. Having worked for five of the partners in the past and more recently having undertaken work for the Lifelong Learning Network I had a reasonable idea of what it would be like. I never cease to be surprised however by the amazing range of interesting work, projects and research taking place in individual institutions and working with HEART offers opportunity to become aware of this across the twelve partners. What has been your biggest achievement in your career? I hope it is yet to come but so far I would say it is between three. The major changes secured at Bangor University in relation to speed of validation and rapid response to business demand for short courses. Leading a course for those who had failed at school and came to the college concerned for a second chance. The qualification achievement levels were not great but the development in skills and huge steps forward in confidence and self-belief in the students was immensely satisfying. As a buyer, turning a special purchase of 1m of stock into 6m turnover in just seven weeks alas, I only achieved this once! What might we be surprised to know about you? Hmm? Many already know that I am a qualified repairer of vintage fountain pens so perhaps I should say that I once caused Vanessa Redgrave to pay more for her chauffer than she had anticipated! What's it like to be HEART manager? A one word answer I think GREAT! What do you do when you aren't working? Well, there are the pens of course. I have never been sporty and therefore I keep fit by walking as often as I can. I am passionate about live theatre and have supported the West Yorkshire Playhouse since before it was built so remember the days of the Leeds Playhouse being in the University sports hall. I could go on but I know space is limited. What do you find most challenging about working with businesses/widening participation/in HE? Oh help! This could be the start of a serialised publication. Trying to keep it brief I would suggest that working with business tends to be most challenging as a result of the business not really knowing what they want and/or HE providers not being clear about what they can offer. Business tends to be frustrated by slow or ambiguous responses from HE providers and even a no we can t help you because response can be seen as positive as compared to receiving no response at all or one that fails to commit either way. With regard to widening participation my core experiences have tended to be in the field of adult learners and therefore I am acutely aware of learning rapidly about the broader picture of WP and therefore the challenge is simply to get up to speed. I really appreciate the immense support HEART is getting from WP practitioners from all the partners and any one of them would be better placed to answer this question at present. And finally We d love to hear from you please get in touch with news and updates on your events and actvities

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