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As part of its multi-million pound investment in its facilities and services, East Berkshire College has launched a new official alumni association to create a range of services especially for its former students.

The new alumni association is aimed at anyone who has studied a course at East Berkshire College or any of the former colleges in Langley, Windsor and Maidenhead which were later merged to collectively become known by this name.

By joining the association, former students will have access to a free package of benefits and services including exclusive discounts, access to careers advice and support, quarterly newsletters, events and an alumni directory to help them reconnect with old college friends. The network will also provide a platform for former students to support the College and inspire current students through guest speaking opportunities, careers talks or providing work experience placements.

Principal Kate Webb explains: “We are very excited about our first ever alumni network. We believe in supporting our students even after they leave college, which is why we have put together a comprehensive package of services to help our former students continue to develop their careers and their skills.

“We are extremely proud of the achievements of our alumni, some of whom have gone onto attain great success in their chosen fields. We would love to hear from anyone who has studied with us over the last 45 years. By joining the association, our former students can share their experiences and make a real difference to current students in many positive ways.”

International bestselling author Anne Jirsch (from Bourne End) is one of the first former students to join the College’s new alumni association. Having studied English and Sociology at Langley College in the early 1980s, Anne is now a successful writer whose books include Cosmic Energy and Create Your Perfect Future. She is currently writing a screen play and working on various TV projects.

“I think the College’s new alumni association is a great idea and I’m proud to be part of it,” said Anne. “I wouldn’t be where I am now if it wasn’t for the College. My reading and writing skills were quite poor when I first started Langley College aged 24. However, the lecturers there were so encouraging and supportive that my confidence and my ability improved dramatically. I now have a successful career as a writer, which gives me the chance to travel all over the world.”

Each year, the College organises a series of talks by guest speakers and former students to enhance the learning experience of its students and demonstrate how the curriculum relates to future careers. Some of the College’s most famous former students include Cloud Atlas actor David Gyasi, Genie in the House star Katie Sheridan and acclaimed independent film director James Fair. All of whom have visited the College to talk to students about their careers and experiences in recent years.

East Berkshire College has been serving the communities of Berkshire and West London for over 45 years. Over the years, the College has continued to go from strength to strength in terms of raising standards and enhancing its range of courses. In February 2013, Ofsted rated the College as ‘good’ with outstanding features following a week-long inspection. Alongside other key strengths, the report recognised the real difference the College makes to the lives of its students in terms of their progress, success and employability.

For more details and to join the East Berkshire College alumni association, visit www.eastberks.ac.uk/alumni

Published in News no category

Shoppers, swimmers and cinema goers were encouraged to learn something new last week as East Berkshire College took to the road with an advice and guidance road show ahead of Adult Learners' Week (12-18 May).

Advisers from the College visited venues across Berkshire, including the Magnet Leisure Centre and Odeon Cinema in Maidenhead, to promote adult learning and provide advice on its extensive range of part-time, full-time and workplace training courses.ebc 8032_web

"It's never too late to learn something new," says Juliet Holloway, Director of Learner Services at East Berkshire College. "We have students aged from 14 to 90 years old. With our part-time courses, people can learn at a pace that suits their lifestyle or work commitments. Whether they want to improve their skills, start a new career or take up a new hobby, we have courses to suit most people's needs."

Debbie Higgs, Finance Manager at Rydens Enterprise School, is one individual who recently decided to go back to college to do a part-time accountancy course.

"I wasn't sure if I'd be able to pass exams again after 20 years, but the support you receive at College is excellent. The tutors explain things in a way that's easy to understand and you can email them at any time with questions. Studying part-time is a great way to improve yourself and your career. It is good to have achieved something for myself and gained a qualification that is recognised in the finance industry."

The College offers free and impartial advice and guidance on courses, careers and training to adults as well as students through the National Careers Service. The service, which includes workshops on CV writing and job search activities, can be accessed at the College's Langley and Windsor campuses as well as various community locations.

To celebrate Adult Learners' Week, East Berkshire College is running a variety of free taster sessions from 14-18 May at its Langley and Windsor campuses. Tasters include Holiday Italian, Asian Cookery, Computerised Accounts and Excel for Beginners. For a full timetable of what's on or details on a wide range of courses call 0845 373 2500.

Published in Life Skills

wellington houseEast Berkshire College, which has campuses in Langley and Windsor, has launched a new centre for learning in the heart of Slough.

Located in Wellington House, just off Slough High Street, this exciting new facility is meeting the needs of the local community by providing courses in English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL), Literacy and Numeracy. Comprising eight state-of-the-art classrooms, the centre offers a modern and convenient place to study above the Queensmere Shopping precinct.

Over 300 students from 46 different nationalities are currently being taught at the new facility, which was opened by the Mayor of Slough, Councillor Jagjit Grewal. Students, staff and members of the local community gathered to celebrate the opening at an official ribbon cutting ceremony last week.

Talking at the launch, Anne Booth, Head of School for ESOL and Languages at the College, said: "We are delighted to be opening a new teaching facility right at the heart of this community. Slough has an extremely diverse population and we hope that this centre will enable us to better serve those who wish to learn English or improve their skills. Being unable to communicate can be a very isolating experience. Learning a language can really transform a person's life."

Originally from Somalia, Abdul Shirf (26, from Slough) is one of the many students already benefiting from the new facility:

"I couldn't speak any English before I started here. I used to find just going to the shops very hard, but now I'm much more confident. My lecturers have really helped me improve and this is such a great place to be."

The College's ESOL courses are specially designed for those whose first language is not English. The courses cover speaking, listening, reading, writing and living in the UK, and are at wide range of different levels.

For further information on East Berkshire College and its extensive range of over 700 courses available, visit www.eastberks.ac.uk or call 0845 373 2500.

Published in Life Skills
Tuesday, 27 September 2011 00:00

College improves prospects of unemployed

lisa clarkeWith more competition for jobs than ever before, getting the right qualifications and training has never been so important. East Berkshire College, however, is giving unemployed people a helping hand to improve their skills and chance of gaining employment.

Individuals who need training to get back into work are finding they may be eligible for help with the cost of study and, in some cases, free course tuition.

Mother of three, Lisa Clarke (31, from Slough), is one individual improving her skills as a result of accessing funding for a Beauty Therapy NVQ course at the College's Langley Campus.

"With my youngest child starting school, I wanted to get back to work. After 15 years out of the workplace, it was difficult to find a job and I realised I needed to improve my skills. I was worried about going back to College at first because of my age and the cost. However, I found out that I was eligible for help with the cost of my course because I was unemployed."

Before having her children, Lisa worked part-time in a bridal shop. It was this experience that inspired her to look at hair and beauty courses, with the ambition of working in a salon or setting up her own mobile business offering bridal packages.

With this in mind, Lisa researched the College's courses and found that she was entitled to free course tuition. Having dyslexia, Lisa wasn't sure what level of course she should be studying. The College was able to give her a quick assessment to identify which course was right for her and any additional help she may need to improve her English and maths.

"There are always hurdles to face in life," explains Lisa. "You just have to find ways to overcome them. There are always things you can do to help yourself. For me, that's going back to College to improve myself and my qualifications. Passing this course will really give me more job options.

"I would definitely recommend College - it's not just for 17 year olds. There are students of all ages here. Everyone is friendly, they treat you with respect and the course fits in well with my family life. I'm so looking forward to qualifying, getting back to work and supporting myself."

In addition to government funding schemes, East Berkshire College has its own financial support schemes that can offer students, subject to eligibility, a percentage of their tuition fees. Plus, flexible instalment plans are available on some courses.

The College is also delivering a range of valuable advice, guidance and job search activities to members of the public at its campuses in Langley and Windsor as well as various community venues. The service, known as 'Next Step', includes workshops on CV writing, job applications and job hunting.

For further information on funding and over 600 full-time and part-time courses, contact East Berkshire College on 0845 373 2500

Published in Life Skills

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