Disadvantaged students achieve university dreams through new college partnership

14 October 2019

Seven City and Islington College students have progressed onto university as part of a new partnership with London Metropolitan University.

Ahead of the new academic year, seven of our brightest Healthcare HND students learnt of their unconditional offers to study at London Met. For most, this comes after four years of hard work at the college’s Centre for Health, Social and Child Care on the Holloway Road.

Curriculum leader Samia Abed said: “Many of our students come from very deprived backgrounds or do not speak English as a first language. Some of them came to us with Level 1 and 2 skills [equivalent to GCSEs] and had to start with the basics – English, Maths and Functional Skills. Some took their Maths & English GCSEs here with us while on another course. They have gone through a lot of reflection, patience and hard work to get to where they are today and it’s great to see them rewarded for their efforts.”

Anthony Atuanya, Hanan Abubakr, Iwona Lichota, Khatol Sharifi, Mamie Bwaka, Orvilla Johnson and Yinka Mark joined the new London Met freshers cohort this autumn, allowing them to complete the Level 6 aspect of the three year Higher Education programme. This represents the final stage of their degrees, with graduation expected in summer next year.

We spoke to Yinka, who is now in her first year of a BA Honours degree. “My personal experience at City and Islington College was a period of my life that I cannot forget because of the positive role my teachers played, enabling me to pursue my dream.”

Over the last few years, the Centre has built relationships with local healthcare providers, including Moorfields Eye Hospital near Old Street and the Whittington Hospital in Archway. Student Orville Johnson currently works at the former, accessed through her college course. Staff tell us that the opportunity to gain work experience in their chosen industries has been a strong aid in helping students towards their end goals. Samia adds:

“Working in the hospitals helped them to see where their hard work was going. We have a different type of student that comes to us. They have different needs, but they are very ambitious. We organised workshops out of college time to help our students get the most out of their lessons. We ran some extra classes on academic writing and are happy to see them go on to achieve their goals.

“As teachers, it was very rewarding to see students leave notes like ‘I love you’ on the whiteboard at the end of the year. We have worked really closely with them over the last four years and hope to continue supporting them as they move into their careers.”

Iwona Lichota started with us at Level 1 and progressed right through to Level 5.  She is now studying at London Metropolitan University and told us: Having a college education is an important and positive achievement for me. My teachers at City and Islington College, Samia, Mel and Bez were the best. They supported me all the time and I’m grateful to them. Thank you.”

As part of the deal between City and Islington College and London Met, each year at higher level costs only £6,000, as opposed to the usual £9,000. The agreement aims to help students from diverse backgrounds to access top-tier careers.

 

Want to rise through the ranks yourself? Check out our full HE provision here: https://www.candi.ac.uk/courses/higher-education

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