QMYOU Alumni Magazine Issue 82 - Page 5

Students gather to kick start their Academies programme F OUR HUNDRED STUDENTS from 50 schools across Edinburgh, the Lothians and the Scottish Borders gathered at QMU in August to kick start their learning on the pioneering South East Scotland Academies Partnership programme. This year’s new students are the fourth group to join the Academies programme, a project led by QMU, Edinburgh College and local authorities. The Academies give young people the opportunity to study at college and university, undertake work experience and learn about industry while still at school, highlighting career options and improving employability. In 2012, the Academies started off by providing educational opportunities for young people in three East Lothian schools. It now offers outstanding learning and career opportunities to 15-18 year old school pupils in East Lothian, Midlothian, West Lothian, Edinburgh and the Scottish Borders. Recently, the project expanded into West Lothian, bringing nine new schools on board. First minister makes £27m funding announcement during QMU visit S cotland’s First Minister, Nicola Sturgeon, used her visit to QMU in February to make a public announcement about the future funding of Scotland’s NHS. During her visit with nursing and speech researchers and QMU students, the First Minister announced her intention to provide £27m of funding to equip Scotland’s NHS for the future. The Minister’s speech, which was delivered to students, staff and visitors in QMU’s Halle Lecture Theatre, set out her vision for a modern NHS in Scotland and included announcements about a range of initiatives to widen access to education across a range of professions over the next five years. The initiative, which was conceived by three senior staff at Edinburgh College, QMU, and East Lothian Council, has been hailed as one that is delivering real results for Scotland’s young people. Three years ago, the project started off with the Hospitality and Tourism Academy which aimed to smooth the transition between school, college, university and work, as well as raising standards within the industry. The South East Scotland Academies Partnership now offers four academies in Hospitality and Tourism; Creative Industries, Food Science and Nutrition; and Health and Social Care. The academies provide young people with a real insight into key growth industries and improve their employability by developing specialist skills and knowledge. All 400 academy students gathered for a photograph at QMU where they are studying part of their academy programme. Learning for all four academies also involves the students taking classes with academics and industry experts at the University. Students also study at Edinburgh College, Borders College or West Lothian College depending on where their schools are located, as well as gaining work experience in industry. ❒ On the same day, Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Education, also visited QMU to find out about QMU’s work in widening access and in its retention and development of female researchers. The Education Minister was interested to learn about QMU’s pioneering Academies project for 14–18 year olds and to meet young students who had successfully completed the Creative Industries Academy and secured places on QMU’s media degree. She also viewed the Women Researchers’ Exhibition which highlights the research careers of female staff.❒ Professor Petra Wend, QMU Principal with Angela Constance, Cabinet Secretary for Education QMYOU / News in Brief 5