Local MP Henry Smith visited Crawley College on Friday afternoon to support the ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign, part of Colleges Week which took place from 15 – 19 October.
The ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign celebrates the vital role that Further Education (FE) colleges play in local communities and the economy, as well as the need for proper investment in the FE sector and fairer pay for FE staff.
“I was delighted to tour Crawley College, since my last visit the positive developments that have taken place to upgrade educational facilities are encouraging.”
“It was also fantastic to meet engaging students who are clearly benefitting from the excellent offer of courses available at Crawley College that will enhance their job prospects as well as our town future prospects.”
Henry was welcomed by Student President Madlen Standen-Grant and Vice President Rasiaty Marie Turay who both play an active role in the college and local community.
Madlen Standen-Grant said:
“There has been amazing changes to the college since the MP’s last visit. We now have a Student Executive to represent the student’s voice, make a difference, and create a better college environment.”
“This helps to build students confidence, and give back to the local community through volunteering or fundraising. I spend 4 evenings a week volunteering at a homeless shelter, whilst studying and fulfilling my duties as Student President.”
Henry took a tour through the construction, engineering and trade workshops at Crawley College and congratulated student Kieran Barnes who has recently been selected to compete at the UK SkillBuild National Final in Birmingham.
Over the last decade, FE colleges across the UK have had to deal with an average 30% funding cut. This has resulted in a devastating impact on students, businesses, communities and the wider economy.
Dean Wynter, Vice Principal, said:
“It is becoming increasingly hard for the college to continue meeting the outstanding standards without more investment.”
“With significant plans for new housing across the south east and the associated infrastructure and services that comes with those plans, and Gatwick Airport nearby, we can provide more people the high-quality skills that are required to gain long term employment across the region. That is why we support the ‘Love Our Colleges’ campaign and call on the government to increase FE funding.”
Crawley College is one of the largest FE colleges in the South East, offering a wide variety of technical and professional courses, degrees and apprenticeships to thousands of young people and adults every year.
For more information about supporting FE colleges, please visit: www.collegesweek.co.uk.
Crawley College 60th anniversary celebrations continue
On Tuesday 13th November, VIP guests, teachers, governors and business leaders attended a celebratory meal at Crawley College as part of a year of celebrations to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the college.
The college was delighted that several family members of the college’s original principal – Theodore Siklos, were able to attend.
Professor Siklos’ sons Stephen and Paul gave a fascinating profile of their father’s journey from Budapest, where he spoke Hungarian and German, via the University of Brno, now in the Czech Republic, to Wimbledon Technical College and then finally to Crawley where he oversaw the building of the college from nothing more than a building site.
They spoke warmly about their father’s time at the college and brought to life the total transformation that the engineering department has gone through – from an annex on Robinson Road with a single, temperamental computer, to the Advanced Technology Centre which features the latest industry-standard equipment for renewable and sustainable technologies.
Engineering continues to be one of the foundation subjects of the college – no doubt as part of Professor Siklos’s legacy.
The evening started with a drinks reception in the college’s Advanced Technology Centre, and a tour of the college’s engineering facilities, before a delicious meal was served in the college’s newly refurbished restaurant.
The college’s hospitality students designed and created a three-course dinner, based on the original menu served in 1986 when the Siklos building opened. Guests were treated to Waldorf salad, lamb loin, vegetable Wellington and chocolate orange choux pastry for dessert.
Vicki Illingworth, College Principal, commented:
“it was fantastic to see the restaurant buzzing and the students served up really excellent food. Our guests were very complementary about the evening and the journey they could see the college is on – we are very proud that the hard work we are doing is making a difference!”
58 Café Bar and Restaurant is open to the public from Monday to Friday in term time, serving barista-made coffee and homemade cakes all day, as well as a three course express lunch on Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Meals are cooked and served by the college’s hospitality students under the expert supervision of our chef-lecturers.
For more information about any aspect of the college, please visit www.crawley.ac.uk