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Ferguslie Learning Centre Open Day

West College Scotland will be holding an Open day at Ferguslie Learning Centre on Thursday 4th May from 10am until 2pm.

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WCS Paisley Dance lecturer Rosina Bonsu named among ten “Outstanding Women of Scotland”

A West College Scotland dance lecturer is one of just ten women named among the 2017 “Outstanding Women of Scotland”.

photo courtesy of Robin C Mitchell

Paisley-based Rosina Bonsu was awarded the prestigious nomination by the Saltire Society for her contribution to Scottish life. She joins First Minister Nicola Sturgeon, Professor Dame Sue Black and the singer Horse Macdonald among the inductees.

photo courtesy of Robin C Mitchell

Born in Ghana, Rosina moved to London when she was seven years old. She trained to become a school teacher before becoming a dance artist at the London Contemporary Dance School. She was a standout in her field and in 1984 moved to Glasgow to take up the position of Artistic Director of Scottish Ballet’s “Steps Out”.

Photo courtesey of Brian Hartley

In 1987, she was the dance artist for Renfrewshire Dance Project now called Right2Dance, which promotes dance as fun and accessible to all people of all abilities. A decade later Rosina founded Dance House Glasgow to address the lack of provision of professional dancers and performers in Scotland. The project was a tremendous success and the Dance House is today well-established as the regional centre for dance for Glasgow and the West of Scotland.

Since 2009, Rosina has worked as a lecturer at West College Scotland’s Paisley New Street Campus. She teaches Contemporary dance to students from first to third year. She also teaches dance and movement at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Rosina loves her work at the College, she says: “I can help these young people grow, challenge themselves and travel the distance from where they come to where they dream to be. The level of deprivation in the West of Scotland is high, so that distance is often huge and can be daunting – but I want them to see it’s possible, if they believe in themselves and realise their full potential. I take so much pride when these young people go on and achieve great things, discover the world and their true, talented, selves.”

Rosina knows what it takes to overcome tough challenges. She has recovered from two cancers, eight years ago and then again five years later. She says: “My work on bodies and self-awareness really helped me go through these hardships and not surrender. My yoga practice allowed me to focus my mind and body on what was important and to collect my energies to face adversities.”

Rosina is also a yoga teacher and has run her own studio since 2008.

“I work with bodies – it doesn’t matter if it’s through dance or yoga or anything else. I love this work because it brings honesty and clarity in people. When they learn to work with their body, they become their true selves and can develop their full potential. They can get over the barriers of internal thinking and social conditioning”.

She continues:

“I believe Scottish people really need this. I see huge potential but too many of the young people I work with hide it, they limit themselves, they censor their bodies and personalities. I notice this every day, including with my students at the College. They can take so much criticism without blinking an eye. But give them praise, and they will feel so uncomfortable that some will actually walk out of the room! Too often, people focus on what they can’t do but they ignore what they’re good at. I’m teaching them to change their mind set and focus on their strengths instead.”

Despite her outstanding work for and involvement with the local community, Rosina was genuinely surprised to be nominated for the Saltire Society’s ‘Outstanding Women of Scotland’.

“I really did not expect this and I feel so honoured”, she says.

Rosina was nominated by Sue John, Enterprise Development Manager at the Glasgow Women’s Library. Sue and Rosina met years back when both took part in the development of ‘Women in Profile’, an organisation which aimed to ensure representation of women’s culture during Glasgow’s year as the European City of Culture in 1990. Since then, Rosina has always been a strong supporter of the Glasgow Women’s Library. A few years ago, she contributed to the ‘Women on the Shelf’ fundraising initiative and dedicated a Library shelf to her sister when she passed away.

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West College Scotland successfully launches coding clubs in three Renfrewshire Secondary Schools

West College Scotland’s Digital Xtra Project, funded by Skills Development Scotland, is now well underway with the launch of coding clubs. Run by some of the College’s computing staff and students, the clubs are aimed at engaging S1/2 pupils in the use of the BBC Micro:Bit and encouraging them to become more involved in coding.

The clubs have been launched successfully in three Renfrewshire Secondary Schools: Paisley Grammar School, St Benedicts High School and Renfrew High School. All of the clubs have been well attended and have seen some great activities taking place including making music from Katy Perry & Star Wars and developing a pong game… controlled by a banana!

Chris Wilson, computing teacher from St Benedicts High School said: “We had a whole lab full of pupils turning up after school in their own time.  The best thing was the gender split – exactly 50/50!  Really great to see so many girls taking a genuine interest in STEM and coding in particular. The hands-on Micro:Bit coding is going down really well with the pupils.  I think the idea of writing code to run on a physical device they hold in their hand gives them something extra.  All pupils seem to have a love for technology and creativity so the Micro:Bit exercises really appealed to them.  The staff and students from West College Scotland have been absolutely fantastic with our pupils and I’d definitely recommend the club to any schools who missed out first time around.”

West college Scotland’s computing students involved in running the clubs are thrilled to share their skills with the pupils while gaining invaluable experience themselves. Michael Walsh, one of the students enrolled in the STEM Ambassador program, said: “This is was a great opportunity to introduce young people to the game development industry to try and get them interested in programming specifically as there aren’t enough people coming out of school and going into the game development sector. This experience is also different from my usual College week and it will be a great addition to my CV for future employment.”

Josh Balling, also STEM Ambassador student, adds: “Taking part in the coding club is a great way to get the kids thinking outside the box while having fun by creating their own code and seeing it work in front of them. Every pupil is interested and engaged and hopefully this could lead them down the path to a STEM career in the future.”

West College Scotland also hosted the second training session for Renfrewshire School Teachers as part of the project. The sessions are run in association with Microsoft Education, Renfrewshire Council and Paisley YMCA.

This time over 20 teachers from primary & secondary schools across Renfrewshire attended the session to further develop their technology skills for teaching and use engaging activities to encourage use of the Micro:Bit in the classroom.

The College is also happy to now be on the Digital Xtra Map, featuring all activities taking place across the country. To find them visit:www.digitalxtrafund.scot/find-an-activity/

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New part time course starting March at WCS

West College Scotland is starting a new course, award in airport services and ground operations, in March at their Paisley campus.

More details can be found on the flyer or by visiting here.

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Learn Vintage Hair and Make-Up at WCS

Starting in March from our Clydebank and Greenock Campuses!  Learn how to create vintage styles, retro glamour and period looks using Hollywood and period inspiration! Apply NOW!


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Glentanar Court residents go Online

Students from West College’s Creative Industries department have been working with tenants at Glentanar Court in setting up social media accounts allowing tenants to develop their skills in modern communication technology.

WordPress, Tumblr Instagram and Facebook are now there for tenants to connect to families, friends and the world! The newly formed Heritage and Local History group at the Court hopes to use these media to share stories and research about the east end of Paisley and to connect to other Paisley heritage groups as the town drives for 2021 success.

The project incorporated film work, photography and audio alongside the development of the social media platform and has been a resounding success. The inter generational aspect of the project provided a great opportunity for the breaking down of barriers between old and young and will be a firm launchpad for further collaborative projects between West College and Glentanar Court.


Glentanar Court invites applications for the tenancy of a one person { studio} flat, now available. Please contact Cairn Housing Association on 0800 990 3405 to arrange a viewing or request an application form.

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College Partnership with Elior UK Set to be a Recipe for Success!

West College Scotland has partnered with Elior UK (one of the UK’s leading hospitality companies) at Ibrox stadium under the guidance of award winning chef Jav Aziz.


We are looking for people with a positive attitude, who are willing to learn in a fast moving environment to take part in a unique and exciting opportunity to develop their professional cookery knowledge and skills.

This opportunity is open to a very limited number and will involve training and working within the stadium’s hospitality and function kitchens and restaurants as well as attending classes at the Paisley campus. The 14 week course will commence on 3 February  2017 (date may be subject to change).

Entry Requirements- There are no formal entry requirements required, although experience in hospitality would be beneficial.

Apply here: http://www.westcollegescotland.ac.uk/courses/course-directory/courses/hospitality-professional-cookery/wcs-and-elior-culinary-development-at-ibrox-stadium

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Courses starting in January at West College Scotland

Your future starts this New Year at West College Scotland. Apply now for our January start courses in Business, Construction, Care, Engineering, Hospitality, Beauty, Music, Science and more.  For more information visit here or call 0300 600 6060


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A West College Scotland student from Paisley has been named Student Citizen 2016 at a prestigious event celebrating outstanding achievements in all Scotland’s 26 colleges.

of Amanda Allan with her award

 Amanda Allan with her award

Amanda Allan, who is studying Science and also working as a technician in the College’s labs, picked up her award at a ceremony in Glasgow city centre last night (Tuesday 22 November).  Her success means this is the second year in a row a West College Scotland student has won this award.

The judges said Amanda’s “determination to succeed and enthusiasm to help and support others has resulted in a wide range of key achievements”. They went on to say how impressed they were with her leadership skills and her many accomplishments.

Twenty-one-year-old Amanda joined West College Scotland from school in 2013 and graduated this year with an HNC in Applied Science, while also working and studying for a Modern Apprenticeship as a Laboratory Technician at the College.  She hopes to go on to study Biomedical Science at university.

Amanda is also a passionate ambassador for her subject, regularly volunteering to visit schools and youth groups to encourage young people to consider studying science.  She is especially passionate about engaging nursery and primary school children in science and even designs fun experiments for them.

Commenting on her award, Amanda said:

“I am absolutely thrilled to have won this award. I love science, I love learning about it, and I love engaging young people in it.  I have a lot of people to thank for this award, not least the lecturers and staff at West College Scotland who have supported me since I joined.”

Sharon Gardiner, who is the Head of Sector for Sciences, said

“Amanda is a wonderful asset for our College and a true ambassador for science. Having such a positive role model is fantastic for her fellow students and the school pupils she works with.  Amanda has engaged and enthused so many people. We are very proud of her and we know she will go far.”

West College Scotland also won the Essential Skills Award, which was presented to the College’s Head of Essential Skills, Grant Taylor. It recognises the college that has introduced the most imaginative and inspiring ways of allowing students to develop the relevant essential skills which will, eventually, help them get a job.

Grant Taylor and his team

Grant Taylor and his team

College Principal, Audrey Cumberford, said:

“Everyone at the College is delighted to win these very important awards. We are very proud of all our staff and students involved.

“These awards show that we are a College at the very top of its game.”



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West College Scotland will use its size, expertise and presence to help further improve job opportunities for the people of Renfrewshire, increase the life chances of everyone living in local communities and assist the regeneration Paisley town centre.

College Principal and Chief Executive Audrey Cumberford and Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan.

College Principal and Chief Executive Audrey Cumberford and Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan.

The College has entered into a Strategic Partnership with Renfrewshire Council, designed to maximise both organisations’ support for each other’s main objectives.  While both have worked closely for many years, the new partnership outlines areas for even deeper co-operation.

Speaking at a launch event, College Principal and Chief Executive, Audrey Cumberford, said:

“As Scotland’s largest college, we are well-placed to bring the benefits of first-class training and education to the people of Renfrewshire.  We believe education is the foundation stone upon which so much else is built.

“In particular, we see ourselves as educational innovators, using modern technologies to allow the people of Renfrewshire to secure good, well-paid jobs and contribute to the local economy. We will give local people access to those digital technologies which are already transforming our lives and work.

“We also believe that we have a role in closing the educational attainment gap between the better- and less-well-off areas of Renfrewshire.

“Getting this right means we are helping Renfrewshire Council meet two of their most important objectives: creating jobs and tackling poverty.”

Renfrewshire Council Leader Mark Macmillan said:  “People see the positive changes that are underway in Renfrewshire – Paisley’s bid to be UK City of Culture 2021, Renfrewshire’s role at the heart of the £1.13billion Glasgow City Region City Deal, and the regeneration of our town centres.

“The challenge facing all of us is to make sure all of our people and communities have the chance to take advantage of these opportunities.

“West College Scotland is leading the way on delivering those shared priorities – particularly in areas such as digital skills, raising attainment and boosting innovation.  The new strategic partnership will strengthen that cooperation and achievement.”