Higher Education Information Evening – Karmand Community Centre

Date: Wednesday 20th September 2017

Location: Karmand Community Centre, Barkerend Road, Bradford

Time: 5pm to 7.30pm

Over 40 young people, parents and family members attended a launch event for the project in a busy and active community centre which draws in people from across Bowling as well as other areas of Bradford. We had a Higher Education Fair set up at the beginning of the event with stalls from Bradford College, University of Bradford, Leeds Trinity University, Leeds City College, Leeds College of Building, Calderdale College and Kirklees College. Visitors arrived and went around the stalls speaking with the Higher Education Progression (HEP) Outreach Officers and picking up information and prospectuses.

After this we moved the visitors to a seated area, where they were welcomed by Sikander Mahmood, the Chair of the Karmand Community Association. Following this Roy Ward from Bradford College introduced Go Higher West Yorkshire and delivered a short talk busting some myths around Higher Education, including around Student Finance. Katie Chetwood from the University of Bradford spoke about the courses available and touched upon the plans for a Medical School in Bradford, as this was something the Centre Manager had mentioned as something that would be of interest to local parents for their young people. Sakina Yaqoob, a Student Ambassador from Bradford College who recently completed a BA in Education Studies and also completed her Level 3 Health and Social Care course at Bradford College spoke about the student experience, and finally Waheeda Azam, a Higher Education lecturer in Social Work from Bradford College, spoke about her own experiences of Higher Education as both a mature student and now as a lecturer. Waheeda went to school at Carlton Bolling College, which is very close to Karmand Community Centre, and is from the same background as many of the parents, family members and community elders who attended the event.

The event raised awareness of Higher Education in the local community, using inspirational relevant role models, improving the understanding of the value of Higher Education and supporting parents and the wider community to support their young people to access Higher Education. Feedback from the event was extremely positive, with parents and young people understanding Student Finance and that is it affordable and a far better offer than originally thought as it is only paid back once earning above the threshold of £21,000.

The first follow up workshop will be taking place in February 2018, with further workshops (for both young people and their parents) taking place throughout the year.