UCW Degree Students Experience Life In The Gambia

Jeremy Plumley

sdfThirty first year students from the Foundation Degree in Uniformed and Public Services at Weston College have returned from an eight-day trip to The Gambia.

The students, who were accompanied by teaching staff from the College, experienced the culture of the West African country, and gained knowledge about public services provision.

This was the seventh year that students from various courses at Weston College have visited this school, and during a visit to Ayr Luton Primary School they discovered the impact of support provided by students from the College over the years.

James Hazzard, Higher Education Quality Manager, who has visited The Gambia on previous trips involving students from the College, said: “It was fantastic to see how much of an impact our visits have had on what was a destitute and impoverished school.

“The school is now full of resources our students have donated through fundraising activities. It was an overwhelming, emotional, yet rewarding experience for all involved.”

During the trip, the students also visited a fishing village, and met with tribe leaders to witness living conditions.

The students were also able to gain exposure to the public services provision including the fire brigade and police, where they received tours, got the chance to use equipment and received lectures on the challenges faced by the public services in a third world country.

The trip was self-funded by the students, with additional funds generously provided by the College to go towards providing stationery and books for Ayr Luton School.

Mark Harvey, Programme Co-ordinator for the FdA in Uniformed and Public Services, which is run in partnership with the University of the West of England, said: “These experiences enhance life skills and contribute towards successful completion of the course and into employment.

“Last year over 30% of the class gained a 1st, which is well above the national average.”