Humanities Conference

College hosts annual Humanities Conference

This year’s Humanities Conference and Higher Education Fair took place on Wednesday 5th December and Wednesday 12th December at the Colleges Crewe and Ellesmere Port Campuses.

It was the perfect opportunity for learners to meet some of the UK’s leading universities, speak to representatives about courses, find out about university entry requirements, as well as having the opportunity to speak to our staff about the College’s Higher Education experiences.

Each year over 30 universities attend from across the UK, giving learners the chance to explore their higher education’s options. A number of specific workshops also took part on the day, sessions included topics within Poetry, Law, Geography, English Literature and Language, to help attendees make informed decisions about subject areas, before the main UCAS deadline on Tuesday 15th January 2019.

Neil Borg-Olivier, Assistant Principal Curriculum, opened this year’s event by welcoming guests, before introducing keynote speaker Paul Ward, Professor of Public History at Edge Hill University.

Paul gave an insightful talk about the importance of humanities subjects and the value of them in industry. Paul said: ‘’We think that humanities disciplines like ours have much to contribute to understanding the incredible variety of human experience, as well as equipping our graduates for their personal and professional development, to contribute to the major issues facing humanity in the 21st century.

‘’Humanities foster core skills in research, analysis, cultural literacy, critical thinking, communication and persuasion valued by a wide range of employers.’’

The following Wednesday, 12th December, Simon Stewart, Dean of Faculty – Social and Life Sciences at Wrexham Glyndwr University, opened the Ellesmere Port event, with an inspiring and interactive presentation focusing on how our skill sets need to develop in order to suit the futures ever changing economy. Simon said: ‘’The future economy is constantly changing and in recent years there has been a shift towards critical thinking and creativity. It is essential for learners to develop their skill sets, so they are prepared in these ways.

‘’Teachers need to ensure they are speaking positively into learners lives, as this asserts and confirms potential. It is essential for today’s learners not to settle for second best. Seek out people who will aid your achievements and support your development.’’

Representatives who attended the Fair, included; Keele University, Sheffield Hallam University, Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Derby.

The conference was delivered as part of the Colleges’ Futures Programme. Futures Coordinator at Cheshire College – South & West, Fiona Burgess, commented: ‘’The event has inspired our learners to realise their potential to study at University and to experience exciting workshop delivered by leading academics.

‘’This was the first time we held the event at our Ellesmere Port Campus. It has provided an exciting platform for the learners to explore subjects they may not have considered before.’

The College’s Careers Team organised and led the Higher Education Fair. Lorraine Murray-Fletcher, Admissions, Reception and Careers Lead also commented: ‘’It was delightful to see so many learners interacting at both the conference and the fair

‘’Ensuring learners are exposed to and encouraged to explore their different options is part of our careers strategy, linking back to the Gatsby Benchmarks.’’

Dhesi, Principal and CEO, said: ‘’The event was a huge success and encouraged learners to engage with academics through a unique style of learning.

‘’The idea of bringing together a wide range of leading universities to deliver such an event, stretches the boundaries of raising aspirations.’’

If you are interested in studying at Cheshire College – South & West, or for more information, call 01270 654654 (Crewe Campus) 01244 656555 (Ellesmere Port & Chester Campuses) or visit

College continues successful partnership with University of Oxford

Four honours students at Cheshire College – South & West have attended The Pembroke Humanities and Theology Conference. The event included seminars delivered by current undergraduate mentors from Pembroke College and Corpus Christi College, The University of Oxford, as well as talks delivered by Oxford academics and a presentation skills workshop.

A Level student Agnes Miron, 17, from Northwich, enjoyed the opportunity to focus on the presentation skills workshop, she said: “The workshop was a great experience. I now understand how to deliver my research findings and conclusions with confidence.”

The conference is part of a Pembroke Access Programme and culminates with a summer school for students at Pembroke College in August.

Former Cheshire College – South & West student and current History undergraduate at Pembroke College, Conor Reeves, was one of a team of undergraduate mentors at the event. Conor, who also took part in the Pembroke programme during his A-Level studies, said: “I really value the work that these programmes such as the Pembroke Access Programme can offer to local young people, who may not consider applying to top universities to continue their education.”

Cheshire College – South & West’s Futures Programme Coordinator Fiona Burgess also attended the event, added: “The event provides an exciting platform for students to explore subjects that they may not have considered before, and this really reflected in the superb student presentations that we heard on the final day.”

Cheshire College South & West host Humanities Conference

Cheshire College South & West hosted an inspiring and educational Humanities Conference for students at its Crewe Campus.

The one-day conference provided a unique opportunity for students to learn from leading experts within a wide range of humanities subjects, as well as networking sessions and encouraging knowledge transfer amongst attendees and speakers.

Opening the conference, Lee Smith, College Vice Principal, welcomed guests to the event, and was followed by keynote speaker, Professor Douglas Burnham from Staffordshire University.

Taster sessions included topics within Poetry, Law, Geography, English Literature and Language. The conference entitled ‘Why the Humanities’ was attended by over 200 AS students and introduced the idea of revolutionary thinking.

The seminars gave students an insight into topical subjects and were led by representatives from 15 top universities across the North West, including; The University of Manchester, The University of Oxford, The University of Central Lancashire and Keele University.

The conference was delivered as part of the College’s Futures programme; Futures Coordinator at Cheshire College South & West, Fiona Burgess, explained: “The idea of bringing together a number of leading universities to deliver such an event really stretches the boundaries of raising aspirations.

“The conference was well received by the students and guests and we were honoured to have such a vast array of experts and seminars available for the attendees.

“The purpose of the event was really to showcase how to tackle and deal with the ever-growing challenges of global cultural, social and environmental changes. Such challenges call upon innovative responses and core findings, rooted in the diverse past and ongoing understandings of science, culture, education and sustainability, which the event aimed to address.

“Seminars ranged from topics such as ‘Language Attitudes’ to ‘The Deadly Nature of Stress’, as well as the less-traditional subjects such as; ‘Zombie Neuropsychology’, ‘Nuclear War- Just a big red button, right?, ‘From Blues to Beyonce’ American Studies and ‘The History of Mental Health Care’ 18th 19th Century.”

The day concluded with a networking session and admissions fair in the College’s award-winning restaurant, The Academy, enabling students to talk directly to the guest speakers.

Sarah Bradley, Assistant Director of A-Levels at Cheshire College South & West also commented: “The event was a huge success and really encouraged students to engage with academics through this new style of learning. With over 30 subject topics to choose from, many students chose to explore non-traditional subjects, which they may not have previously considered.

“We are now planning our next conference for STEM with the help of our students, who have already provided great feedback to help inform and shape next year’s event.”