November – December 2018

Christmas Window

During week commencing Monday, 20th November the students from Colchester Institute installed a student design created for the Christmas window of Bethell & Clark Opticians in Colchester Town Centre (see image).  The design was created by students on the Level 3 Diploma in Art & Design as part of their GAP activity.

Charlie is commended …

Charlie Teager-Neale did really well in the UK Finals of World Skills UK competition in Birmingham recently.  He was in the top 7 students in the country and narrowly missed out on a medal.  He was commended by the lead judge for the quality of his work and was asked to re-enter next year with a further year’s experience under his belt.  Charlie has already said that he will treat this year as a trial run and now that he knows what to expect from the competition “is not coming home without a medal next time”.

Following this, in mid-December, the Team UK competitors who will be going to Russia next year for the world competition spent a few days at Colchester Institute working alongside our own students as part of their readiness testing for the international competition.

UCC Digital Media

The BA Hons Computer Games students visited the “Game Anglia” convention in Suffolk and BA Hons Digital Film Production have been testing out our new 360 degree video camera in VR mode and 3D. We look forward to the official launch of a brand new Gaming Design Suite especially developed for our degree students in this field.

UK Border Force Visit

On Thursday, 15th November the UK Border Force visited the Public Services students.  The day was informative and of great benefit; especially to the second-years, many of whom have expressed a strong interest in applying for a career with the Border Force following the presentation.

The Public Services team are very keen to forge closer relations with the team at Stansted in order to foster possible career paths into the Border Force for our students as they complete their study programmes.

London Short Film Festival

Braintree Level 3 Film and TV students have created short films for the London Short Film Festival 90 Second Horror Challenge. A number of the students’ films have been shortlisted and will be screened at Café 1001, Brick Lane, London on Monday, 26th November.

Inspiring Advanced Cutting demonstration

Session artist, Ross Taylor, from Options Hairdressing Salon came to Colchester Institute and carried out an inspiring advanced cutting demonstration for Level 2 and 3 Hairdressing students. (Pictured right)

Salon Studies Workshops

Dermalogica recently visited the Level 2 and Level 3 Beauty Therapy students to deliver a series of professional workshops to further enhance their skills and knowledge.  The students found the workshops extremely interesting and informative.

London Excel for Salon International

Salon Studies students got the opportunity to travel to London Excel for Salon International (the UK’s biggest hairdressing event) recently to see all the latest trends techniques in the industry to educate and inspire.

Singing around Essex

UCC Music and Performing Arts have been singing around Essex during November.  The Music and Film Music Degree Choir performed a Remembrance Concert at Stisted Church and the Musical Theatre Choir performed at Chelmsford Cathedral.

Business students developing Networking and Entrepreneurial skills

On 15 November 2018 a group of Business Level 3 students competed in an exciting entrepreneurial activity ‘Aspirations in Business’ against 5 other schools/colleges in Essex at Felsted School.  Four students, Zak Johnson-Hardcastle, Frankie O’Brien, Megan Potter and Ben Robins won not only prestigious membership of Institute of Directors (IoD) for a year but are also invited to join Directors of successful businesses from all over Essex at their next breakfast meeting with Eddie ‘the Eagle’ Edwards.

Exciting news to share about Freya …

Freya Brown who was a Level 3 Dance student at Colchester Institute graduating in 2017 has recently been chosen to perform with Matthew Bourne in his new production of Romeo and Juliet premiering in May 2019.  She successfully auditioned from over 1000 applicants and 6 young dancers were chosen for each venue of the tour.  Freya has been working hard rehearsing in preparation for her role whilst continuing her studies at Rambert where she is currently in the 2nd year of her Degree.

In addition, Freya will be performing in Norwich at the Theatre Royal from 3rd to 7th September 2019.  We are so proud of Freya’s achievements and some of former teaching team will be there to support her for her first professional role.  Well done.

Art Auction

BA Fine Art and selected BA Photography Year 3 Students organised and curated a highly successful Art Auction at the Three Wise Monkeys in Colchester on the 15th November 2018.  Students collated and curated works from generous artwork donations by staff, students, alumni and artists as part of an evening Art Auction, Limited Edition tote bags for sale, a Raffle and live music from Danny Salfairso’s Keepers of Time.

Across the evening, £1520 was raised. This was a fantastic achievement and an excellent, well organised evening, which was completely student led.

This has made a significant contribution to the costs of being involved in the Art Week at FREE RANGE, which totals £3360.  A season of graduate art, design and photography exhibitions, held every summer at the Old Truman Brewery, London.  3,000 students take over 3 floors of warehouse space showcasing their work, with exhibitions changing weekly.  Free Range includes workshops, talks, and awards, forming the largest creative graduate showcase in Europe.

Cyrus Todiwala reveals Zest Quest Asia 2019 finalists

On 29th November 2018 six colleges made the final round of Zest Quest 2019.  Moving forward to the final cook off are Colchester Institute, Farnborough College of Technology, New City College, North Hertfordshire College, University of West London, and Westminster Kingsway College.

The winners will be announced at the Zest Quest Asia 2019 Gala Dinner and Awards Night on Friday, 8th February 2019 at the London Heathrow Airport Terminal 5, following the cook off to be held earlier in the day at the hotel’s signature restaurant, Mr Todiwala’s Kitchen.

Zest Quest Asia was founded in 2013 by Cyrus and Pervin Todiwala in collaboration with the Master Chefs of Great Britain.  Since then, over 100 colleges have entered the competition, which aims to raise the profile of Asian cuisine among aspirant student chefs.

Cyrus Todiwala OBE said, “One of the difficulties of judging a rigorous competition like Zest Quest Asia is we get some truly impressive entries and it’s a challenge for us judges to come up with a shortlist.  But my fellow judges and I would like to thank and express our admiration for all the colleges that submitted entries as this showed their ambition to go beyond what is sometimes expected of them.  Best of luck and congratulations to the finalists.  We expect great things from all of you in February next year.”

Multiple Projects Launched as part of UCC BFA Digital Research Platform

You are invited to visit the newly developed digital research platform, developed in conjunction with Students and Staff of the BA Fine Art undergraduate programme, which is now online at

This digital space is part of the BFA research programme at University Centre Colchester’s School of Art, the purpose of which is to allow students, staff and an invited programme of artists to document, facilitate and test research interests related to contemporary fine art practices in a digital format. The space will provide students with invaluable experience of developing and realising digital projects, individually and collectively, informing both their practice and theory.

To coincide with the website launch the first project is now available to experience online.

DOC 0.1 is an open access collaborative project.  Across 2018-19 UGO 0.2 will allow users to edit: remove. add. alter. the online word processor document Doc 0.1, while collaborating with other users in real-time. The project intends to investigate digital collaborative processes, ideas of authorship, ownership and procrastination.  The outcomes generated across the rolling document will form a series of limited edition prints.  You can edit the artwork here: >>

Forthcoming projects across 2018-19 programme include digital projects by UCC Alumni and commissioned artworks by selected artists, all curated and developed by students and staff.

Art and Design students residential trip to York

35 Art and Design students from the Art Foundation and Extended Diploma in Fashion and Textiles courses recently went on a residential trip to York supporting their recent projects ‘Costing the Earth’ and ‘Made in England’.

Staying in the centre of York allowed students to explore the rich history surrounding the city, visiting the impressive York Minster, the iconic city wall and the famous Christmas markets along with an informative trip down the River Ouse.  In addition to this we ventured out to the Yorkshire Sculpture Park, Cromford Mill and The Hepworth Gallery.

These excursions gave the students a fantastic opportunity to view and respond to, a wide range of art work in different settings and contexts as well as learning about the very first developments in relation to mass production and industrialisation within the textiles industry.

Keith Fletcher Awards

One of our Access to Higher Education students, Michael Allport has been selected as the College’s nominee for Outstanding Academic Achievement 2017-18 at the Keith Fletcher Awards.  The next stage is that the judges will look at the applications for all the nominees across all Access Validating Agencies (AVAs), before choosing a winner in that category to be awarded at the finals in March.

Gateway Qualifications have organised a prize for Michael for coming top in their choice for nominee in this category.  Congratulations Michael.

Grohe visit Colchester Institute

Grohe came to the Plumbing Department at Colchester campus for 2 days last month.  Grohe is a leading global brand for complete bathroom solutions and kitchen fittings and a global brand, dedicated to providing innovative water products.

With the help from Chris Penny, Grohe’s Trainer, all learners who attended on these days (including learners based at Braintree and Clacton campuses) were given lessons and demonstrations on the Grohe products.

This visit also included a lesson for our adults in our workshop on the installation of boiling taps and filtered water taps.  Grohe kindly donated products to the Plumbing Department, which can be installed or used as learning aids in the classroom.

Congratulations to George …

The annual Essex Construction Training Association ECTA Awards took place on 12th December and we are delighted to announce, George Thompson, who is a CITB Level 2 Carpentry Apprentice, received an award for the following category:

Apprentice Award – Carpenter at Rose Builders – won in the Trades category

George was most complimentary of his experience at Colchester Institute and speaks of his tutor, Adam Ferguson, fondly.  He is looking forward to his Level 3 Carpentry Apprenticeship.  Well done George.

Century of the Armistice artwork

On 30th November staff at our Braintree campus were joined by talented students from the Foundation and Supported Learning department to watch the unveiling of a beautiful piece of their artwork, to commemorate the centenary of the Armistice.  This has been permanently installed outside the Conference Centre in the STEM Innovation Centre at the campus and features in particular personal stories of local people during the First World War.

Career Ready students learn about …

Level 3 Career Ready Computing students learn about £100K+ jobs working within a dynamic new Blackberry infrastructure at their London HQ and Networking and Communication at the Salesforce HQ!

First Women only swimming session

Members of Colchester Institute ESOL Department have recently been involved in Colchester Citizens, an organisation made up of a diverse range of civil society organisations across Colchester.  After more than a year of negotiating with Colchester Leisure World, the first truly women-only swimming session, staffed by female lifeguards, took place on the evening of Wednesday, 5th December.  The lack of women-only sessions is an issue which has prevented many women in Colchester from accessing swimming and the many health benefits that it brings.

The session was great fun and a resounding success with 46 paying guests, accompanied by at least that number of children.  Below is a picture of just a few of the participants who were happy to be in a photograph.  Further sessions will be held on the first Wednesday of every month at Leisure World between 6.30pm and 8.00pm.  Women over 16 pay £6 while children under 16 go free!

Business students visit France

40 Business students from Braintree and Colchester campuses spent 4 exciting days in France at a Business Convention run by Walt Disney Company.  They experienced the marketing and IT strategies of this global company, visited Paris, took a cruise on the Seine at dusk and went on some exhilarating rides!

Christmas Carols

Degree students from Music Education and Film Music entertained staff and students on Thursday 13th December with a selection of Christmas Carols performed around campus, directed by Simon Warne. It was a lovely peaceful moment in an otherwise very busy week.