Principal Thoughts – November/December

Posted on: 2015-12-10

Principal Thoughts

Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Principal Thoughts’ in which our UCEM Principal, Ashley Wheaton, discusses the latest college updates and Built Environment industry news from November and December.

Winning E-Learning bronze

I want to start by saying how pleased I was to see that following the UCEM announcement the week prior, we continued the excitement by winning an award the very next week. I was delighted for UCEM to have been nominated for the prestigious E-Learning Awards in two categories – in our first ever year of entering – but to have then won bronze for ‘best online distance learning-programme’ was just tremendous.

The award was presented during the E-Learning Awards gala, on Thursday 25 November, in recognition of our long-standing commitment to the online learning sector. This is further proof of UCEM’s dedication as a leading provider of online learning in the Built Environment industry.

E-Learning Awards said, “A strong team-led approach and excellent project management transferred CEM’s course catalogue online, delivering a significant increase in students who are enjoying richer interactions with their tutors using an enviable VLE. The move happened when the team ripped up their trusted but outdated delivery systems and radically revolutionised their existing business in just 12 months, despite being told it couldn’t be done. CEM’s vision for its centenary year in 2019 is to be the leading vocational online leading university and it has adopted a strategy designed to strengthen course structures and enhance the student experience through technology.”

Well done to the team and everyone who has contributed to this success.

The Apprentice Network turns one

Along with the university college title and the E-learning award, we sponsored the 1st year anniversary celebration of The Apprentice Network on Wednesday 11November. I was joined at the evening reception in Battersea Power Station by guest speakers – Jonathan Ainsley, Head of Estate and Asset Management of Battersea Power Station, and Paul Morrish, Chief Executive at LandAid – in addressing the apprentices about the importance of connecting with their peers.

The Apprentice Network was officially launched on 11 November 2014, by Walé Sanusi and Sammy Kingston – two CBRE apprentices. It was created to encourage apprentices across different industries – such as Property, Construction, Banking, Finance, Law, and Insurance – to create and develop relationships with each other. The network provides a platform that enables apprentices to easily establish key relations at the outset of their careers and share their knowledge and experiences. It’s vital in 2015 for apprentices, and their companies, to ensure they’re always making new industry contacts and enhancing their future careers.

Can BIMBY help tackle the housing shortage?

I’m sure many of you have heard of NIMBY(Not-In-My-Back-Yard)but you might not have heard of BIMBY (Beauty-In-My Back-Yard)? BIMBY– from the Prince’s Foundation for Building Community – supports everyday people taking part in the planning process in a positive way. Its aim is for residents to work with planners and developers on what they would like new housing to look like and what they want to see in their neighbourhood.

The Prince’s Foundation has warned that policy-makers, developers, and architects need to take more notice of what the public wants from its neighbourhoods to help tackle the country’s housing shortage. A recent report released by the organisation – Housing Communities: What People Want – argues that today’s developments need to overcome opposition to new house building in order to pave the way for more homes to meet current demand. It also shows residents are against rapid, exclusive and overbearing urban development – and instead favour street-based housing, walkability, green spaces, and a sense of local identity.

The BIMBY online toolkit has been designed to empower communities to work with planners and developers to create a regional BIMBY housing manual. The manual will give certainty to construction companies that their developments will be popular, grant security to local authorities that new building projects will not go through lengthy appeals, and bring well-being and happiness to communities and their residents.

Tis the season to be merry

And as there’s plenty to celebrate for UCEM and it’s that time of year I thought I’d end with a few photos from our 2015 Christmas Drinks Reception. We were joined by current students and alumni – and special guest, Pauline Traetto Director, of the BRE Academy – at Saint George’s Hotel in London on Tuesday 8 December. A big thank you to everyone who attended…

…and a very Merry Christmas to all.

Xmas drinks reception