CAVC Alumni Officer Portia Nicholson and Principal and Chief Executive Mike James

CAVC first in Wales to set up FE alumni network

14 November 2014

Cardiff and Vale College first in Wales to set up FE alumni network

Cardiff and Vale College (CAVC) is set to become the first further education institution in Wales to establish an alumni network that will bring value and opportunities to former and current learners.

The College has appointed an Alumni Officer, Portia Nicholson, who is developing the network set to be launched in the New Year. Former students are invited to pre-register online to be among the first to find out about the benefits and opportunities on offer.

CAVC Principal & Chief Executive Mike James said: “As the only Welsh college in the Gazelle Group of entrepreneurial colleges, CAVC focuses on the truly important issues of student progression and outcomes. We are not a qualifications factory where people come in, get a certificate and leave – we are a skills machine equipping people with the enterprising zeal to bring instant value to any employer.

“We are currently looking to engage with our former students to not only inspire current learners but to also provide them with access to a vibrant network of fellow employers and professionals across the region.

“In addition, CAVC Alumni members can choose to share good practice whilst also motivating and encouraging young people across Cardiff and the Vale to fulfil their potential to the benefit of the community and the economy.”

CAVC Alumni will have an important role to play for current and prospective students, acting as ambassadors for the College while sharing their knowledge and experience with learners to help them make the right choices. They will be able to offer valuable work experience and mentoring opportunities to existing students of the College.

The CAVC Alumni Network will give former students exclusive free access to benefits and discounts, events and networking opportunities to enable people to keep in touch with their former college. It is open to all former students from Coleg Glan Hafren and Barry College – the two merged to form CAVC in 2011 - regardless of whether they studied either further education or higher education courses, part-time, full-time or apprenticeships.

“When a student leaves Cardiff and Vale College, we don’t want our connection with them to end,” Portia – an alumnus of the College herself - explained. “This is about more than simply sending former students a newsletter once or twice a year. We want to know how our students get on and progress and we also believe that our former learners can pass on invaluable assistance, advice and information to the next generation.

“If you are a former learner, register on the CAVC website to be one of the first to find out about the development of our Alumni Network and take advantage of the exclusive benefits on offer – we can even offer support with reunions! This exciting new step is a first for Wales and will include innovations such as guest lectures, placements, mentoring and events – all of which will be of immense benefit to both former and current students.”

Former students of Cardiff and Vale College include Shelim Hussain MBE, entrepreneur and founder of Eurofoods. He set up his first business while studying at the College.

“Setting up a network for former students of CAVC is a fantastic idea,” Shelim said. “It gives us a wonderful opportunity to keep the community spirit, which we all felt while at the College, alive.”

Another former student who is excited by the idea of an Alumni Network is Rachel Mulqueen. The successful ceramic artist said she would enjoy to keep in touch with the College and inspire students.

“I think the Alumni Network is a brilliant idea,” Rachel said. “It’s nice to know that when you finish studying you still have the support of CAVC.

“I would love to get involved as I had a very positive experience at the College. The teachers are fantastic so I would definitely be willing to help support them and future students by sharing my experiences.

“I loved my time at the College. I formed good relationships with all of my teachers which helped make learning more fun. I made lots of new friends, and I still keep in contact with some of them which helps keep me connected to my practice.

“My time at CAVC has benefited me as I now have a qualification in something that I love. I plan on turning my passion into a career and without CAVC this would not be possible.”

Alumni of Cardiff and Vale College can pre-register online in the alumni section of the College website.