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Thursday 16 October 2014

SU hold Duke of Edinburgh event

On 8 October, the Students’ Union (SU) of Southampton Solent University, the first SU in the South East to become a Directly Licensed Centre for The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award (DofE), hosted Universities and FE colleges from across the South East Region for an information event about The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award.

The event informed attendees of how the DofE programme can help support students in their personal development and enhance their employability. Students are able to achieve a Bronze, Silver or Gold DofE Award through completing a programme of Volunteering, Physical, Skills and Expedition sections, with a fifth Residential section for Gold.

Students participating in their DofE programmes at the University delivered a short presentation about their experience. One participant was second year BA (Hons) Illustration student, Aysha Samrin, an International student from Abu Dhabi, whose experience on the programme has enabled her to add benefit to her degree.

Aysha said: “The Award is a great addition to my University experience, through the Volunteering section I gained work experience, improving my chance of getting a job, I used the Skills section to learn about advanced software specific for my course, whilst through the Physical section I hope to learn to ride a bicycle, something I never learnt to do as a child in Abu Dhabi due to the hot weather.”

Talking about Southampton Solent University’s involvement, Christian Scott, DofE Director for the South East, said: “We are delighted to host this event at the first University in the South East Region to hold a direct licence and welcome them to the network of Licensed Organisations. The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award programme can be tailored to students’ personal interests and ambitions. As well as providing challenging opportunities, the Award is highly valued by employers, providing an ideal transition in to the world of work.”

Vice-President of Student Engagement at Solent Students’ Union, Hannah Mullarky spoke about why the union wanted to get involved in the programme, She said:  “Many students at Solent University carry out volunteering and learn new skills in their spare time, The Duke of Edinburgh’s Award accredits this work to an internationally recognised standard, which carries a lot of weight for employers and is valuable and fun for the students.” Currently 115 students at Southampton Solent University have registered interest in the programme this year.