25 June 2024

The event celebrated the University of Westminster’s partnership with QHT and the funding provided for various projects. Trustees had the opportunity to network with students and staff beneficiaries, gaining firsthand insights into the transformative impact of their generous support.

QHT Trustees, students, project leaders and governors engaged in meaningful interactions, deepening their understanding of the projects funded by QHT this academic year.

The celebration started with an inspiring speech by Professor Peter Bonfield OBE, President and Vice Chancellor of the University of Westminster, who highlighted the Trust’s unique role as a grant maker.

Haile Jones, a Westminster Working Cultures (WWC International) Student Participant, shared how the WWC scheme transformed his university experience.

Speeches were also held by Liz Duff, the new Chair of the QHT Grants Committee, as well as Dan Whyte, who captivated everyone with his incredible journey from prison to pursuing a Ph.D., thanks to QHT funding.

To top it all off, Joel, a first-year student involved in a QHT-funded project titled Performance at the University of Westminster, wowed the audience with a delightful jazz performance.

Some of the Projects on the show included Community and Communities, which aims to strengthen the University’s Equality, Diversity and Inclusion (EDI) offering.

The popular Westminster Working Cultures (WWC) programme, which enhances the employability of Westminster undergraduate students offering free short-term mobility opportunities worldwide and locally.

The revived Soho Poly, rediscovered in 2012 by Dr Matt Morrison and developed with Professor Guy Osborn, aims to match students with mentors to co-create and manage vibrant, innovative community-facing events, supported by various grants including significant contributions from QHT.

(Re)Imagine or (Re)Use, a project where students will gain practical experience in working with a local social enterprise on a live community project, navigating stakeholder requirements, focusing on the circular economy and reclaimed materials in construction, while also acquiring valuable professional skills in architecture and hands-on building techniques, ultimately enhancing their portfolios and employability.

Learning sign language through VR technology (LearnSLVR), an innovative collaboration between the School of Computer Science and Engineering (SCSE) and the International University in Tashkent (WIUT), which aims to create an educational resource combining scaffolded instruction, gamification and advanced technologies to effectively support the learning of the British Sign Language (BSL) alphabet.

Talking about the celebratory event, Liz Duff, Chair of the QHT Grants Committee, said: “All the trustees present were inspired and moved by the student presentations and enormously impressed by the quality of the funded projects on display at the event. It's one of those occasions where you wish you could bottle the energy and engagement in the room! “

The QHT has recently announced that they will support new bids commencing in August 2024 to a total sum of £5.9 million over the next three academic years. The funding will enable the development of projects in areas such as employability, research and knowledge exchange, learning and teaching, equality, diversity and inclusion, wellbeing and student experience.

Talking about the funding announcement, Marius Brodeala, Development and Fundraising Programme Manager, said: “I am grateful to the Quintin Hogg Trust for approving funding for projects starting next academic year. This grant will allow our colleagues to advance their work in crucial areas of the University, such as employability, learning and teaching, and wellbeing, ultimately improving our students’ experience. Thank you to the Trust for their continued support.”

Liz Duff said: “The most important decision the QHT makes each year is the funding for projects and schemes to support students in their education, development, and well-being at the University of Westminster. This year the board approved a grant of almost £6 million starting in the year 2024-25. Not only does this funding support the University’s strategic objectives, but it has a direct impact on student experience through opportunities such field trips, international work experience and funded PhD Scholarships. The Trust looks forward to seeing the outcomes of the 2024-25 award.”

Find out more about the work of the Quintin Hogg Trust.