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Adult education scheme nominated for award
AN Oxford Brookes University project to educate adults in deprived areas of Oxford has been nominated for a national award.
The Brookes Bridges project runs 22 free adult education taster courses in community centres and colleges around Oxfordshire.
For this, the scheme has been nominated in the Commitment to Widening Participation category of The Guardian University Awards.
In the most run-down areas of the city and Oxfordshire these courses are encouraging adults into education.
The awards recognise universities which have “taken exceptional steps towards addressing the differences in take-up of higher education opportunities across different social groups”.
Project manager of the Brookes Bridges courses Sobia Afridi said she was delighted the project was chosen.
She said: “It sounds corny and clichéd but the course is amazing. It really is a fantastic course so it’s exciting we have been recognised with a reward.
“The beauty of it is that they are run in these communities where people want them.
“The students change as their confidence builds and they start to play an important role in their community.”
Nazar Yousif was one student to reap the rewards of the project.
The 45-year-old East Oxford resident, who is originally from Sudan, took two Brookes Bridges courses. After his project management course at Rose Hill Community Centre in 2010 for 10 weeks, Mr Yousif decided to carry on in further education.
He was accepted to study International Labour and Trade Unions at John Ruskin College in Headington.
Mr Yousif said: “It is the flexibility which made it so good. The teaching comes to the people. One of the great things is the confidence building. It helped a lot with that.
“There were also a lot of housewives in the class. It helped a lot with their confidence building too. The course is helping me in a career and did help me make that decision to carry on education.
“When I came to Oxford in 1996, I worked in fast food, retail and manufacturing in Abingdon. The course helped me to go towards the ladder of managerial jobs.
“I am going to college and I’m really looking forward to it.”
The winners of The Guardian University Awards will be announced on February 27.