25 Mar 2019 Last updated at 15:00

Youth Conference 2019

More than 120 young people, experts and industry leaders gathered in Cowes to discuss the Island’s higher education at the 2019 Youth Conference.

The Isle of Wight Council is gathering the views and ideas of young Islanders to take forward and help direct the future of higher education on the Island.

The council is leading a local steering group to focus on improving access and provision of top-quality higher education, including degrees and equivalent qualifications.

Students from schools and colleges were invited to hear presentations before joining in with an interactive exercise to design, market and brand a possible Isle of Wight Higher Education Campus.

Education providers including the University of Southampton, University of Portsmouth, Isle of Wight College, Platform One, UKSA and HTP Apprenticeship College were there to show students some of the many ways to follow a degree-level course without moving to the mainland.

Degree-standard education on the Isle of Wight is already a growing part of the Island’s education sector.

Students are following a range of post A-level education courses on the Island, while local universities have a strong presence.

Delegates heard inspiring stories from people who had gained an education on or off the Island and used it to succeed in business and public service here.

There was even a song from local musician and Strings Bar and Venue proprietor Claydon Connor, who explained how he’d come from studying at Platform One College of Music to be owner of the popular Newport performance space.

The event follows on from the successful youth conference in 2018.

Kyle Clinch, a student from Ryde Academy Sixth Form, said: “It was eye opening to see the opportunities we already have on the Island.

“I wasn’t aware of all the things you could go on to do after a typical education here.”

Councillor Paul Brading, Cabinet member for children's services, education and skills, said: “I was delighted to launch the conference and see the overwhelmingly positive response from the young people there.

“We’re certainly going to be taking on board the many ideas and concepts that came forward at the event, and I have no doubt that some of the people in that room could be the future leaders of businesses and organisations on the Island that would make those plans into a reality.”

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Local architect Lindsey Mattison works with students at the conference
Local architect Lindsey Mattison works with students at the conference
Factfile
  • Education providers including the University of Southampton, University of Portsmouth, Isle of Wight College, Platform One, UKSA and HTP Apprenticeship College were present.
 
Isle of Wight, UK