Quintin Hogg Trust Grants update for 2020/21- progress despite the pandemic


The Quintin Hogg Trust Grants Committee gifts the sum of approximately £5,000,000 to selected projects throughout the University on an annual basis – all projects go through a rigorous selection process and are monitored throughout their lifetime. Below is a selection of some of the ongoing projects which have taken place over the last year despite the pandemic.

Employability of students continues to be a significant theme and many projects are aimed at increasing their employability in a number of ways, including “Field trips” and “Westminster Working Cultures,” programmes which exposes students to the wider labour market - virtually. The students have commented on how important these programmes have been and it is noted that in some cases it has been possible to visit locations which would not have been accessible on a face-to-face basis. It is intended to provide a mix of virtual and real experiences over the next academic year.

The “Inclusive Enterprise Programme” continues to widen entrepreneurial skills across all colleges and a number of projects undertook useful collaborations with employers and the community. These included the “Student Law Clinic” and the Windrush Justice Clinic. “Let’s Build”- students worked on the design of a new play-space and community centre, collaborating with schools, the local Council and community groups. “Lumiere 125” also engaged with schools and “Bees in the City” has recruited 51 families in a Citizen Science project. “The Talenthub” has been set up to support students in gaining employment and providing a digital assessment centre to help the student anticipate the recruitment process.

The Employer Mentoring scheme continued to expand and the 125 Fund was again very helpful to students. Support for fund-raising for the development of a new iconic Enterprise and Innovation Hub led to valuable contributions, with work for students to enhance employability, and over £600,000 of funding from external sources.

Wellbeing also continues to be an important theme. Due to the pandemic many part-time jobs disappeared which led to some students suffering financial difficulties. Support through the “Living Expenses Support Scheme”, the “Covid 19 Hardship Support” and The Talent Bank” proved essential in ensuring students were able to continue with their studies. Mentoring support continued for students with disabilities, to ensure all students have equal provision, as well as training to help staff and students support individuals with mental health problems also continued. Alongside this training has taken place to help boost confidence and develop resilience in both students and staff. “Your Potential, Your Success” has now supported over 1300 Foundation students over the three years of operation. The “Cavendish Hub” project developed an attractive and flexible space for student use at the Cavendish site; it is anticipated this will be greatly appreciated when it comes into full use in the coming year. The University of Westminster Student Union project “Digital Representation Transformation” has been very timely with over 5,800 students having accessed the digital communication to raise their enquiries and concerns, with a greater than anticipated level of resolution. The UWSU “Sports Participation and Elite Athlete Programme” project was able to extend the uptake of sports even throughout the pandemic by working online and is in a strong position to take this forward with increased impact over the next two years.

A number of innovations in the curriculum have taken place. “Antibiotics under the Sea”, “Gene Editors of the Future” and the “New Writing Festival” have brought students into close contact with professionals and provided experiences they otherwise could not have had, hence gaining new knowledge and skills which support employability. “Prisoner-University Partnerships at Westminster” provided teaching and mentoring for students in prison, and during the pandemic was able to continue.

Dr Ann Rumpus – Chair of QHT Grants Committee
“Despite the impact of the Covid-19 epidemic some very successful project work has continued and the University of Westminster is to be congratulated on its ongoing resourcefulness in adapting and maintaining its work. It is gratifying that the level of student participation in project design and delivery continues to be high and that several projects, once the QHT funding has finished, will now be supported by the University”.