Student conference “The Future is Bright” goes virtual

16th April 2021

Solihull College & University Centre’s student voice executive committee recently delivered their annual conference entitled “The Future is Bright” attracting a wide range of students and staff across campuses. 

Packing in a whopping 11 workshops over the course of one week, students delivered the virtual sessions via Microsoft Teams. With topics such as “How sustainable are you?”, “Anti-racism” and “Technology & Innovation”, the workshops aimed to educate both students and staff on the issues and matters affecting us today. 

A banner for the event. This year's conference was unique as it was created by the students for the students.
This year's conference was unique as it was created by the students for the students.

Fatima Mai-Bornu, Black & Ethnic Minority Officer explained: “We’ve considered the situation we’re currently in and wanted to spread knowledge. The workshops aim to keep people informed over things that have happened in lockdown, such as the Black Lives Matter protests, as people tend to think they know things but they’re missing a lot of essential facts.” 

Explaining why this year’s student conference was named “The Future is Bright” Akram Afsar, Disabled Students’ Officer commented: “Eventually lockdown will be a distant memory and we wanted to offer our peers a message of hope in this uncertain time.”  

The students used a variety of ways to make the workshops interactive by including tests and quizzes, asking for participant input, allowing for Q&A sessions at the end and pointing participants to the many resources available on the College’s Student Hub. 

Five Students chat on a teams meeting.
The student voice executive team spent months planning the informative and inspiring conference

The week-long conference came to an end with a workshop on “Hidden Disabilities” in which students described their positive experience at the College, from the support they’ve received by tutors to the general environment being a safe space for them.  

Green & Sustainability Officer, Becka Drew remarked: “It has been wonderful getting to do such a big event. I never thought I would have the chance to raise awareness for something I am so passionate about. The event has given us the opportunity to work hard, and it is amazing the amount of trust and support the staff has given us and the fact that we can work together and make something we are proud of.” 

Annie Figgit, Stratford-upon-Avon Officer says: “I’m so glad I signed up to be student rep as I have loved to be able to do the student conference. It’s been good fun. Grace [Student Enrichment Co-ordinator] and the whole enrichment team are always there to help, and you can always depend on your fellow exec members too.”