Congratulations to University of West of Scotland of their nomination success in the Herald Higher Education Awards

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Congratulates to University of West of Scotland in their nomination success in The Herald Higher Education Awards, on the 16th of July in the Grand Central hotel in Glasgow.  The university received two nominations in the ‘Outstanding Contribution from a Student’ category as well as being shortlisted in the ‘Outstanding contribution to the local community’ category. University of Glasgow has also been shortlisted in categories such as: Student Support Team of the Year, Academic Support Team of the Year  , Research Project of the Year, Outstanding Employer Engagement – supported by SQAWidening Access Award  – supported by Scottish Funding Council.

The Herald Higher Education Awards, which are being run in association with UWS, will recognise the high standard of education that is offered throughout Scotland, and the level of learning that is produced every year. They will also highlight how institutions develop innovative materials and methods in their teaching and explore how colleges and universities market themselves, engage with employers, support students and their focus on sustainability.

The awards, which aim to help to build future excellence by facilitating the sharing of good practice and help to raise the status of learning and teaching in Scottish higher education, received 103 entries from 26 different institutions across Scotland.

Commenting on the response to the awards, which are supported by UWS, Professor Craig Mahoney, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of UWS, said: “The interest in this competition is fantastically energising and the quality and breadth of entries from across the sector is quite astounding; a true reflection of the calibre of Scotland’s higher education sector.”

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Intern’s article -Teun Kokke working in the HelloUni team

I am Teun Kokke and am a student at the University of Edinburgh.

After my Skype interview with Olivia, Yoyu and William, I was invited to come to work and cooperate with the team of ICAN Future Star, working on their first project HelloUni.

My internship started on the 19th of June which is when I started exploring the programming language Javascript, in order to work on the backend of their web- and mobile application.

Due to my past experience with programming languages I managed to pick up the pace very fast, and along with Yoyu’s support, code pattern matching and puzzling, I managed to successfully implement a few simple API endpoints on the first day.

After having proven myself a “worthy” member of the team, my to-do list quickly grew due to the tight deadlines of the start-up and the lurking mischief by potential concurrence.

No resolute working hours were discussed (I do believe that they would typically accept 10AM to 6PM days). However as long as I would manage to solve the tasks in time, under supervision of Yoyu (who works mostly on the front-end), Olivia would be happy.

This meant that there was quite a bit of freedom in working hours and days (Sometimes 10-hour work days for 6 days straight in one week, and then 4 days on another).

In my case I work closely together with Yoyu as she gives me tasks (i.e. her desires with regard to the “backend”), and provides general guidance in case I get stuck, or ask for help with something the software-engineers would call “best practices”.

As we worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS), I have learned a lot about Amazon’s database system and how sometimes (to my idea) inconvenient it can be to query for data stored inside dynamoDB. There are many limitations with the service due to Amazon’s aim of keeping their service (as well as ours) scalable, for which Yoyu and I therefore have spent a fair amount of time brainstorming, in attempt to find efficient workarounds which can also be efficiently re-used in the future.

Aside of the strong Asian-level work ethics, both provided and enforced by Olivia, working with her and Yoyu is great fun. We all arrive from different areas of the country for frequent meetups at the office, to work and discuss each other’s progress, and occasionally go out together for meetings, lunch and coffee as we gossip about each other’s connections.

Overall it is an amazing work experience, especially as a novice JavaScript programmer. The tasks are not too complicated, but enough provide the feeling of achievement when I can yet again press the “resolved” button.

Despite the tight deadlines, we consistently plough through the progress in a smooth fashion; and soon enough a super sexy and adaptable platform will be released to serve those who want to provide their students with a live interactive social application including i.a. information, tools and guidance about the university, country and settlement.