Ragasudha Vinjamuri – Meet one of our Academic Tutor who is spreading the Indian art, culture and heritage across the UK!

“Don’t tell me the sky’s the limit when there are footprints on the moon”               – Paul Brandt

She quotes the above line on her email signature and it truly correlates with her personality! To have a successful and an evolving career is one biggest achievement. But, to have multiple successful careers that too, all running parallel at the same time in your life is something beyond my capabilities to describe.

Meet Ragasudha Vinjamuri – An Academic Tutor at our University. Fellow at the Royal Society of Arts, Member at Commonwealth Journalists Association, Founder of Sanskruti Centre of Cultural Excellence London, The Chairperson for the Public Relations Committee of Hindu Forum of Britain. Yes! She is all this and much more! Ragasudha has Double Postgraduate Degrees – one in Tourism Management, one in Literature and she is working towards a PhD in Tourism Management.

Ever since her childhood days, she has an inclination towards Arts and Literature. She is a professional Bharatanatyam Dancer trained by the revered Dr Uma Rama Rao and has performed in the British Parliament four times; which is a record for any artist! Since 2004, she has been teaching this art from to her students in the UK.  Earlier in Manchester, where she started her initial dance classes and since this summer, she has started Indian folk & classical dance classes at the YMCA in South Harrow, Greater London.  Through her other venture ‘Sanskruti’ she offers cultural education and training in Indian folk dances and Bharatanatyam.  She has also conducted workshops about Hindu Mythology in various schools across London.  Her intention is to try and provide a training platform for children and women to help them build confidence and get inspired.

Ragasudha, an expert of the Telugu language, has written and published various articles, short stories and poems in Telugu. She has successfully transcribed 300 year old Telugu palm leaf folios for the British Library, providing insight into the life and work of the great Hindu Theologian Acharya Ramanuja.  Her work was released at an event in the British Parliament,ragasudha-1 on the 9th of May 2016 to mark the beginning of Ramanuja’s 999th birthday celebrations. It took her over three years to complete this project. She accepted that this was the most challenging task taken up by her so far.  Her daughter was just six months old when she started working for this project, she reminisced about how she juggled between her long visits to the library and her baby.  She is the cultural secretary of ‘Telugu Association of London’ and also is associated with ‘The European Telugu Association and the Telangana NRE Association’. Apart from this, she teaches Telugu language at the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London to PhD students; who have research topics with reference to the language. The superwoman that she is, Ragasudha has also edited the Telugu script of the popular Warner Brothers movie ‘Batman v/s Superman: Dawn of Justice.’ She is responsible for the Public Relations at the Maharashtra Mandal London and is also closely associated with the cultural events conducted by them.

Ragasudha has been felicitated at various events and has a long list of awards to her name. April this year, The Switzerland Telugu Association has conferred upon her the Title of ‘Nrutya Nagaja’ and gave her a citation at Zurich. She has been felicitated by ‘The Bromley and Kent Telugu Association’, for her achievements in the field of art and culture in the past 10 years.  The latest feather in her cap is receiving the prestigious ‘Pravasi Stree Shakti Award’ 2016 at the hands of the Cultural Minister in India. This was a global nomination based process for women who have been contributing exceptionally to social, cultural fabric of India as non-resident Indians abroad. She was the only one in Europe to have received it this year!

When asked about what motivates her in her life, she states that the motivation comes from within her and unless one is self-driven, one cannot achieve their dream. She states, “I’m really proud of my achievements and I’m self-driven. One should be!” She also adds, “I have taken up several different tasks in my life but I always ensure that I excel in everything that I take upon myself.”  She gives full credit of her success to her family – Her husband and her little daughter for their continuous and unified support.

Signing off we would say, Ragasudha is the personification of the Crystal Prism; her inner light makes herself and the people around her bright and colourful.

Article by Ashwini Shah published 

 

 

The University of Sunderland receives national funding to increase the region’s degree apprenticeships

We have been chosen as one of a select group of UK universities to receive funding to support the development of thousands of new degree apprenticeships, beginning in 2017. The University of Sunderland is one of only eighteen universities to receive a share of up to £250k in a £4.5m Government pot, to develop a range of programmes that will provide much needed skills for business and industry.

The Government funding has been awarded by HEFCE to projects focused on boosting the number of degree apprenticeships available. It forms a key part of the drive to strengthen the reputation of on-the-job training by raising standards and creating more high-quality opportunities for young people and adults from all backgrounds.

Working in partnership with leading employers, degree apprenticeship providers will offer 5,200 new opportunities for apprentices and their employers. These new opportunities will be funded through the Government’s Apprenticeship Levy, which comes into effect in April 2017.

Designed by employers, universities and professional bodies, degree apprenticeships deliver high end skills and offer a tailored alternative to a traditional degree course. Bringing together university study with paid work, degree apprentices spend part of their time at university and part with their employer. New degree apprenticeships are set to open the door to hundreds of career opportunities.

Universities and colleges across England have been awarded the £4.5m to develop new degree apprenticeships for students starting in September 2017.

The University of Sunderland, which already offers a degree apprenticeship in BSc Digital and Technology Solutions, will offer programmes in areas such as health care science, nursing, paramedic, cyber security, computing, and chartered management, with further programmes expected to be developed during 2017.

The University has been in detailed discussion for months with a range of North East employers to ensure its programmes fit exactly with their business needs. The University’s work in this area builds on the support already provided for business and industry in the region – be it graduate intern support, knowledge transfer partnerships, research or use of its facilities.

Former Managing Director of Accenture, Bob Paton, who helped set up the University of Sunderland’s first Degree Apprenticeship, BSc Digital and Technology Solutions, said of Sunderland’s approach to collaborating with business: “The North East will be more successful the more young people we have in jobs. For that to happen we need training, education and skill sets that match our economy. There is a big responsibility for training providers to talk to employers to find out exactly what is needed. The University of Sunderland is excellent at that.

“They do a great job in reaching out to employers, who don’t want a one size fits all but something that matches their specific requirement. The University molded a course that was perfect for Accenture, and I know they have for other employers.

 

“The University of Sunderland has really grasped apprenticeships and is making a real difference. Not all universities are doing that.”

University of Sunderland Pro Vice-Chancellor, Professor John MacIntyre, said: “Being one of the eighteen projects to receive funding in this first round of programme development will allow us to continue to collaborate with industry and ensure there are highly qualified individuals with high-level qualifications and on the job experience, who meet regional business needs and requirements and have opportunities for exciting and challenging careers.”

What are degree apprenticeships? 

A degree apprenticeship is a real job where the employer invests in training and the employee receives a first degree during the course of the apprenticeship. Apprentices work for 30 hours a week.

Learning fits around that work commitment and requires flexible learning modes like day or block release, distance or blended learning.

What is the Apprenticeship Levy?

To fund the increase in apprenticeships, the Government is introducing an apprenticeship levy from April 2017.

The levy will amount to a 0.5 per cent tax on the wage bill for employers whose salary costs are £3m or more each year.

It should generate approximately £3 billion a year and levied funds can only be spent on an approved apprenticeship.

 

For more information on degree apprenticeships go to

http://www.hefce.ac.uk/kess/apprentice/faq/#apprenticeship

 

Look, Swirl and Smell – Our Wine Tasting event

To enhance the gastronomy module of the Tourism and Hospitality programme, a wine tasting event was hosted on campus the Wednesday 2nd of November.

It was an opportunity for everyone to increase their knowledge about the different types of wine and the pairing of wine and food. It was great fun and we all learned some interesting new facts! We realised that taking lectures outside the classrooms, bring more value to the module and it also encourages students to get involved in organising those events.

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Sheryl Brown, a Bsc Tourism and Hospitality Top-up student was the one in charge of the wine tasting event. She brought on campus a sommelier from M&S to give a lecture about the wines

Further, a beautiful set up with a black and gold theme was done by the university staff and students. It was a fantastic presentation, with a table filled with cheese, crackers, grapes, olives and chocolates to match the different wines. This got everyone excited to come and join us. It was definitely a fun-filled atmosphere.

Here is a sneak peek of our event…

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