Open University Validation Success

Michael McAlister, Chief Executive, was delighted to be able to share with the Governing Body the news of the Colleges great success with the Open University over the past few weeks. The College has been successfully validate to offer the following courses in September 2019:

• Foundation Degree and BSc (Hons) in Construction Engineering   Management
• Foundation Degree and BSc (Hons) in Sport and Exercise
• BENG (Hons) in Engineering (Level 6 Top-Up)

Michael stated; “To have achieved Full Institutional Approval and validation for three honours degrees in a seven day period is amazing and demonstrates the drive and commitment of college staff. I would like to pay particular tribute to Liam Curran who has shown outstanding leadership in the process from initial engagement with OU to final delivery of this accolade, this week. We are fortunate to have staff of this calibre in SWC, working for the good of students, employers and the region. I would also like to thank Elizabeth Shackels for the support she has given to teams in the lead up to the validations”.

Congratulations to the three curriculum teams and all the Business Support staff who put so much time and effort into preparing for the validation process.

Erne Campus Developments

Work on our new Erne Campus will continue over the summer and we can expect significant progress by the time the time September comes round.

As we prepare to say goodbye to our fairview campus we ask staff to think over the summer about their memories of the building and to come forward with any special stories they might have. These could included particular events or occasions, or simply memories of time spent at the campus. Send any thoughts or ideas to friday@swc.ac.uk


SWC Campus Breakfast Mornings

After another successful academic year, full of hard work and effort, staff across South West College met for a celebratory breakfast to catch up and enjoy some food, coffee and a table quiz.  It was a lovely morning, which also acknowledge good friends and colleagues leaving in August. All proceeds from the morning went to The Education Foundation for South Sudan. Thanks everyone who contributed. 

Celebration of Success

Congratulations to all our award winners across South West College at this year’s Celebration of Success events!

Special word of thanks to our guest speaker and former student of the college, Peter Donnelly, Head of Strength & Conditioning with Tyrone GAA who attended the celebration in Dungannon. 

Put it in Your Diary: Connect and Plan Day

This years Connect and Plan Day will be on Monday 19th August 2019. There will be no letters issued to home addresses this year regarding this event, so staff are advised to put it in their diaries now.  


Graduate Student receives ‘Mary Breslin Award’

InterTrade Ireland Graduate student John Tully, was recently awarded the prestigious ‘Mary Breslin Award’ for achieving outstanding results while undertaking a postgraduate Diploma in Business and Management.

John received this award having undertaken the InterTrade Ireland FUSION programme, through which he worked with Cavan based company Virginia Medical Supplies. As part of the programme, John led an innovative project which involved the mechanical design of a holding mechanism to locate blister packs as they are filled with the required medication. This holding mechanism was then linked to another machine, with the combination of both being automated through artificial intelligence using computer controlled programming and sensors.

From Left Matthew Quigley, Fusion coordinator South West College, Janet Toal, Innovation programme Manager Intertrade Ireland, Jason Clarke, company supervisor Virginia Medical Services, John Tully, Fusion graduate Virginia Medical Services, Stuart Morrow, Fusion supervisor South West College

During the 18 month project, the South West College’s Innotech Centre assisted John and Virginia Medical Supplies with the completion of a comprehensive R&D programme and design of the mechanical holding mechanism.

Upon the announcement of the award, Matthew Quigley, Fusion Programme Coordinator at South West College said; “This is a brilliant achievement for John, his commitment and innovate approach to the project provided the basis for an excellent outcome. This truly is a pioneering project which could have positive implications within the medical supplies industry throughout the world and we at South West College are pleased to have provided our expertise to such a worthy project.”  

The South West College has now successfully completed numerous FUSION projects with companies across the Republic of Ireland.  The South West College is currently working with companies in counties Cavan, Dublin and Galway to provide support with new product development and process improvements. The South West College also recently tendered for a further FUSION project in County Roscommon.

The FUSION programme is a very attractive opportunity for companies, with support packages worth up to £56,000/€67,900, typically in the area of new product/service development for an 18 month project or a 12 month project worth £39,000/€47,400, typically in the area of process improvement.  It involves 50% funding of the graduate’s employment costs whilst linking the company to the research knowledge that exists within the partner college. 

For further information on the FUSION programme or on the assistance the InnoTech Centre can provide, please contact Matthew Quigley, Fusion Programme Coordinator via phone on 082 822 55223 or email matthew.quigley@swc.ac.uk


Enniskillen / Dungannon XI defeat Omagh

Congratulations to staff from Enniskillen and Dungannon, who defeated staff from Omagh in a penalty shoot out after a tightly fought match at the Omagh Leisure Centre. The Enniskillen and Dungannon men went into an early 2-0 lead, before Ruari Bradley pulled one back for Omagh. Chris McDowell then fired in his second of the game on the half hour mark to make it 3-1. Omagh reduced the deficit to just one before half time and set the scene for a frantic second half, where the leaders pressed for a killer fourth goal, and Omagh tried to draw level. Finally, coming up to the last kick of the game, Ruari Bradley scored his second goal of the game to make it 3-3 and take the match to extra time.

Continuing their momentum from the late equaliser, Omagh struck early in extra time to take the lead for the first time. They failed to hang on, however, and Niall Marlow equalised with just seconds of the game remaining, sending the match to penalties, where the Enniskillen and Dungannon men came out on top, by three penalties to two.

Belgian Catering Students Take on Enniskillen

Six trainee chefs from the Provincial Institute (PIVA) in Antwerp, Belgium, are currently undertaking work-placements in a number of restaurants across Enniskillen The Firehouse Horseshoe Bar and Saddlers RestaurantFranco’s Restaurant Crowes Nest Enniskillen and The Enniskillen Hotel.

This Erasmus+ project, entitled ‘Integration, Apprenticeships and Europass Mobility,’ aims to help students learn about food culture and techniques, to help boost their confidence and ability.

They also learn more about European cultures and using vocational English. The students have also had some time to take in the local sights and attractions across Co Fermanagh.

Meet the Staff: Cheryl Veitch

Cheryl Veitch, Co-ordinator for Level 3 Sport in Enniskillen has been working closely with the design team on the Erne Campus development of the sports facilities.

Cheryl explains, ‘In the past, Sports Courses had a focus on several traditional career paths, such as personal training, PE teaching, fitness coaching and things like that. Now, however, we cover so much more in the curriculum and therefore open up a lot of new opportunities. Students still have those traditional paths, but the introduction of elements such as physiotherapy, radiography and nutrition sciences, mean that sport studies is now a fantastic course for anybody who has an interest in sport, but isn’t completely sure what they want to do yet.’

Read more on Way out West…


Artist Santa Leimane was born in Latvia but spent time studying art at South West College, Enniskillen before moving to Belfast, where she is currently living and working. Specialising in painting, many of Santa’s dramatic large-scale artworks are inspired by the human form and its many complex elements. She recently talked to The Impartial Reporter.

“During my early years I attended Art School besides regular secondary and high school, three times a week for about six years. That was most likely the root for continuing on studying art and looking for routes forward. Since then I’ve had a long journey studying in various schools including South West College in Enniskillen, South Bank University in London, Art Academy of Latvia and Ulster University in Belfast, where I graduated back in 2017.

“I have exhibited my work quite a lot in group shows and juried shows. Some of the highlights for me have been having a Solo Show back in 2017, the Graduate Show at Ulster University and Young Artist of the Year award show earlier this year.

“Currently some of my work is available to view at ArtisAnn Gallery in Belfast and Unique Art Shop based at the University of Ulster.

“At the minute I’m in the early planning stages of a collaboration show for early next year. In the meantime I’m focused on developing some new designs and getting a new body of work on the go.”