By Peter Witt
Ruskin’s special role is to bring people back into learning who lacked opportunities the first time round, or for who things may have gone wrong, such as becoming homeless.
Dr Louise Livesey, a tutor at Ruskin, said: “Ruskin is unique, there no qualifications needed , just enthusiasm, ideas and to be excited by the subject.”
Ruskin teachers working with Crisis Skylight at 66 Commercial Street London came to Crisis this half-term with a range of different courses so that members could sample the courses that were on offer and get a flavour of what the college was all about. The courses included Wonderful Women, a three day course, and After the Equalities Act are We All Equal, a three day course, and Writing the News a two day course.
Ruskin College was founded in 1899 in response to the elitism of the University of Oxford. It was named after John Ruskin who believed in social changes and not a two-tier system.He encouraged the rich to work doing physical work on their holidays. It opened its doors to working class men, many of whom became statesmen, trade union leaders, and Members of Parliament.
Women started attending the college in 1919 with the ground work being put into action by an American lady called Amy-Lyn Graffin.
Dr Livesey said: “Ruskin being involved with Crisis seemed so natural. It has gone so well this week; I believe we will do this again this summer.” She added: “l feel Ruskin needs to come and see the students so we can discuss the opportunities face to face.”
All Ruskin courses are for adults 19 years of age and over, who have not had higher education. They must be a UK citizen, EU National or have indefinite leave to remain and have lived in the UK for at least three years.
Ruskin college has short courses which include thinking outside the box, writing what you mean and meaning what you write , using the internet and learning to e-mail, and a wide range of long courses which include degrees in social work, English studies, creative writing, international labour and trade union studies, and social sciences.
The Ransackers project gives you a chance to explore something that you feel passionate about and write 5000 to 8000 words, which could be on topics like climate change or ageism.This course can last for ten weeks.
All courses are residential and last either 3 or 5 days. Your stay will include all accommodation and meals for the duration of the course.
There is a small charge of £47 for each 3 day course and £93 for a 5 day course . If you are claiming certain types of benefits you will not have to pay any fees for the short courses. You will work with an experienced enthusiastic adult education teacher.
Ruskin college is funded by the Government body, Skills for All. There could be changes to short courses in sept 2011 following a meeting with Ruskin awarding body.
Ruskin working with Crisis Skylight is a great opportunity for people to change their life and try different courses which may lead to long-term education and opportunities to find rewarding careers and raise their chances to move out of the homeless trap. The most important point is that the members of Crisis are fully aware of this amazing organization an take full advantage of them realising their potential.