CONEL’s Access to Computing students take their study seriously. Seriously enough to request a mentor to support them with structural programming units and help them build their Java skills. And recently they have got a fantastic mentor, Stanislav Ivanov, a CONEL alumnus.

A 2017 CONEL Excellence Award winner, Stanislav is now in his second year at King’s College University studying for a Computer Science degree. Despite his extremely tight timetable, Stanislav comes in every Friday to run programming workshops and support the students. As he explains: “I enjoyed my time while I was at CONEL and really appreciated the help that I received from all the teachers and the staff here. I just wanted to return the favour and help other students.”

Coming back to college has advantages for both Stanislav and the students who he supports. “I bring my perspective as a student who has been to CONEL, so I know what their course is like. But I can also share some of the knowledge and skills that I am learning at university, and I think it help the students prepare better for university.

“University is a serious jump from college. At Kings you have far less time with tutors as the classes are a lot bigger and you also have to be able to manage your time more than at college.”

The Java workshop that Stanislav runs, covers Java programming. It includes a basic introduction to Java, why it is important and how to install the required software. Stanislav I work alongside the class tutor to makes sure my workshop fits with the main teaching and the main concepts in Java which we do in our first year at university.

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Stanislav Ivanov (standing) with Access to Computing students Gabriel De La Paz and Andreea Croitoru.


Java is a useful programming language for students to learn, not just because it is used in around 3 billion devices around the world, from desktop PCs and supercomputers to gaming consoles, mobile phones, but because it is a route into learning other, newer and future programming languages. As Stanislav explains, “Learning the skills to programme a language like Java enables you to develop your grasp of logic and it helps you to learn other programming languages more quickly and efficiently.”

The students are very appreciative of his support. One student, Ashley told us: “Stanislav’s workshops have helped a lot. He brings a different perspective, as he’s been in our shoes himself. He tends to skip over some of the simpler concepts, so the workshops go at a faster pace, which is good. They are giving us a lot more confidence for our main lessons with our tutor.”


Your next steps

Did you study at CONEL? You could inspire our students! We are looking for ex-students from any subject to help support our current students. Contact the college or your old class tutor for more details on how you could help.

You could follow in Stanislav’s, Ashley’s, Andreea’s or Gabriel’s footsteps on our Access to Computing level 3 course, which gives students the skills and knowledge that they will need to study computing or ICT at university. You’ll learn about web site design, Java programming and programme design, computer networks, databases and mathematics, as well as presentation and seminar skills.  Find out more here:


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