December 2018

International rugby player on bill for uni open day

Read time: approx 3 mins

Leading international rugby player Maggie Alphonsi MBE will be one of the leading lights at University College Birmingham’s All Stars Open Day this weekend. 

This Saturday 8 December, Maggie will be sharing top billing with lots of other familiar faces, including a Love Island contestant turned entrepreneur, an extreme cake maker, husband and wife wilderness experts and a leading Birmingham restaurateur. 

Ten speakers have now been confirmed for the event aimed at students contemplating a degree. The open day will consist of a series of talks covering the subjects offered at the University – from bakery to business and from hospitality and tourism, health and social care to aesthetics. Lecturers will also be on hand to answer any questions. 

Organiser Paula Bates said: “It can be daunting choosing which degree course to study, particularly when there is so much at stake in terms of costs and expectations. We pride ourselves on the quality of our teaching and the range of vocational degrees we can offer and it’s a massive boost for prospective students that we can bring in such high calibre speakers to talk about their first-hand real-life experiences.” 

Boosting career opportunities

The event comes on the back of research carried out by SPCE Labs, the research arm of student lettings app SPCE, which asked more than 2,000 people across the UK what the key factors were when choosing which university to attend. While the actual course and its delivery topped the list, the university’s perceived ability to boost career opportunities also figured in the top three. 

Young entrepreneurs will be able to hear from Calvin Klein model and Love Island star Jamie Jewitt, who is an expert in marketing and branding and about to launch his own company, details of which will be unveiled at the open day. 

With wife Christine, Phil Jensen already runs a successful business, Peboryon, an amazing cake company based in Cornwall. He will talk to budding bakers about his role in the hit TV programme Extreme Cake Makers. 

Potential chefs will be well catered for with leading Birmingham restaurateur Aktar Islam giving an insight into what life is like running city centre eaterie Opheem, while travel blogger Kasha Bhattacharya has a legion of fans who follow his online tips and advice. Anyone interested in event planning are sure to be inspired by Liz Taylor, who has arranged parties for the rich and famous including Gary Barlow and Prince William. 

There are few in the world of women’s rugby who can match the achievements of England international Maggie Alphonsi MBE, who will have many a tale to tell from her extensive career with club and country, while wilderness experts Nick and Louise Goldsmith, who appeared on Karren Brady’s Give It A Year TV programme, have extensive experience of working in the education sector. 

Annie Monnox knows hospitality inside out having been catering general manager at the Genting Arena for the past six years, while aesthetics practitioner Ron Myers was involved in the launch of Botox® into the UK market place in 1994. 

Book your place

Interested in attending the open day? You can choose from either a 10am or a 11am talk, each speaker taking the stage for a 45-minute talk followed by a Q&A, where you have the chance to quiz our high profile guests. To book your place, visit (places are limited).

There will also be a chance to network with complimentary refreshments available for prospective students and their family members throughout the day.

For more information, email

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