शनिवार, 3 अप्रैल 2010
Asha Khemka meets Prime Minister Gordon Brown
The Non-Resident Indian principal of a top UK college has met Prime Minister Gordon Brown at a Downing Street reception to celebrate the highest performing and most quickly improving colleges in England. Asha Khemka OBE, principal and chief executive of West Nottinghamshire College, was one of only ten college principals personally invited to meet the Prime Minister, Business Secretary Lord Mandelson and Further Education Minister Kevin Brennan, out of the 62 colleges represented at the reception. The Mansfield-based college was awarded ‘grade 1: outstanding’ across all inspection categories by Ofsted (Office for Standards in Education) – the government department that inspects and regulates education providers – in July 2008, ranking it one of the best performing colleges in the country. Mrs Khemka, who lives in Burton-on-Trent, Staffordshire, said: “I was honoured to meet the Prime Minister and delighted that he fully recognises the important role that colleges play, both in society and in the country’s economic recovery.” She added: “He was particularly interested to hear about West Nottinghamshire College’s work to get people back into employment and the lead we’re taking to increase the number of apprenticeships.” Mrs Khemka, who was born and raised in Sitamarhi, is the only female college principal in the UK to originate from India. She was married at the age of 15 to19-year-old-medical student Shankar Khemka, of Motihari, and the couple were blessed with three children while living in Patna.In 1978 Mrs Khemka arrived in the UK with her children and her husband, who now works as a senior consultant orthopaedic surgeon at Queen’s Hospital, Burton-on-Trent. She was a full-time housewife for the first 20 years of her married life and returned to her own education as a mature student after raising her children. After completing her studies Mrs Khemka began her career as a part-time college lecturer. Today, she is one of the leading college principals in the UK.Since taking the helm at West Nottinghamshire College in 2006 she has transformed it in size and reputation. It is one of the largest colleges in the UK, with 25,000 students, 1,200 staff and an annual budget of £50 million.