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FE and HE colleges get royal recognition

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Banff and Buchan College of Further Education, Bridgwater College, The Sixth Form College, Colchester, Greenhead College, Lauder College and Hastings College of Arts and Technology may not have much in common at a first glance, but they were all invited to Buckingham Palace last week to receive awards in recognition of their work to broaden the curriculum, support industry and employment and extend learning opportunities to all.

The Queen's Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education has been awarded every other year since 1994, the prizes scheme having been set up in 1993 by the Royal Anniversary Trust to recognise and honour outstanding achievements by colleges and universities. The Times reports that Greenhead College was nominated for its programme of extra-curricular activities available to its sixth-form level students, who dedicate an afternoon a week to activities as diverse as yoga, community service, Greek and work-shadowing. Bridgwater College was recognised for its work devising outdoor education programmes for children in Somerset, while Banff and Buchan College provides specialised tuition, often delivered on a flexible basis for the fishing communities that surround it. Hastings College of Arts and Technology has created a unique scheme for students from the United Arab Emirates to learn English before progressing to undertake City and Guilds or BTEC programmes in engineering and technology.

Higher Education institutions recognised for their work include the University of Aberdeen, for its work with medical imaging technology and the University of Greenwich, for its work on projects to secure food supplies in the developing world. All the winners met with the Queen herself to receive a gold medal and certificate last Thursday.

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