Edinburgh College has been nominated in three categories in the Scottish further education sector’s flagship national awards. The College Development Network’s Annual Awards recognise the achievements of staff and students at the country’s colleges.
The college is nominated in the following categories:
- The Changing Colleges Award, for the college’s groundbreaking partnership working agreement with Edinburgh College Students’ Association (ECSA), the first of its kind for one of the country’s newly merged colleges. The agreement formalises how the college and ECSA work together, giving the students’ association a strong voice to influence decision making at all levels of the organisation. This award category recognises leadership and innovation in the development of regional colleges.
- The Equality, Diversity and Inclusion Award, for ECSA’s commitment to reaching, representing and supporting some of the most under-represented and hardest-to-reach groups in the local community. In close partnership with the college, ECSA has developed a range of events and initiatives to ensure that all students are treated fairly and with dignity, and that their rights are respected.
- The Sustainability Award, for the continuing development of the college’s solar meadow project at its Midlothian Campus, which includes an increase in student involvement. The £1.2m, 2,560-panel solar meadow launched in 2013 in partnership with energy firm SSE and generates the equivalent energy for the campus to meet its electricity needs and reduce its carbon emissions by 300,000kg per year. Engineering students have been using data generated from the solar meadow in their studies to learn about renewable energies. This year, the use of the facility as a teaching tool will be expanded and more students from other subject areas will have the chance to use it.
Edinburgh College principal Mandy Exley said: “Receiving three nominations shows the range, quality and creativity of the work our students and staff are doing, and it’s great to receive this recognition from the college community.
“I’m particularly pleased that our close partnership with our students’ association has been commended as we pride ourselves on how students are involved in all aspects of strategic decision making across the college, and how we work closely to make sure they have the best education experience possible. ECSA’s nomination for the equality award is also a great testament to their initiative, energy and dedication to representing all our students effectively.
“The solar meadow nomination reflects the college’s commitment to innovative sustainability projects. Already, it has brought benefits to the college, our students, industry partners and the wider community, and we’re delighted that more students from across the curriculum will have the opportunity to learn from it.”
Last year, Edinburgh College won the College Development Network Awards’ Health and Wellbeing category for its Milton Road Campus Community Garden. The college was highly commended in the Sustainability category for its electric vehicle research project. And it was commended in the Learning and Teaching category for the HND Visual Communication: Graphic Design course’s innovative student induction programme.
This year’s winners will be announced at the College Development Network Annual Awards dinner on 27 November 2014 at The George Hotel in Edinburgh.