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BSDC named as finalist for AoC Beacon Award

Staff and learners at BSDC celebrating making it through as a finalist in the AoC Beacon Awards

Burton and South Derbyshire College (BSDC) has made it through as a finalist in the Internationalism category of the prestigious AoC Beacon Awards.

Association of Colleges’ Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK colleges each year. The award supported by the British Council celebrates a college’s outstanding activities in international cooperation and exchange. The finalist colleges demonstrate how international activity is embedded within the college’s broader aims and illustrate how organisational, staff, curriculum or student initiatives contribute to improved outcomes for students.

BSDC welcomes 300 international learners each year as far afield as East Asia and the USA. Not only does this international provision benefit the international learners, but also those in the wider college community, who have opportunities to expand their cultural horizons and take part in international exchange trips with the College’s overseas education partners.

During the pandemic, BSDC moved all international provision online and not only retained existing partners, but also won new business through innovative new programmes. The international department provided virtual opportunities for domestic learners and host families in the local community to continue to take part in international collaboration during this challenging time.

The College has a network of International Ambassadors who support and mentor international learners on their programme of study. This helps to enhance their world view, while developing key skills for their future careers, such as communication, teamwork, leadership and problem solving. BSDC’s extensive international partnerships also result in a range of cultural opportunities for learners, including trips to China and South Korea.

Dawn Ward CBE, Chief Executive and Principal of Burton and South Derbyshire College said: “We’re delighted to have been named as a finalist for a prestigious AoC Beacon Award. We have worked hard to realise our ambition of becoming a global college to the maximum benefit of our learners, staff and local community. Despite the challenge of the last 18 months, we have continued to embed international experiences into our learner journey, enhancing learners’ skill set, cultural and business understanding and global outlook, better preparing them for success within a globalised economy.”    

Mark White OBE DL, Chair of AoC’s Charitable Trust said: “The AoC Beacon Awards showcase exactly why colleges are so important to every community and why people value them. This award recognises international collaboration and exchange, importantly helping to shape an international mind-set in learners. The work of the finalists and their partnerships overseas show how vital colleges are to maintaining our reputation and connections.”

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