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First winner for new UK FE award

A new award for international collaboration in UK further education (FE) has been won by South West College in Northern Ireland for a tri-national tourism and hospitality seminar that it co-hosts with college counterparts in Germany and the USA.

Students and staff from the USA, Germany and UK pictured with Damian James of South West CollegeStudents and staff from the USA, Germany and UK pictured with Damian James of South West College

The award is recognise "the important contribution that international projects make"

The tourism and hospitality department of the college helped launch the programme back in 1998 and Damian James, Curriculum Manager – Professional Services, successfully nominated the  long-standing collaborative programme to the British Council, which  decided to launch an awards ceremony to recognise achievement in the FE sector.

Gail Campbell, Regional UK Manager Skills for Employability, explained that she launched the ‘British Council Further Education International Collaboration Award’, to recognise “the important contribution that international projects make to individuals, institutions and their communities in a globalised world”. The winning college also receives a £3000 bursary.

The Tri-National Seminar co-run by South West College offers students and staff an opportunity to learn about each other’s cultures, understand international employers and the international workplace.

Every year, since the launch of the programme, one of the four colleges involved hosts a week of themed activities for 30 – 40 students, focusing on the tourism and hospitality industry. The programme is now firmly established in the colleges’ calendars, and is recognised as adding value over and above the standard curriculum. It is also part of the final qualifications for the US students involved.

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