This makes it the fifth year the school has topped the education category, after winner for four consecutive years from 2010-2013.
“I’m delighted to get this award, and I would say that I was very impressed with the other winners”
“It’s been a big year for us, so we’re really happy,” Alasdair Maher, its summer school academic manager, told The PIE News.
“We’ve really expanded in the 13-15 market, we saw a lot of potential growth there,” he commented. “We’ve looked to really expand on what students might be considering at university at a young age, and what they can gain at that age by being with us.”
The fleet of courses, which enables 13-15 year olds to engage with disciplines such as medicine, engineering and law, also saw the academy shortlisted for Outstanding Achievement award, which was won by the Youth Hostel Association (England and Wales).
The awards, presented at Westfield London this week, recognise excellence in the UK’s youth travel sector.
Another international education stalwart and last year’s runner English in Britain, won the Best Support Service award, for its work connecting international students worldwide with accredited English language courses in England, Scotland and Wales.
The Best Educational Product award winners
“I’m delighted to get this award, and I would say that I was very impressed with the other winners,” David Blackie, its director, told The PIE News. “Oxford Royale do a superb job and now that we’re being mentioned in the same breath as them, I’m really pleased.”
“I think that we do what we do a great deal better than anyone else,” he said, noting that the service has three times as many paid-up subscribers as the British Council.
In the destinations category, South Africa was named best international youth destination, while Liverpool won the best UK youth destination category.
“The Best Educational Product category seemed to have a lot more entries this year, making it even harder to choose a winner when the entries were so diverse,” commented Laura Porter, freelance travel writer and one of the award judges.
“Young travellers are incredibly lucky to have so much on offer.”
See more photos from this year’s awards here.
2015 British Youth Travel Award Winners and Finalists in full
WINNER: YHA Cardiff Central
Silver: Palmers Lodge Swiss Cottage Bronze: My Student Village: Liverpool
Best Educational Product WINNER: Oxford Royale Academy Silver: ISSOS International
Bronze: Club Europe Concert Tours
Best International Youth Destination
WINNER: South Africa (South Africa Tourism)
Silver : France (Atout France) Bronze: Dublin (Visit Dublin)
Best Leisure Product WINNER: BBC Tour of Broadcasting House
Silver: York’s Chocolate Story
Bronze: The LEGOLAND® Windsor Resort
Best Support Service Offer
WINNER: English in Britain
Silver: Jayne Peirce Tourism Recruitment
Bronze: Yummy Jobs
Best UK Youth Destination
Silver: Edinburgh Bronze: London
Best Use of Social/Mobile Media
WINNER: Contiki Holidays – The Roadtrip
Silver: STA Travel – MySTA App
Bronze: Topdeck Travel – Snapchat Travel Show
Best Volunteering Organisation
WINNER: Pod Volunteer
Silver: Kaya Responsible Travel Bronze: Madventure International
WINNER: Hatters Hostels – The Rebrand
Silver: STA Travel – Reel Philippines Campaign
Bronze: STA Travel – Find Your State of Play Campaign Brand USA
Rising Star Award
WINNER: Dan Mew, African Adventures
Silver: Dan Baker, StudentUniverse
Bronze: Jennifer van der Linde, Beds & Bars
Best Customer Service
WINNER: Next Generation Travel
Silver: Palmers Lodge
Bronze: Camp America
WINNER: YHA (England & Wales)
Special recognition also to Oxford Royale Academy