The Isle of Wight College is pleased to announce that it has won a highly coveted award for Internationalism at the Association of Colleges’ Annual Beacon Awards ceremony held in London. The college also won runner-up in the Widening Participation category.

The British Council Award for Internationalism recognises, celebrates and promotes the value of international exchange for systems, organisations, staff, learners and the wider community. The Isle of Wight College has worked with international partners for many years, in Europe and globally. The college greatly values the positive impact that international travel has on young people and how their experiences enhance their aspirations, confidence and their opportunities for the future. A particular focus of the award was the recent Erasmus+ project ‘Mind over Matter’, which encouraged international collaboration, with a strong focus on mental health. This included online workshops with our Finnish partner that took place during the COVID-19 lockdowns, which helped students to stay in touch with other countries, feeling less isolated, while unable to travel.

Debbie Lavin CBE, Principal of the Isle of Wight College said:

“We are over the moon to have won this award from the Association of Colleges. During lockdown we continued to work with our international partners, to give students a taste of other cultures as best we could, including collaborative projects and virtual events. The college’s international team have worked relentlessly to ensure our students have a positive experience, and the commitment and enthusiasm of the staff is a direct reflection of the spirit of the Isle of Wight College. We strive to integrate international studies and travel into every curriculum to encourage skills development, build confidence and instil ambition in our learners and it is an honour to be recognised nationally for this.”

Mark White, 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 examples of excellent practical teaching and learning. The work of the winning college shows how important colleges are in providing students with the necessary skills for the real world.”

Parents and students looking at options for next year can find out more by visiting the Isle of Wight College website or contacting . The next full college Open Evening is on Tuesday 21st June, 4.00pm – 6.30pm – keep an eye out for more details soon.