Prestigious award recognises University’s international goodwill
UCLan named winner of The Guardian University Awards 2018 internationalisation category for hosting the American University of the Caribbean
The University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) is celebrating after winning a national education award for helping the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine (AUC) in their hour of need.
UCLan was named as the internationalisation category winner of The Guardian University Awards 2018 for opening its door in September 2017 to nearly 650 medical students and staff who were displaced after Hurricane Irma hit the Dutch-French island of Sint Maarten.
Professor Mike Thomas, Vice-Chancellor, said: “To receive this prestigious prize is absolutely wonderful news for everybody involved. I’m very proud as it was a huge team effort, not only from our wonderful staff who made it happen in just nine days but also the AUC representatives and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.
"To receive this prestigious prize is absolutely wonderful news for everybody involved. I’m so proud as it was a huge team effort"
“When we said yes to help the AUC, it was our way of offering assistance to people whose lives have been turned upside down through a natural disaster. For this to be recognised by the panel of judges, who have such a vast knowledge of the higher education sector, is fantastic.”
The AUC students used the Preston Campus’ academic facilities at evenings and weekends while accommodation was found in numerous halls of residence and houses within the Preston City Centre. The students also had access to a range of UCLan’s facilities including the library, computing and pastoral care, and were associate members of the Students’ Union.
The students were welcomed with open arms, not only by the businesses and the City’s Mayor, but by the University community. Events included a welcome dinner on their first official night in Preston, a Thanksgiving celebration and a traditional Christmas dinner for more than 300 students on Christmas day itself.
Around 300 students returned to the Caribbean island in January while the remainder will continue their studies at UCLan until August.
Now in their sixth year, The Guardian University Awards recognise the universities that inspire students and transform communities. Dr Andrew Ireland, Pro Vice-Chancellor (Digital and Creative Industries) collected the University’s trophy at the official ceremony, held in London on 24 April.