DGC shortlisted for two awards at prestigious event

Dumfries and Galloway College (DGC) is delighted after becoming a finalist in two categories at The Herald Higher Education Awards 2024.

The awards help to build future excellence by facilitating the sharing of good practice and collaboration and by shining a spotlight on impressive results — and this year’s winners will be announced on Tuesday, May 28 in The Radisson Blu Hotel in Glasgow at a glittering black-tie ceremony hosted by Fred MacAulay.

DGC has been nominated in the Widening Access Award category for its innovative HE for All partnership with the University of West of Scotland (UWS).

The rurality of Dumfries and Galloway College and the distance to larger cities with wider access to Higher Education prompted the college to take innovative views of HE opportunities. Therefore, the college partnered with UWS to offer unique HE opportunities for the region.

If students can study, live and network in the region, rather than leave, there is a greater chance that new businesses and employment will be generated due to this new style of education. 

These degree provisions are offered in a hybrid way to allow students to experience student life at UWS in Dumfries and Galloway and continue their lives in the region, without the expense of housing and transport to another town or city.

The designated pathways have been designed to broaden access to degree provision for all. This gives learners the experience and skills to move seamlessly through to a degree with UWS degree in either Business Studies (BA Hons), Cyber Computing (BSc Hons) or Creative Practice (BA Hons).

Joanna Campbell, Principal and CEO, Dumfries and Galloway College, said: “Dumfries and Galloway College is pleased to partner with the University of West of Scotland to deliver three brand new pathway courses for students who wish to achieve a university degree.

“This is a great opportunity for people to study locally at our Dumfries campus and begin their journey to gaining a bachelor’s qualification.”

Julie Orr, UWS Campus Manager (Dumfries), added: “We have a fantastic partnership with Dumfries and Galloway College and are very proud of our new campus. We are working together for the benefit of local students and are committed to offering innovative pathways into higher education. 

“These new courses provide exciting opportunities to those looking to continue their studies to degree level in these important subject areas.”

DGC and is also up for the Outstanding Business Engagement in Colleges award with its Back Filling the NHS whilst training new Health Professionals at College programme.

Career development training and academic qualifications for NHS D&G Healthcare Support Workers was required in the region. The NHS D&G and DGC worked together to initiate a change for the better.

In a large and decreasingly populated region during a financial crisis, a sector leading, cost-effective, bold and innovative plan was devised in response.

The college would recruit two cohorts of HNC students, one of current NHS staff, and one cohort studying the HNC as a first step towards NHS employment or university.

For a full week before classes officially began, both cohorts went through the NHS HCSW induction training. This was led by both NHS Clinical Educators and College Staff, and it was held on both NHS premises and in the Digital Care Hub on the college campus. 

Ms Campbell continued: “The college is proud of this collaboration between D&G NHS to support training of both new students and current NHS staff.

“The innovative manner in which this training has been created is testament to the supportive working relationship between the two institutions.”