Double top for UCLan at the Educate North Awards

The School of Community Health and Midwifery at the University of Central Lancashire (UCLan) has scooped two key prizes at a prestigious educational awards ceremony.

The University won the Social Mobility Award – University Sector as well as the best International Partnership – University Sector at the Educate North Awards.

In a separate award one of UCLan’s valued educational partners Preston’s College won the Further Education College of the Year category.

The prestigious prizes, which are a celebration of excellence and best practice in the education sector across the North, were judged by a panel of leading industry professionals and experts. Hosted by Jim Hancock, the specially streamed event took place on Thursday 22 April 2021.

The International Partnership prize gave recognition to the work of UCLan’s Elizabeth Gomez and Professor Soo Downe. By coupling face-to-face and on-line teaching, while working in close partnership with the Fernandez Hospitals Foundation in Hyderabad, India, UCLan trained a cohort of UK midwives to become educators. The UK group subsequently travelled to India to replicate this educator training with a cohort of Indian nurse midwives.

The successful strategy is helping to ensure future midwives in India are trained in line with international standards that require teaching to be undertaken by qualified professionals.

The initiative also supports the country’s drive to improve maternal and newborn care and support, while reducing pregnancy related death rates of mothers and babies.

It’s fantastic for the School to win these awards. I’m so proud for everyone involved and illustrates our thriving expertise in teaching, learning and research.— UCLan’s Deborah Kenny, Head, School of Community Health and Midwifery

Commenting on why the project was so impressive the Educate North judging panel said: “This initiative has very clear societal benefits, improving the training of Indian midwives through international partnership with an Indian hospital. It is an excellent collaboration which will benefit the University in the long-term while the initiative can be transferrable to other countries in need of this work.”

The Social Mobility award highlighted the work of the School’s Health and Social Care team which has developed a sector-leading approach, via a foundation degree programme, to support individuals with undiscovered potential and determination to become the next generation of health and social care professionals.

Enrolled students benefit from an admissions policy that includes non-standard entry for students with clear evidence of sector experience. Supportive course infrastructure and assessment measures as well as options for more than 15 different career pathways are all provided for enrolled students. Data from the 2018 – 2019 cohort shows 79.4% of the Faculty of Health and Care’s foundation programme students progressed successfully to the first year of an undergraduate course.

The Educate North judging panel was impressed by the initiative and commented: “This is a good example of how social mobility is being increased through a foundation course, it provides access to students who may not have considered this option previously and is really making a difference.”

Deborah Kenny, Head, School of Community Health and Midwifery, said: “It’s fantastic for the School to win these awards. I’m so proud for everyone involved and illustrates our thriving expertise in teaching, learning and research.”

The Educate North event attracts over 300 education professionals from Further and Higher Education institutions from across the North, together with a range of suppliers to the sector including financial institutions, professional services providers, IT and infrastructure providers and construction and property firms.

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