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Dudley College of Technology selected for the award of a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Education

Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Education LogoDudley College of Technology has today been awarded a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Education. The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes recognise outstanding work by UK colleges and universities that shows quality and innovation and delivers real benefit to the wider world and public through education and training. The Prizes are the highest national Honour awarded in UK further and higher education.

Dudley College of Technology has been recognised for ‘transforming a location through technical education’. In recent years, the development of the Dudley Learning Quarter, in particular the high technology training centres Evolve, Advance I and Advance II, have spatially transformed the town’s landscape. Culturally, the College has helped restore pride and ambition for young people and adults in the area. Most importantly the award acknowledges the way in which the College has brought technical education back to life and has help to drive the regional skills agenda. The College’s skills offer, recognised as ‘outstanding provision’ by Ofsted in March 2017, now annually reaches over 5,000 young people, 3,000 apprentices and many more adults. The Award further recognises the College’s significant support for local businesses and the role the College has played in driving their productivity.

Commenting on the announcement of the award Lowell Williams Chief Executive Officer, Dudley College of Technology /Chair of the Board of Dudley Academies Trust said: “I see this honour as recognition that further education can be the driver for economic regeneration, particularly of struggling towns in areas of the country that have been left behind by the under investment of successive governments, over many years.  We never gave up on our vision. We took investment risks. And we always believed in the transformative power of further education. It goes to show so much can be achieved by so many people working together in one place for the good of that place.”

College Principal Neil Thomas echoed this saying: “I believe the award is a mark of the progress the College has made over the last twelve years and reflects the growth in our learner numbers, the year-on-year improvement in our achievement rates and the positive destinations achieved by our learners, who contribute to the gross value of the regional economy in the thousands of businesses they participate in.”

The prize which is awarded on behalf of HM The Queen by the Royal Anniversary Trust credits the College for its major contribution to the West Midlands economy through large-scale delivery of advanced vocational and technical education and apprenticeships. In doing so the awarding committee recognised the innovative and high quality education delivered at the College which supports regional and local economic prosperity.

This year ninety-eight entries were received and Dudley was selected as one of only four FE college winners. To-date there have only been 45 FE college recipients of the 253 prizes awarded since the inception of the programme in 1994. Recipients of the thirteenth round of prize winners were announced at St James’s Palace this evening and they will receive their Prize Medal and Certificate for a senior member of the Royal Family at a presentation ceremony held at Buckingham Palace in the new year.