2013-11-25   facebooktwitterrss
Rural Business School Wins Prestigious Queen’s Anniversary Prize

The Rural Business School has become the first ever land-based college to be awarded the Queen’s Anniversary Prize, recognising world-class excellence and achievement.

Part of Duchy and Cornwall College, the Rural Business School won the award for its vocational training of land-based industries; empowering and developing the local rural economy. It runs thousands of on- and off-campus courses across the South West each year, including industry-led training for farming and rural businesses.

Duchy College Course

“We are absolutely delighted to be recognised in this way,” said Richard Soffe, head of the Rural Business School. “We run up to nine vocational courses a day, all year-round and across the region, delivering practical training to people who have requested it. Our courses are very demand-led, and I’d like to thank the huge number of people who help us to deliver this training on farms and at other rural locations.”

The college was selected for the prestigious award from 120 entries nationwide. “I warmly congratulate the universities and colleges honoured in The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education,” said David Willetts, minister for universities and science.

“Britain’s ability to compete depends on the quality of the teaching and research undertaken by our universities and colleges; and particularly on the translation of that work into real benefits for society, business and the growth of the economy.”

Farmers and rural businesses were enjoying a revival in interest from young people, and were particularly well placed to benefit the rural economy, said Mr Soffe.

“Student numbers are at an all-time high. Farming is a fast-moving, highly technical and science-based industry that needs the best workers, managers and leaders to continue to thrive. Ongoing professional – yet practical - training is vital for rural businesses if they are to remain at the cutting edge of their industry.”

The Prizes are the highest form of recognition for UK academic and vocational institutions, recognising the beneficial and practical effects of outstanding innovative work. “This is a national honour; the only type conferred on an institution rather than an individual,” said Amarjit Basi, principal and CEO of Cornwall College. “We are thrilled to be the first ever winner in Cornwall and the only land-based college in England to receive this award.”

Mr Basi and Andrew Counsell, head of Duchy College, attended St James’s Palace to receive the award. The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh will present the official prizes at Buckingham Palace on Thursday, 27 February 2014.

Duchy College

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