Published: 22/06/2022

NCL wins a double at The Herald Higher Education Awards

New College Lanarkshire has triumphed in two categories at The Herald Higher Education Awards 2021.

At a virtual ceremony last night (17th June), the College was awarded ‘Outstanding Business Engagement in Colleges’ for its Lanarkshire Business Hub, and ‘Innovative Use of Technology’ for its Virtual Autodesk Digital Construction Challenge.

The Lanarkshire Business Hub provides a forum for the business community, bringing together key partners, industry experts and businesses for monthly events and workshops. Since lockdown, the Hub has successfully transitioned to an online forum, enabling members to learn, network and collaborate for the benefit of the local economy. It has a current membership of 500 people, representing businesses ranging from large multinationals to sole traders, across 62 different sectors.

It was the second high-profile award in six months for the Hub, after it won the Employer Connections award at the CDN College Awards in December.

The Virtual Autodesk Digital Construction Challenge was led by NCL lecturer Michael McGuire, who is the WorldSkills UK Training Manager for BIM (Building Information Modelling), and Philipp Mueller at Autodesk, who devised and delivered a virtual version of a UK-wide BIM competition in the months following lockdown. Michael also created an extensive online training resource to allow students of colleges and universities across the UK to prepare for the challenge.

Professor Christopher Moore, Principal and Chief Executive of New College Lanarkshire, said: 

“Winning these two prestigious awards is a great honour for New College Lanarkshire. The teams involved in both of our winning initiatives have shown great dedication and innovation, demonstrating how institutions can successfully adapt to even the most challenging of circumstances.

“The Lanarkshire Business Hub has brought industry and education together for more than ten years, but over the last 15 months, the team has worked extremely hard to keep this going virtually, with excellent results. The Virtual Autodesk Digital Construction Challenge was created out of Michael’s determination that lockdown wouldn’t see students missing out on the chance to compete against their peers. The online training resource created as part of this project will be of benefit to our students for years to come.”

He added: “I would like to congratulate all the other winners and finalists for their commitment to enhancing education.”

The judging panel included Donald Martin (Newsquest Scotland), Jon Baldwin (Jisc), Mhairi Harrington OBE, James Dunphy (Scottish Funding Council), Roy Gardner (City of Glasgow College), and Dr Ilona Roth (The Open University).