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Bridgwater & Taunton College celebrates Queen’s Anniversary Prize at Buckingham Palace

The team from University Centre Somerset (UCS), the higher education arm of Bridgwater & Taunton College, has been presented with the Queen’s Anniversary Prize at Buckingham Palace.

The award recognises the college’s outstanding achievements in developing responsive and effective nursing education pathways to address the shortage of qualified nurses in Somerset.

In a nationwide first, BTC gained consent from both the Nursing & Midwifery Council (NMC) and its university partner, University of the West of England, to deliver nursing degrees locally. This has positioned the college as the first FE institution to join the Council of Deans of Health, lending a voice in shaping health policy and education on a national scale.

“This recognition is a fantastic achievement for our team, our students, and the wider Somerset community,” said Principal Andy Berry. “Our journey to Buckingham Palace is not just an acknowledgment of our commitment to healthcare education but a celebration of our collaborative efforts to enrich the lives of those in our region. It epitomizes the spirit of innovation, dedication, and community service that defines BTC.”

The Queen’s Anniversary Prize, awarded by the Royal Anniversary Trust, recognises the exceptional contributions of UK colleges and universities to the nation’s life through innovative and beneficial research and education initiatives. BTC’s receipt of this award underscores the College’s pivotal role in addressing critical workforce challenges and setting a benchmark for excellence in further education.

Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, said: “I want to say a huge congratulations to the winners of the 2022-2024 Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education. I know this year’s honours will be particularly special as we remember the late Queen Elizabeth II and her long-standing support for these awards, and for the tremendous good that education can bring.

“Thanks to your ingenuity, your dedication, and your hard work we are making real progress in science, transforming public health, growing the economy, and improving and enriching people’s lives.”

Sir Damon Buffini, Chair of The Royal Anniversary Trust, commended BTC and the other awardees: “The prize-winners in this round have shown remarkable leadership and innovation, addressing some of the most pressing challenges of our times.

“Bridgwater & Taunton College stands out for its proactive approach to healthcare education, significantly impacting the community it serves. Congratulations to BTC on this well-deserved honour.”

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