This research project examined evidence of the benefits of international work gathered from further education colleges across the United Kingdom. Using the applications for the Association of Colleges (AoC) Beacon Award for Internationalism, together with five interviews, this report uses a ‘benefits matrix’ to explore the nature of those benefits as reported by colleges. 

The AoC Beacon Awards celebrate the best and most innovative practice among UK further education colleges spanning diverse aspects of college life. The British Council sponsors the AoC Beacon Award for Internationalism which celebrates colleges’ outstanding activities in international work. 

This report examines benefits of international collaboration described by colleges in their applications for the award and suggests ways in which an enhanced international mindset among learners and staff can be combined with curriculum development and innovative partnerships to enhance the reputation of the further education sector. The data gathered for this report suggests that the international work colleges do, now and in the future, contributes substantially to students’ experience, the effectiveness of colleges, and to the UK economy. 

Find the report in the Downloads section below.

This year’s AoC Award for Internationalism was given to Gower College Swansea, with Petroc College in Devon named as a finalist.  In this article, Ruth Owen Lewis of Gower College and Dr Caroline Chipperfield, from Petroc College, share how they’ve seen outstanding transformation at their colleges through integrating internationalism into strategy and curriculum.


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