Top of the class for Advanced Higher Hub at SQA Star Awards

14 November 2016

Top of the class for Advanced Higher Hub at SQA Star Awards

Eleanor Wilson MBE, Director of Outreach and Community Engagement; Linda McLeod, Assistant Director, SFC; Rebecca Lavery, Head of Advanced Higher Hub.

A pioneering partnership between Glasgow Caledonian University, Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Funding Council (SFC) has won two top accolades at the SQA Star Awards.

The Advanced Higher Hub was recognised as the outstanding achievement of the year, winning the SQA Pride o’ Worth Award for Centres, presented by Education Secretary John Swinney MSP. It was also named Partnership of the Year at the Scottish Qualification Authority-run awards, which celebrate learning and teaching excellence across Scotland.

The widening access initiative works with 28 Glasgow schools and provides pupils with the opportunity to complete Advanced Highers at the city centre campus.

Established in 2013, GCU’s Hub is the first of its kind in Scotland. Judges praised the educational initiative for its partnership approach and its outstanding results. In 2016, sixth-year pupils achieved a pass rate of 91%, with 75% gaining an A or B grade.

Rebecca Lavery, Head of the Advanced Higher Hub, said: “The Advanced Higher Hub is a unique widening access bridging programme, which provides sixth-year pupils with a year-long university experience before they progress on to higher education. Our partnership with Glasgow City Council and the Scottish Funding Council has been instrumental to the success of this educational initiative.”

Success stories include former St Margaret Mary’s Secondary pupil Meghan Miller, who is in her first year of Adult Nursing at GCU, and St Andrew’s Secondary pupil Jack Wands, who secured a place at the University of Oxford.

Eleanor Wilson, Strategic Lead for Engagement and Outreach at GCU added: “The Advanced Higher Hub is committed to raising aspirations and widening access to higher education for pupils in the city. To receive the Partnership of the Year award is testimony to the success of our close working relationship with our partners, staff and teachers, and to be awarded the overall prize on the night is an incredible achievement.”

The Advanced Higher Hub is the first university in Scotland to employ teachers to teach pupils on a university campus, offering Advanced Highers in English, Mathematics, Chemistry, Biology, Modern Studies, Business Management, History and Physics.

Bailie Liz Cameron, Executive Member for Children, Young People and Life Long learning, praised the partnership with GCU and the opportunities offered to young people to study within a higher education environment and its record for producing excellent results. Dr Janet Brown, SQA Chief Executive, thanked all those who give learners the guidance, support and encouragement they need to realise their potential.

The award ceremony was held in Edinburgh’s Assembly Rooms on Friday, November 11.