A “ground breaking” international collaboration has won Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) a national award for teaching excellence. Judges praised the University for giving students access to “life changing” experiences and boosting their career prospects.


The six-month renewable energy ‘PEETS’ programme saw academia linking with industry partners and universities in the Netherlands and Finland, culminating in the students joining together for a 10-day study trip. As well as tackling engineering challenges, the students were able to learn about new cultures and try out different ways of doing things.


GCU graduate Joanne McKenzie, who now works as an Environmental Consultant, said taking part in ‘PEETS’ been a huge boost to her personal development. “Working with people from different backgrounds has helped me make connections in the workplace, and it’s given me the confidence to face new challenges.”


GCU is one of only 15 universities across the UK to win the annual Collaborative Award for Teaching Excellence. Education body, Advance HE said GCU had created a unique and ambitious learning experience which benefitted both students and staff, and offered an innovative model which others could learn from.


Welcoming the award, GCU’s programme leader Professor Bob Gilmour in the School of Engineering said he was absolutely thrilled. “We are over the moon.  We’ve already had great feedback from our students, and now our teaching is being recognised alongside the best in the country. It inspires us to work with employers and other partners to develop an innovative approach to learning which delivers the transferable skills demanded by industry.”


The GCU-led programme was developed with Lahti University of Applied Sciences, The Hague University of Applied Sciences and industry Partner, Constructionarium Scotland Ltd.


Dr Ben Calvert, Chair of the Teaching Excellence Awards Advisory Panel, said, “These awards really are the pinnacle of reward and recognition in teaching and learning. The programme team at GCU can be proud of its achievements and I am sure they will continue to share knowledge as individuals and teams so that their institutions, colleagues and the wider higher education sector can benefit from their expertise.”

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