A college in Wales has been praised by further education inspectors as being "as good as the best in Europe", writes Mike Prestage.
Education standards and financial efficiency at Swansea College impressed the inspectors. Their verdict places Swansea in the top half dozen institutions in England and Wales.
The Chief Inspector for Wales, Gavin Thomas, said: "I have been on the HMI staff for 16 years and during that time I have visited many FE institutions in Europe. I never believed I would be able to say that we have in Wales an FE provider as good as the best on the Continent. We now have that."
And he added: "Swansea College leads the whole of Wales across a vast spectrum of activity."
A-level courses were singled out for praise as was the international baccalaureate course which achieved grade one in inspection, as did four other programmes. The college achieved a 91 per cent pass-rate at A-level and 99 per cent pass-rate for the international baccalaureate.
Mr Thomas said: "The quality of the teaching is the best ever assessed in Wales. The international baccalaureate course has the highest quality of teaching seen in a Welsh college since incorporation."
The inspectors' report coincides with findings that show Swansea College has achieved the best ever set of financial results in Wales.
College principal Cyril Lewis praised his staff and added: "The best quality teaching has been provided while achieving the lowest unit cost of any college in Wales."
A team of 40 inspectors spent nine days at the college before producing their report.