The annual awards for further education colleges, organised by the Scottish Further Education Unit, saw six colleges share the spoils last week?
Anniesland College in Glasgow won the award for student learning. Its "think again" project attempts, through training and personal development programmes, to show ex-prisoners that there is an alternative to a life of "negative affiliations".
Aberdeen College came top in the category of partnership working, putting into practice its "no barriers to learning" motto. Working with local agencies, it is trying to turn around the lives of people on the college's doorstep, some of the most deprived in the city. This includes liaising with a local primary school, providing opportunities for pupils and their parents.
Oatridge College has also been focusing on "disjointed lives", and its rural skills academy helped it to win the award for promoting equality and diversity. The college says its pilot programme has yielded "outstanding results" and for many it offers "a second chance, or for some a first chance, to lead normal lives".
The award for professional learning and enhancement went to Angus College for an online CPD system which allows staff a recording and evaluation log.
Jewel and Esk College proved that initial difficulties are no barrier to surmounting them, as its schools team took first place for customer service. The team was set up following behaviour and attendance problems with pupils on part-time vocational courses.
The final award, for international activity, went to Edinburgh's Tel-ford College. It believes student exchanges, international recruitment and overseas partnerships benefit all students, and last session saw a 15 per cent increase in enrolments of students from other countries and a 15 per cent rise in revenue; 21 Telford staff also worked overseas.