#AyrshireCollegeIs10: A decade of Ayrshire College!
Today, 1 August 2023, marks the 10th anniversary of Ayrshire College.
Exactly a decade ago, Ayr College, Kilmarnock College, and James Watt College (Kilwinning & Largs campuses) merged to create the institution we now proudly call Ayrshire College.
Reflecting on the last ten years, we take great pride in the milestones we've achieved and the impact we've made in the lives of our students and the Ayrshire community. From the very beginning, we set out to establish a regional college that would raise aspirations, inspire achievement and increase opportunities.
Some of the significant highlights along the way include:
Opening of the Kilmarnock Campus: One of the defining moments of our journey was the build of our state-of-the-art Kilmarnock Campus in 2016, replacing our old Holehouse Road building. This modern facility is a fantastic learning space for our students, with first-class equipment and facilities.
Mission Discovery Programme: Hundreds of Ayrshire pupils and students engaged with NASA leaders including NASA astronauts Michael Foale CBE and Stephen Bowen across two Mission Discovery programmes, delivered by the International Space School Educational Trust (ISSET). Working in mixed teams, pupils designed and pitched an experiment - with the winning effort actually being tested by astronauts at the International Space Station. It was an out of this world experience for Ayrshire.
Award recognition: Over the past ten years we've won many awards for the incredible work of our students and staff. Major wins include:
- Our national Semta Skills Award win for Training Partner of the Year 2017, for developing a close strategic partnership with the engineering industry.
- Our #PassingPositivity campaign winning a UK-wide Green Gown Award in 2019. #PassingPositivity is a mental health awareness campaign that runs every year, predominantly driven by our HND Coaching and Developing Sport students, with the latest cohort organising the #Walk4Lionheart charity walk from Kilwinning to Kilmarnock, raising donations for three local charities.
- A scarcely believable run at the SQA Star Awards in the College Candidate of the Year category - with one of our Sport & Fitness students winning the top award every year from 2014 to 2018. Angela Alexander (2014), Stephen Wilson (2015), Natasha Kerr (2016), James O’Neill (2017) and Ross Munro (2018). Incredible.
200 Teams of Prince's Trust: Earlier this year, we became the first partner in Scotland to have delivered 200 Prince’s Trust Teams. A special celebration event for Team 200 was held at The Park Hotel in Kilmarnock to mark the successful completion of the 18-week course. In 2018, Team 150 won the the Dell EMC Community Impact Award atthe National Prince’s Trust and TK Maxx & Homesense Awards, where they rubbed shoulders with the likes of Ant & Dec. The team was presented with the award for designing and building a sensory garden for pupils at Doonfoot Primary School, as part of their course.
Willie Mackie Future Skills Hub in Kilwinning: And now, as we look to the future and ensure we're equipping our students with future-ready skills, the opening of the Willie Mackie Future Skills Hub in Kilwinning is just moments away. The low carbon two-storey building will provide a flexible learning space that can respond to emerging technologies as we upskill the workforce of the future in Engineering, Construction and SMART Technologies.
There are so many more highlights we could have mentioned. Since Ayrshire College was established 10 years ago, we have continually strived to create a nurturing and inclusive learning environment. We've implemented innovative teaching methods, expanded our course offerings, and established partnerships with industry leaders to ensure our students receive a holistic and industry-relevant education.
Countless success stories stand as a testament to the impact Ayrshire College has had on the lives of our students. We take immense pride in seeing our graduates contribute significantly to society, using the knowledge and skills they gained during their time at Ayrshire College.
We'll be publishing case studies throughout the year under the #AyrshireCollegeIs10 banner, catching up with some former students to find out where their skills picked up at Ayrshire College over the years have taken them now.
To all our staff, students, alumni, partners, and friends - thank you for being an integral part of our journey so far. Together, we have achieved so much, and we look forward to creating many more inspiring stories as we move forward.