Preston’s university has been recognised for the compassion it showed in helping international students in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma.Advertisement
The University of Central Lancashire opened its doors to nearly 650 medical students and staff who were displaced in September last year after the hurricane hit the island of Sint Maarten.
They swapped life in the Caribbean for life in Preston and were able to continue their studies.
UCLan became the temporary venue for the American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine.
The Guardian University Awards 2018 gave UCLan the internationalisation award for its work and the welcome it gave to the students.
Read more: How a Preston police officer found herself helping to rebuild in the aftermath of Irma
Vice-chancellor professor Mike Thomas said: “To receive this prestigious prize is absolutely wonderful news for everybody involved. I’m very proud as it was a huge team effort, not only from our wonderful staff who made it happen in just nine days but also the AUC representatives and East Lancashire Hospitals NHS Trust.
“When we said yes to help the AUC, it was our way of offering assistance to people whose lives have been turned upside down through a natural disaster. For this to be recognised by the panel of judges, who have knowledge of the higher education sector, is fantastic.”
The American medical students continue to live in halls of residence and houses across Preston city centre while rebuilding work is continued in Sint Maarten.