South Devon College launches brand new partnership with UNESCO Global Geopark Network

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South Devon College are honoured to announce the launch of a new partnership with the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark that enables us to assess our higher education Adventure Leadership programmes in Torbay. Following The Rock Connects Us event, organised by the Geopark in November 2018, we have worked to develop our curriculum offer to ensure we are highlighting the importance of the UNESCO designation for the Bay. In addition, our higher education programmes are creating resources for local primary schools and community groups to create a sustainable programme that promotes and increases awareness of our natural environment.

Nikolaos Zouros, Chair of the Global Geopark Network Association, sent a video to launch the new partnership which showed him talking of his high hopes of what this partnership would achieve. Not just in our local area but internationally too.

Nikolaos said “University Centre South Devon and South Devon College are proactive partners of the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark in launching this programme. I think this is a unique new initiative joining geological heritage with sustainable tourism and development. On behalf of the Global Geoparks Network, I would like to congratulate South Devon College for this new educational initiative and I will encourage colleagues all around the globe to send students to study in the English Riviera under the frame of the new course named Study at the English Riviera Global UNESCO Global Geopark.”

Melanie Border, English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark Coordinator said “Back in November 2018 at our ‘The Rock Connects Us’ event which brought together over 100 tourism chiefs, economic regeneration experts, major business leaders and geoscience and education professionals, we discussed how we could all work together to support Torbay’s social, economic, cultural and environmental ambitions. We are absolutely thrilled that South Devon College approached us with the idea of developing a curriculum offer that not only benefits those studying or looking to study in the area, but raised the importance of our UNESCO status on a local level. We are excited to work with the team at South Devon College to not only inspire the next generation, but to create a sustainable awareness programme for everyone living within the English Riviera Global Geopark.”

Becky Davies from the Destination Management Group expressed how important the new ‘Study at the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark’ partnership is for Torbay as it gives another opportunity for the visitor economy to attract wider attention and showcase our local environment.

We launched the new Outdoor Instructor Apprenticeship and the 5 newly recruited apprentices from local outdoor centre ‘Reach Outdoors’ and Grenville House came to share their experience and the opportunities they have through training at South Devon College.

Ben Reynolds, Programme Coordinator of the Adventure Leadership curriculum at South Devon College, presented the ethos of the curriculum. It focuses on employability for young people to develop work ready skills and provides an in-depth knowledge through practical, place based learning. Ben Roper, Higher Education Coordinator at South Devon College, discussed the key unique points on the FdSc Adventure Leadership and BSc (Hons) Coaching (Outdoor Leadership), awarded in partnership with the University of Plymouth. They are the only degree programmes in Europe to be delivered in a UNESCO Global Geopark in this field, as well as it being the only adventure degree programme in the UK which offers the RPIOL accreditation. Also, with the employer based delivery model, this gives degree students valuable work based skills whilst on programme.

Lynn Squire, Head of Sport, Leisure & Hospitality Industries at South Devon College, expresses her excitement and anticipation for what benefits this partnership will bring to the College and the local community; “The partnership between South Devon College, University Centre South Devon and the English Riviera UNESCO Global Geopark is such an exciting opportunity to develop a sustainable model of raising awareness of the incredible local environment. Studying on our adventure programmes, apprenticeships or degrees will support the development of resources which will be shared with the wider community to get children and people of all ages involved with enjoying the location, respecting and protecting our natural heritage.”

To find out more about the wide variety of courses the College offers from apprenticeships to full-time courses or university degrees, visit our next Open Evening on Thursday 4th April 2019, 4pm-7pm at the Vantage Point Campus, Long Road, Paignton, TQ4 7EJ. Alternatively, you can call our Helpzone team on 08000 380 123 or email [email protected]