University of Central Lancashire receives national acclaim following support for Hurricane Irma victims

Deputy VC Lynne Livesey, Dr Andrew Ireland, Pro VC with DJ Lauren Laverne.
Deputy VC Lynne Livesey, Dr Andrew Ireland, Pro VC with DJ Lauren Laverne.
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A plan by university bosses to help out hurricane victims in the Caribbean has received national acclaim.

When Hurricane Irma struck the island of, the University of Central Lancashire opened up its campus, and homes, to students from the flattened American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine.

Damage caused by Hurricane Irma in Sint Maarten

Damage caused by Hurricane Irma in Sint Maarten

Last September, nearly 650 displaced medical students, staff and their families relocated to Preston to finish their studies.

Now UCLan has been presented with a national education award for helping the Americans in their hour of need.

UCLan was named as the internationalisation category winner of The Guardian University Awards 2018 for opening its doors after Irma hit the Dutch-French island.

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.”

The AUC students used the Preston campus’ academic facilities at evenings and weekends and accommodation was found in numerous halls of residence and houses within the city centre.

The students also had access to a range of UCLan’s facilities including the library, computing and pastoral care, and were associate members of the Students’ Union.

Around 300 students returned to the Caribbean island in January while the remainder will continue their studies at UCLan until August.