EAST Sussex College has been named as the best Further Education provider of international courses following the latest British Council inspection.

For the ninth consecutive year, the English Languages courses at the Lewes and Eastbourne campuses have been ranked in the top 5% of all providers, and as the best offered by any Further Education college in the country.

EL Gazette (English Language Gazette), the international news and media company for English Language Teaching, ranked the UK providers based on the summary statements published by the British Council. There were 15 areas assessed by the British Council.

Mark Allen, International Director at East Sussex College, said, “We are delighted to be ranked number one state college by the British Council’s Accreditation UK Scheme. To have achieved this for the ninth year running, while navigating the challenges of the Covid-19 outbreak, is testament to the hard work and dedication of the team, and the support we receive from the wider college.

“Teaching teams have had to work out new ways of delivering classes, and I have been so impressed by my own team as well as colleagues across the college who have found ways of teaching our students. We have some areas that have managed to deliver courses to students in the UK and at the same time, to students in Brazil and Japan – who are in completely different time zones. The levels of innovation and creativity in both teaching and support teams have been quite extraordinary.”

The Covid-19 outbreak halted the arrival of 450 overseas students due to study at the College’s campuses in Eastbourne, Lewes and Hastings, between March and August. Like all areas of the college, the team embraced online delivery and continued to teach interactive lessons during the national lockdown.

At the beginning of September, the English language programmes restarted teaching with some students face-to-face in socially distanced classes, with others joining online.

Despite the difficulties of international travel, the numbers of overseas students studying academic and vocational courses have increased compared to last year. This is welcome news for the local communities and host families who give overseas students such a wonderful experience and keep bringing them back to Sussex.