The Queen honours Duchy College

PUBLISHED: 13:49 03 March 2014 | UPDATED: 13:49 03 March 2014


Duchy College Rural Business School, part of The Cornwall College Group, has been presented with a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education by HRH The Queen at a prestigious ceremony held at Buckingham Palace on Thursday 27 February

Amarjit & Andrew Counsell recieve the Queen's Anniversary PrizeAmarjit & Andrew Counsell recieve the Queen's Anniversary Prize

As the first ever land-based college in England to win a prize, this award recognises the work carried out by the Rural Business School to help promote prosperity and skills in the South West farming community.

At the ceremony Amarjit Basi, Principal and CEO of The Cornwall College Group, was presented with a medal by The Queen, while The Duke of Edinburgh presented a certificate, signed by The Queen, to Head of Duchy College, Andrew Counsell.

A happy and proud group of staff & students with the Queen's Anniversary prize outside Buckingham PalaceA happy and proud group of staff & students with the Queen's Anniversary prize outside Buckingham Palace

Catherine Ede, who lives near Callington and studied the degree in Rural Business Management at Duchy College was one of the four students invited to attend the ceremony and reception. She said: “It was such an amazing experience yesterday and an honour to represent the College and see the work that so many people have achieved being rewarded by such a prestigious prize.

“This week has been very surreal for me. The beginning of the week I was living in a remote African village sleeping under the stars, then to be followed by sitting in the grand ballroom at Buckingham Palace. I had to keep pinching myself to make sure it was real!”

Catherine now works as a Training Leader with the Rural Business School’s Healthy Livestock Project. She added: “By working for the Healthy Livestock Project, benefiting directly from the project itself and being a student here, I know first-hand that the award is very much deserved and something everyone that is part of Duchy College, student, staff and beneficiaries should be proud of.”

Following the ceremony, guests, including staff and students from Duchy College Rural Business School, attended a reception where they got the opportunity to meet The Queen and The Duke of Edinburgh.

The Queen’s Anniversary Prizes for Higher and Further Education were first awarded in 1994 and the scheme has taken place on a biennial basis since then. The prizes recognise and honour the special contribution that universities and colleges make to the intellectual, economic and cultural life of the nation and to wider society and the world.

The College was recognised for this award for its use of applied research that has enhanced prosperity and skills in rural based communities across the South West. Its entry described how a college on the margins of England has responded to the declining fortunes and morale of those working in agriculture and land-based industries by establishing a comprehensive, responsive and research-informed vocational training scheme – Vocational Training for Industry.

Vocational Training for Industry is run through Duchy College’s Rural Business School which has a network of training co-ordinators, such as local farmers and university professors embedded in rural communities that work with the local population to identify need, organise events and encourage participation.

Head of Duchy College, Andrew Counsell added: “The Rural Business School is a dynamic and credible leader within the agricultural sector and has strong partnerships with universities and colleges, professions, public bodies and organisations. Its work attracts attention at national and international level and most importantly, it is helping to bring new life to traditional industries and those who work in them.

“It was such an honour to be presented with this award and I’m so very proud of all those who have worked so hard to make this happen.”

For more information about Duchy College’s Rural Business School or The Cornwall College Group, please call 0845 60 50 455 or visit

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