Askham Bryan College scoops a national sustainability award

Askham Bryan College has seen off strong competition from top UK universities to be named Digital Futures winner at a prestigious national awards ceremony.

The UK & Ireland Green Gown Awards are an established sustainability awards scheme serving the further and higher education sectors. The Awards celebrate the innovative and change-making initiatives and projects in sustainability across the sectors, recognising their transformative power for our shared future. Now in its 19th year, the 2023 UK & Ireland Awards, in association with UK Research and Innovation, have celebrated this year’s winners at the Awards Ceremony, which took place at the Titanic Hotel Liverpool on 30th November. The evening showcased a diverse array of innovative projects that universities and colleges across the UK and Ireland are currently leading to create a positive change.

Askham Bryan College’s Digital Skills Academy came out on top in the Digital Futures category sponsored by Jisc. Led by Stacy Vipas (Head of Digital Learning) and Wolf Wright (e-Learning Co-ordinator) the college is transforming education through a digital sustainability lens, a centre of excellence for mixed reality drawing on virtual, augmented and metaverse technology to improve the student experience. They are enabling this by simulating real world experiences, developing an innovative approach to digital teaching, digital learning, digital assessment, and digital upskilling through its mixed reality environment in all its subjects. Stacy said “through these technologies we are able to create unique and sustainable learning experiences, developed in house by the teachers, students, and our e-learning co-ordinator. These experiences can be shared across our campuses and are truly limitless in design and cater for any and all subjects, limiting the need to travel or using resources. They are also amendable, so will never be old and out of date. We can forever make changes and amends, making our mixed reality approach future proof and sustainable”.

Dr Tim Whitaker, Principal and CEO said “We couldn’t be prouder to have won this prestigious award, we are driving forward digital technology with a great sense of urgency and moral duty. We know that this focus on digital through a sustainability lens is fundamental to everything we do. Enabling us to build the skills our students need to become the very best guardians and custodians of a sustainable future world.”

The judges felt that this innovative project really demonstrated the way in which technology can be used to enhance teaching and learning. It was felt that this project increased accessibility to a wider range of learners who may not otherwise have the same opportunities and experiences. They said they were impressed by the breadth of the project, both in terms of how far it appeared to be embedded across the curriculum, but also seemingly high engagement within the college and community.

To learn more about the Green Gown Awards, visit

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Pictured: Stacey Vipas, Head of Digital Learning) and Wolf Wright (e-Learning Co-ordinator)

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