Highlights of 2022
What a fantastic year we have had!

Our passion is to work with colleges to develop their people, share their great work, and enhance student success.
And we hope that over the past year, you have had the chance to engage and learn with us.

We wanted to take this opportunity to look back at highlights from this year -
as we say goodbye to 2022
and look forward to 2023!

The year began with the planning and delivery - from 18 colleges throughout Scotland - of the exciting online course: Introduction to a Career in Social Care.

The online course prepares students for a career in the wide variety of care settings in Scotland and on completion will be supported in seeking employment.

This course is delivered with funding from the National Transition Training Fund from Scottish Government and the Scottish Funding Council.

Virtual Bridge Webinar Series

In partnership with Jisc, we continued to deliver the popular Virtual Bridge Webinars. These 30-minute sessions have been designed to support college staff in delivering remote learning and teaching.


In February we launched the CDN Workforce Survey. The survey was open to all members of the college workforce across Scotland, and we received an incredible 1,810 responses.

The purpose of the survey is to identify the future learning requirements of the workforce, and crucially how college staff want to learn. The survey established views from across the Scottish college sector in relation to a range of topics including:

  • Experiences of professional learning
  • Digital capability
  • Equality, diversity and inclusion
  • Learning for sustainability

Reach Magazine

The 2022 edition of Reach - the magazine for Scotland's college sector - was published. This interactive issue is filled with stories about inspirational practice and innovation.

The spotlight was on health and social care - highlighting how colleges are stepping up to fill the skills gap. Also inside: Tackling Climate Emergency, Communities in Partnership, College Research and lots more!

March kick started with the launch of Step Forward - CDN Research and Enhancement Centre’s new action research programme. Its purpose is to enhance practice across our colleges and develop the action research skills of college staff. Enhancing learning together is our guiding principle.

Step Forward will develop key themes from CDN’s research to transform ideas into actions that will allow college staff to develop their practice and enhance the impact of their courses and services.

New Research Report: Pathways from Poverty

The new research report, Pathways from Poverty, published by CDN and Colleges Scotland, through CDN Research and Enhancement Centre’s, highlights the crucial role that Scotland’s colleges play in tackling poverty and in creating a more inclusive society.

The report highlights the vital position of colleges as anchor institutions in local communities, providing a focal point not just for course education but community engagement and action in relation to poverty.

On Thursday 28 April, The College Leadership and Governance Summit brought together over 150 sector leaders, board members and industry partners to discuss the role of colleges as anchor institutions within their regional economies and the role they will continue to play in driving forward economic renewal and growth.

Titled 'Colleges as Key Drivers of Inclusive Regional Economic Renewal' the sessions were led by CDN's Economic Recovery Group and a range of insightful speakers.
Networks and Professional Learning Communities

Through CDN's 20 Networks and 12 Professional Learning Communities, we continue to respond to rapidly changing development needs and address key workforce skills gaps with particular emphasis on digital capability for learning, teaching and support staff.
On Monday 30 May, we launched the 6-week national #ChooseCollege campaign highlighting the importance of Scotland’s colleges and encourages potential students to – Choose College.

Organised by the CDN Marketing and Communications Network, Scotland’s 26 colleges have come together with one voice to promote the Choose College campaign via a mix of platforms including, TV and digital marketing with a strong focus on social media.

A big thanks to everyone who got involved and helped support this campaign, to encourage potential students to… Choose College!
Teaching in Colleges Today (TiCT)

CDN offers two Teaching in Colleges Today (TiCT) SCQF credit-rated units, which have been developed to better meet the initial professional development needs of new college lecturers coming into the sector.

This year, an incredible 101 college candidates will have successfully completed the SCQF credit-rated units. Well done everyone!

A new report, College Leadership in the Pandemic published by CDN, through CDN’s Research and Enhancement Centre, captures the experiences of college leaders in coping with the pandemic crisis, and examines what competencies they believe are essential for leading in volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times.

The report charts their reflections on what worked well, and what was less effective, as they stepped up to the challenges of the pandemic and the pivot from face-to-face to online teaching and learning.

Action Research

Following the round table discussions that took place at College Expo 21, associate researchers from CDN's Research and Enhancement Centre analysed the key elements discussed and formulate the scope for some Action Research to be undertaken in each of the following areas:

  • Professional Learning
  • Student Experience
  • Curriculum Design
  • High Impact Learning

We were delighted to publish the Action Research year-end outputs - view online here.
In July, we launched the exciting new Executive Leadership Series. The series was developed to support colleagues who currently fulfil executive roles, and for those who are looking to work at executive level in the future. 

27 delegates attended the series made up of nine workshops covering crucial topics including: Territory Mapping, Communicating in High Stakes, Listening for Better Outcomes.

We were also delighted to offer online course Coaching Skills for Managers, where nine delegates participated to develop their coaching knowledge and skills, enabling them to adopt a coaching approach when leading teams and individuals.

Please note we will run both courses again in 2023, if you wish to be added to the waiting list please contact e-learning@cdn.ac.uk.
Success with CDN's CMI Leadership Programmes
CDN's CMI Leadership Programmes offer participants the opportunity to build on their skills and to take the next step in their career.
This year we celebrated the completion of another two cohorts, with 31 participants successfully graduating the Emerging Leaders programme, and 20 successfully graduating the Strategic Leaders programme. Well done everyone!
We continue to offer this fantastic programme with a new cohort planned for January 2023 - find out how you can take your new step and apply here.
The Virtual College Expo22 took place on Tuesday 23 and Wednesday 24 August, with the theme: Rewrite the College Story: Learning Experiences, Skills Development, Anchoring Communities.

Thanks to the hundreds of attendees who made the two days of College Expo such an incredible success!
The College Expo offered inspirational keynotes, workshops, seminars, Expo Movies, and panel debates. With over 100 speakers, the Expo showcased the many and varied great work taking place across the college sector every day!
Introducing Action for Sustainability
This course was developed for CDN by Learning for Sustainability Scotland (LfSS) and the Environmental Association of Universities and Colleges (EAUC Scotland).

The self-guided online course is designed as a first step in supporting everyone working in Scotland’s colleges to understand the importance of sustainability and consider how they can play their part in making it a reality.
The online course takes approximately 45 minutes to complete and is now available on CDN LearnOnline here.
On 8 September, we ran a hugely successful online event: Pathways from Poverty Symposium: The Role of Colleges in Leaving No-One Behind.

The symposium considered the themes in the Pathways from Poverty report and the learning from this further work as the basis for thinking about how we support our learners, their families and communities over the next five years and beyond.

We were delighted to launch new report Pathways from Poverty - Colleges for Communities. The report comprises case studies from Ayrshire College, Borders College, Forth Valley College and Glasgow Kelvin College; combined with an overview that further explores the work of colleges in addressing the experience of material deprivation in Scotland’s communities.

We Virtually Love All Events
We are delighted to launch our new Virtual Conference Centre offering the sector and beyond first-class, smooth and efficient events.

Check out CDN's Virtual Conference Centre here where you can discover upcoming and past CDN events.

Interested in running your own event? Email events@cdn.ac.uk
In October we proudly promoted the newly refreshed online learning materials, which were developed to support college candidates who are completing the SQA Professional Development Award (PDA) Teaching Practice in Scotland's Colleges. The free online learning materials, quizzes and reflective activities are designed to be used for self-directed study and has been mapped against the Professional Standards for Lecturers in Scotland's Colleges to help you track your professional learning and development. 

Since launching, 49 participants from 15 different colleges have viewed the free learning materials. The materials can be accessed now via CDN's LearnOnline
Supporting and Shaping Regional Economic Recovery and Renewal
Scotland’s colleges are playing a leading role in the design and delivery of regional economic strategies thanks to support from CDN’s Economic Recovery Group (ERG). The last 12 months have seen the ERG Team supporting a number of colleges as they navigate the intricacies of working in partnership with a variety of organisations in their respective regions.
The CDN College Awards took place on Friday 25 November, at Radisson Blu in Glasgow with over 280 guests - the biggest Scottish College Awards ever - celebrating the talent, innovation and success demonstrated by our colleges, their staff and their students.

The ambition and excellence of this sector was reflected in the record-breaking number of entries this year - 160 submissions, from every part of the country. All the inspirational submissions and testimonials can be viewed in the interactive guide here.

This year we warmly welcomed back the wonderful Amy Irons to take the mic as our host for the evening. We were also delighted to hear from guest speaker Jamie Hepburn MSP, Minister for Higher Education and Further Education, Youth Employment and Training.

As well as presentation of 13 prestigious prizes, the awards ceremony also included radio presenter Edith Bowman being inducted into the CDN College Hall of Fame.

CDN National Governance Programme
This year, over 300 College Board Members and Governance Professionals have participated within the CDN National Governance Programme. The Programme has five key strands of activity; New Board Member Induction Sessions, Student Board Member Induction (with sparqs and NUS Scotland), ‘Meet the Stakeholder’ Update Sessions, Governance Topics Workshops, and Governance Professional Workshops.

CDN’s recent Workforce Survey revealed that college staff want more subject-specific professional learning opportunities, as well as pedagogy-based learning such as behaviour management.

We're working closely with college staff to produce a series of 20 videos that tackle the topics identified by the survey. We recently launched the first three of these Mini bite videos - which include ‘Education for sustainable development: delivering a green curriculum’, ‘Principles and strategies for behaviour management’, and ‘Supporting neurodiverse learners’.

In addition, a Digital Capabilities area of the CDN website has been developed, which is packed full of resources.

To make it easy for college staff to find relevant learning opportunities, the CDN website features a new Professional Learning area, with clearly-labelled sections for Support and Professional Services Staff; Academic and Teaching Staff; and Leadership and Management. 
Hall of Fame Inductees

This year we celebrated four new inductees to the College Hall of Fame. The College Hall of Fame highlights and recognises the outstanding contribution that college graduates and staff make to society and the economy; and demonstrates the variety of pathways to success from college.
Congratulations to College Hall of Fame inductees:

  • Danielle Jam, professional actor and graduate at North East Scotland College - read full story here
  • Kayleigh Haggo, European Paralympic Youth Games medallist and graduate at Ayrshire College - read full story here
  • John Frace MBE, founder and owner of Travelling Tabby and graduate at UHI Argyll - read full story here
  • Edith Bowman, award-winning radio broadcaster, podcast host and television presenter - read full story here.
Thank you for continuing to participate and support
CDN's activities.

We look forward to welcoming 2023 and working together to support you and the sector.
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