In the aftermath of Hurricane Irma, University of Central Lancashire welcomed more than 700 medical students and staff from Sint Maarten, the Caribbean island devastated in the hurricane.
With no power or running water and major damage to the physical infrastructure the American University of the Caribbean (AUC) was left homeless so UCLan agreed to accommodate their students. from AUC. In just nine days 643 students transferred to Preston and began classes.
As a result, the Preston-based UCLan won the Internationalist Award in the UK’s National University Awards. It is an inspiring story of what can be achieved when people help out and collaborate with each other.
UCLan used its network of private residences to make sure the Caribbean students had high quality living and used its medical contacts across the region to ensure there were lecturers available to teach the AUC programme.
The Preston students’ embraced the AUC visitors and has hosted a series of joint events including a Thanksgiving dinner, a “white coat” ceremony to welcome new trainee doctors, a medical school ceilidh, and a Christmas dinner for more than 300 students on Christmas day itself.