Norland is announced as the winner of the Inspiring Course award at the UK’s Independent Higher Education Awards for 2022.   

The Independent Higher Education Awards recognise and celebrate the excellence going on across the UK’s small and specialist providers. 

The win recognises Norland’s comprehensive approach to early childhood education and care which ensures its graduates, known as Norlanders or Norland Nannies, are considered among the best early years professionals in the world.  

Norland’s rigorous four-year training programme uniquely combines academic theory with practice and extensive real-world experience to ensure its students qualify with a complete, holistic understanding of how to support a child’s early development. Students study an early childhood degree alongside the highly coveted Norland diploma, which teaches all the practical skills required to care for children in the early years. A value-added curriculum ensures its fully qualified graduates are prepared for anything their future careers may throw at them, from cyber security training to advanced driving skills.   

an award logo

An unrivalled aspect of the degree and diploma course is the extensive placement experience provided to students. Just under half of their time is spent on placement in a wide range of early years settings, amounting to over 1,200 hours across the three years of campus-based training. In their fourth year, students further develop their skills and build on their learning in paid full-time employment as a Newly Qualified Nanny, in a role found and supported by Norland. 

Principal, Dr Janet Rose said: “We are delighted to be recognised for the dedication and commitment that our students and staff put into the training at Norland. Being recognised as the most inspirational course amongst such innovative independent providers in UK higher education is testament to the unrivalled degree and diploma programme Norland offers.

“We are constantly innovating our curriculum in line with the latest evidence-based research and industry developments and practices to ensure our fully qualified graduates are perfectly prepared for the outstanding careers that await them.” 

three females and one male norland student walking and smiling

Joy Elliott-Bowman, Director of Policy and Development at Independent HE, said: “The winner of this award has already won awards for their course. Students get two distinct qualifications, a degree and an additional practical diploma, ensuring they have the breadth of skills to fit their industry. Students spend almost 50% of their time in industry, gaining experience across a variety of environments. The practical skills of the diploma have been developed with employers and reflect the breadth of skills needed.

“The course embeds the latest research, including action research direct from employers and industry. They also ensure a breadth of student perspective to shape the delivery, using a combination of the student jury model- designed to engage under-represented groups – and a students as change agents mode giving students an avenue to propose innovative ideas and follow them through to implementation.

“Their course culminates with access to the bespoke employment agency, offering 100% employability to all students with a starting salary of £40,000, and then continues with a unique CPD programme for graduates to access throughout their career.”

The hard work put in by students at Norland pays off. In addition to securing two world-renowned qualifications, Norlanders have their pick of nanny and maternity positions through their own employment agency. Highly sought after, there were 10 jobs for every Norlander seeking one through the Norland Agency in 2021/22, ensuring Norlanders are also among the highest graduate earners. With a recognised degree behind them, many Norlanders go on to pursue other early years careers including teaching, nursing, consultancy, leadership, and entrepreneurial roles.   

The Independent Higher Education award continues a winning streak for Norland. In May, Norland was named runner up for the best Small or Specialist award at the Whatuni Student Choice Awards (WUSCAs), a record fifth year in a row that Norland has either won or come a close second at the awards. In 2021, Norland was named the top university in the UK for enhanced graduate outcomes at the WUSCAs, beating many other larger universities to the top spot.

Norland students in uniform in 2021

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