Press release: Another 20 years of commitment to optical education at ABDO College

ABDO College has announced that it has renewed the lease on its premises at Godmersham Park, near Canterbury in Kent.

The College, established in 2001 by the Association of British Dispensing Opticians (ABDO) as a centre of excellence, specialises in distance and blended learning education for the optical profession. It is the only college in the UK devoted solely to the teaching of the theory and practical aspects of ophthalmic dispensing and its related specialist areas.

Sir Anthony Garrett, General Secretary of ABDO, says, “The College has grown and developed significantly over 18 years. I am delighted that the Trustees have been able to extend the lease on College until December 2040. This provides the highly capable academic and support staff with the reassurance that the College will remain at Godmersham for many years to come. It is also a clear signal to employers and future students that the College is determined to remain at the forefront of Ophthalmic dispensing studies.”

The Grade I listed building at Godmersham Park gives students attending ABDO College on block release a truly unique educational experience. The building dates back to 1732 and Jane Austen was a regular visitor between 1798 and 1813. Mansfield Park is said to be based on Godmersham Park and the building now features on the reverse side of the £10 note. The College lies within 1,000 acres of beautiful Kent countryside and benefits from stunning views across the North Downs. Situated between Ashford and Canterbury, it provides an ideal venue for study and reflection away from the pressures and demands of everyday practice life. Although the building is old, ABDO College has a continuing programme of updates to equipment and facilities for students, with an up to date lecture theatre being the latest addition.

Find out more about ABDO College at


Notes to Editors

  1. Media enquiries to Antonia Chitty, 07538 525476,
  2. High res images are available.
  3. ABDO College in Godmersham, Kent, has been providing training to students in ophthalmic dispensing since 2001.
  4. The college offers a range of courses through Access, Diploma, Degree, Advanced and Honours, with quality programmes leading to ABDO examinations. It offers gives aspiring and current members of the optical profession the opportunity to enhance their knowledge and career progression and enables development for practice staff at many levels.