Bradford College celebrates awards and 70th anniversary

Mark Hickton BSc (Hons), Cert Ed, FBDO, lecturer in optics and ophthalmic dispensing in the School of Ophthalmic Dispensing, Faculty of Applied Sciences, Bradford College.

On 6 March, Bradford College held an awards evening to acknowledge the fantastic achievements of the latest FdSc and BSc Ophthalmic Dispensing students, and also to celebrate 70 years of the college teaching Ophthalmic Dispensing courses.

In 1948, Bradford College, known as Bradford Technical College then, began running Ophthalmic Dispensing alongside Ophthalmic Optics courses. Over the years, as the industry and regulations changed, the Ophthalmic Dispensing qualifications offered by the college evolved into the Foundation degree (FdSc) and BSc degree forms that are present in today’s provision.

To honour the student success and 70 year anniversary, the president of ABDO, Clive Marchant, and a number of sponsors from the ophthalmic industry helped create a wonderful evening by speaking to the students and generously supporting the awards.

The School of Applied Sciences and Technology also recognised the contribution of the former head of the School for Ophthalmic Dispensing, Julie Lees. Julie, who is a member of the ABDO board, left the college last year, but was instrumental in the development of the ophthalmic dispensing programmes for more than 20 years at the college. As such, Julie was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award for her hard work (pictured second right).

Top marks honoured

Students with the top marks in various modules, and overall degrees, were also honoured, with awards going to the following students:
• Best Overall Student: Rachael Smith (pictured top right)
• Best BSc Student (sponsored by Carl Zeiss Vision UK): Hina Patel
• Best FdSc Student (sponsored by Essilor): Rachael Smith
• Best Research Project (sponsored by ABDO): Mariam Aziz
• Best Contact Lens Student (sponsored by Coopervision): Zoha Rehman
• Best FdSc Practical Dispensing Skills (sponsored by Stepper UK): Bliss Rycroft
• Best BSc Practical Dispensing Skills (sponsored by the Norville Group): Thaiba Kanaat
• Personal Achievement Award (sponsored by Hoya lens UK): Paula Burke

The college also works with many local opticians in the north of England to create practice placement opportunities for the full-time BSc Ophthalmic Dispensing students. During the ceremony, two practice owners were acknowledged for their outstanding support in relation to offering students numerous practice placements over the years. They were Sukhvinder Virdee of I Wear Opticians, and Sukhvir Singh of KS Opticians.

The college is striving to continually improve education within the industry and hopes to grow from strength to strength in the rapidly developing world of Ophthalmic Dispensing. Bradford College looks forward to the next 70 years.