GLASGOW CALEDONIAN University’s (GCU) food and catering facilities have been named the best in Scotland in an influential survey of international students.
City centre based GCU saw off stiff competition from eight of country’s best known universities to take the top spot in Scotland in the International Student Barometer (ISB), which is conducted every six months by i-graduate.
The ISB tracks and compares the decision-making, expectations, perceptions and intentions of international students around the world from application to graduation.
Established in 2005, the ISB is regarded as the leading benchmarking tool used to track the experience of students and has received feedback from more than 1.7-million students worldwide at more than 1400 educational institutions across 28 countries.
Catering facilities at Glasgow Caledonian University have been provided since November 2011 by Encore Hospitality Services - part of city-based Limited Liability Partnership, Cordia.
Over the last three years, Encore in partnership with GCU has introduced a range of innovations and has been recognised for a number of achievements including:
- Healthyliving Award status for menus across the three campus outlets
- A Green Tourism Gold Award for using local suppliers and fresh produce
- A Soil Association Bronze Award, which embraces sustainability, fresh, organic, ethical and local – where possible – produce
- Helped GCU achieve a Healthy Living at Work Gold Award and Fair Trade status
- Reduced landfill waste from the university to zero and secured a £90,000 grant to introduce recycling initiatives
- including carbon neutral vending and reverse vending
- Introduced a rooftop herb garden and contents used in GCU kitchens
Encore also helped GCU gain People & Planet status. People & Planet is Britain’s largest student network campaigning to end world poverty, defend human rights and protect the environment.
In terms of catering, Encore set up GCU’s Global Cafe which caters for international students who come from across the globe to study at the university. Encore has also introduced ‘pop-up’ cafes which focus on specific international cuisines.
Frank McCabe, Encore’s head of catering at GCU, said: “We are extremely proud that our catering facilities have scored so highly in the International Student Barometer. The team here take great pride in their work and we’re glad the students of Glasgow Caledonian University like what we do.
“We’ve achieved a lot since the catering contract began back in 2011, and I think this is down to the fact we work so closely with both the university’s management team and GCU’s Students’ Association representatives to ensure we continue to provide our students both from home and overseas first-class catering facilities."
As well as topping the Scottish chart for catering, GCU was placed 15th in the UK out of 53 educational institutions and 38th out of 170 international educational institutions in the autumn 2013 International Student Barometer survery.