Sutton College Principal Dipa Ganguli received her OBE from the Princess Royal earlier this month.
Dipa, on the New Year 2021 Honours List, travelled to the investiture ceremony held Windsor Castle at the beginning of February to receive her award.
She wore a beautiful saree and chatted to Princess Anne about adult education. Dipa said:
‘It was a beautiful day and Windsor Castle was impressive. We were asked to wait in the King’s Drawing room where the walls were adorned with six huge Rueben paintings and one Van Dyck.
The actual ceremony was in the Grand Reception Room where Her Royal Highness attached my medal to a pin on my saree and we had a conversation about adult learning. She agreed with me that giving adult learners confidence to do better is more important than giving them an academic qualification. Princess Anne was dressed in her naval uniform and made a very regal figure. ‘
Dipa, with almost 25 years experience in the Adult Education sector, started in the ESOL English Language department at Croydon Adult Learning (CALAT) as the office manager and has been Principal at Sutton College since January 2018.
Dipa was nominated by colleagues from HOLEX, the lead professional body for Adult Community Education and Learning who represent a network of 130+ adult and community learning providers in the UK.
Dr Sue Pember CBE, Policy Director for HOLEX said:
“We are very pleased that Dipa has been recognised and honoured. She is an amazing person who cares about her students and staff welfare. Dipa is a sector expert and is always willing to help her colleagues and continues to provide voluntary support to HOLEX at a national board level. This honour is well deserved and we all congratulate her’
Dipa’s involvement in HOLEX has been varied being both a HOLEX policy forum member and a HOLEX board member. She has represented HOLEX at national forums with the funding agencies and other organisations, participating in a Leadership Exchange Programme to South Africa with the British Council and involvement with Erasmus and ESF projects with European partners.
Dipa said: ‘I am very honoured to be recognised for my contribution to Adult Education. This is a validation for all of the Adult and Community Education sector that works with some of the most disadvantaged learners in our community, providing courses, an opportunity to upskill, reskill and succeed in their lives. I am proud of the sector and humbled to be leading a service where learners and staff are so dedicated and passionate about what we do.’