AYRSHIRE College has welcomed a group of India’s education specialists to their Ayr campus, as part of a visit to learn about Scotland’s education policy and practice across schools, colleges and universities.
Education Scotland invited the group to Scotland following the Education World Forum in London 18th-20th of January.
The British Council Scotland arranged for the party to visit Ayrshire College, Scotland’s Rural College and Glasgow Kelvin College’s Fashion Show. The delegation also attended a network reception where they heard from Dr Alasdair Allan, Minister for Learning, Science and Scotland’s Languages.
Says a spokesperson: “India is a priority country for the Scottish government and Ayrshire College is optimistic that the visit could lead to real collaboration with India in the future.”
The group was comprised of:
* Rittika Parruck, assistant director (Schools) at the British Council in India;
* Sujit Gulati, the Gujarat government’s principal secretary for Primary and Secondary Education; and
* Srinivas Sriramdas, education advisor.
All three were interested in the provision of learning, teaching and training in aeronautics as the Indian states of Karnataka, Gujarat and Andhra Paredesh are in the process of education and skills reform.
The trio were given a tour of the college’s Aeronautical Engineering Training Centre after first hearing about the opportunities available to students at Ayrshire College.
They were given an explanation of the Scottish Credit and Qualifications Framework and how Ayrshire College’s various STEM courses fit within it.
The spokesperson added: “A key message that the education group took away from their visit was the importance of working in partnership with industry leaders – after hearing about the college’s strong partnerships with Ryanair, BAE Systems and other major aeronautical companies.
“The Ayrshire College team also explained to the group how the college is addressing a skills gap and responding to industry needs by becoming the first, and to date only, approved training provider in Scotland to deliver composites training for the aeronautical, renewables and automotive industries.”
Rittika commented, afterwards: “What I’ve taken away from today’s visit is the great attention to detail given to making the learning fit for purpose for industry, and the way young people are encouraged to take their interest in STEM to the next level.
“The college is also engaging with those who might have missed the opportunity of learning further through its school programmes.
“Scotland has been the real highlight of our visit. We’ve heard a lot about the Developing the Young Workforce agenda and we see a lot of synergy with the problems here in Scotland with the problems in India; which has a huge young population that it must get prepared for work.”
Vice-principal (Learning and Teaching) at Ayrshire College, Bernadette McGuire, said: “We were delighted to host the visitors for an afternoon in order to share their approach to skills training in aeronautics and look forward to exploring the potential for future partnership working.”
Earlier the visitors had taken part in a network reception, before visiting Scotland’s Rural College (SRUC) to learn more about their expertise in teaching and research in agricultural sciences. After leaving Ayrshire College, they took in a fashion show at Glasgow Kelvin College before flying back to India.
Dr Bill Maxwell, chief executive at Education Scotland, said of the visit: “We’re really pleased to welcome this high-profile delegation of educationalists from India to attend this networking reception jointly hosted by ourselves and the British Council.
“The aim of the reception is to share our experiences and views of the education systems in both countries to help identify areas for collaboration from the innovative practice currently taking place in schools, colleges and higher education.
“By working with the British Council we’re able to tap into their international networks to promote Scottish education. Through developing positive relationships with education departments in key partner countries like India, we can enrich education and promote global citizenship for our young people.”
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