Borders College recently submitted an application to the new Turing Scheme and received funding to provide support for study and work abroad placements for their students.
The Turing Scheme, named after Alan Turing - British code breaker and mathematician, is the UK government’s scheme to provide funding for international opportunities in education and training across the world.
Replacing the old Erasmus+, it supports Global Britain by providing an opportunity for UK organisations from the higher education, further education, vocational education and training and schools sectors to offer their students, learners and pupils life-changing experiences to study or work abroad.
The scheme will provide £110 million in funding for 35,000 students from schools, colleges and universities across the UK to go on placements abroad between September 2021 and August 2022, with additional support for students from more disadvantaged backgrounds.
In April, the College applied to the Scheme to enable students in Hospitality to undertake a two-week placement with Centennial College in Toronto, Canada.
Centennial College is a large community college with several campuses across the city. They have a well-established international programme and highly developed partnerships with organisations across the globe.
A multi-cultural college, they offer many similar programmes to Borders College including sustainable construction, hospitality, child care, creative industries and social care.
Katharine Mathison, Director of Enterprise and Business Innovation at Borders College, commented:
“Borders College is very excited to receive funding via the Turing Scheme to support international study for our students.
“The scheme will enable a collaborative partnership to develop with Centennial College in Canada and support some of our Hospitality students to travel abroad, take part in lectures and learn more about different cultures, exchange ideas and promote global citizenship."
The project aims to enhance the learning experience of Borders College students through International placements at colleges and in workplaces, enabling them to gain new knowledge, skills and practical working experiences in new and innovative environments and to aid achievement of qualifications that will impact on their personal development and future employability.
The international placement aims to provide students with the opportunity to engage in basic foreign language competencies relevant to each placement and promote global citizenship by developing understanding and experience of cultures.
During the placement, students will have the opportunity to develop their core and meta-skills as well as gaining valuable practice and occupational skills. They will experience different approaches to work and learning and build confidence and self-awareness.
Many students who have undertaken some international study as part of their course develop lifelong friendships and feel they have gained maturity and improved social skills through the experience.
Borders College is keen to build stronger international relationships through an open exchange of ideas, sharing good practice and development of new teaching methods and hope this programme will empower students and staff to be more innovative, creative and committed to personal and professional development as well as increase opportunities for international collaboration on joint projects and research
“This programme will support students from all backgrounds and academic levels to improve their employability skills, build their confidence and understand ethnic diversity and the challenges faced by indigenous populations in North America.
“We are looking forward to planning and organising the trip and working with our students and partners to ensure it is a successful and productive opportunity.”
The Borders College Strategic Ambitions 2020-2025 makes a commitment to provide “innovative, life-changing opportunities that prepare our students for global citizenship”. Centennial College’s Academic Plan echoes many of these commitments and this has provided confidence that both Colleges can work together for the development of a mutually beneficial international programme.