Time moves relentlessly on, it being four years ago the UK left the European Union. Of course, it is still debated. It is politics and as such, will always create division, diversion and distrust.
In the world of EUROPEA we have to deal with the hand we are dealt and focus on maximizing the opportunities for all our students.
Erasmus Projects are now complete and we have been focusing on providing placements and visits for our partner colleges across Europe. There are still many students and staff coming to the UK and long may it continue.
Colleges wishing to send their students to the UK will now find extra paperwork and therefore need to give themselves more time to complete the application process. I will keep my views on this to myself and concentrate on getting the job done.
To send our students abroad we must apply to the Turing Fund, basically the UK equivalent of Erasmus but with the possibility of going all over the world. The name derives from Alan Turing, a scientist part of the team that helped break the Nazi codes during WW2.
A local example of successful bids has seen three Colleges in Norfolk granted funds for Work Experience programmes, City College Norwich, Easton College and Paston College.
In April students will travel to Italy (Digital Skills), Spain (Hospitality), Portugal (Animal Care) and Czech Republic (Agriculture and Equestrian). The opportunities for accompanying staff have largely been filled by those who have never had the chance to travel to these countries.
I have been inspired to continue coordinating this work when on a visit to Benesov in the Czech Republic, Vos a SZeS College hosted a visit from the Dutch ‘Digital Nomads’, a group of students working through their syllabus whilst travelling across Europe. I highly recommend reading their dissemination account.
(Text and pics by Charlie)