The International Office has received excellent news that its application to Welsh Government’s Taith Programme was successful.
The bid, which is worth just under £300,000, includes learning exchanges to Portugal, France, China, Canada, and - for the first time - funding for an exchange from our partners in Chongqing, China to bring their students to us. In addition to these, it includes staff preparatory visits to the United States, the Netherlands and Vietnam in order to develop new partnerships, whilst invigorating existing ones.
This news has been greatly received by our Sport department as they now have the funding to take the Football Academy students once again to Sport Lisboa e Benfica's (SLB) training camp and build on their excellent working relationship with Benfica Football Club. For the first time, students on the Foundation Degree Sports Development and Management will also be visiting the club, where they will learn about SLB's coaching methodology, acquire new skills in training process and competitions, and gain knowledge of new competitive and cultural realities.
This funding will also provide greater opportunities for our Electronics department, who recognise that the world of electronic engineering requires international collaboration, which is so important when looking at designs of circuits, manufacturing techniques and lead times in the supply chain. With funding for 10 students to visit Changzhou Vocational Institute of Engineering in China, this will enable the department to continue to embed lessons learned from WorldSkills international competitions.
New to international exchanges are our Leadership and Management team who plan to take 20 students to the EM Normandie Business School in France. Our Visual Effects team has also linked up with Lost Boys School of VFX, Vancouver, and plan to take four students to study for three weeks, which will provide learners with an opportunity to access and use the best equipment in the industry, and receive tuition from experts in their field.
Following Brexit and the decision of the UK Government not to continue with the Erasmus+ programme, the International Office has been keen to identify and apply to other funding streams to continue to build on the work that has already been achieved for our students.
Taith funding will provide amazing opportunities for learners by working with new and existing partners to offer international learning exchanges. This will help to develop our students by improving performance and self-esteem, in turn increasing their employability. We also know from the existing exchanges we currently run with the Motor Vehicle department in the Netherlands and our Electronic Engineering department in Germany that the experience enhances entrepreneurial skills and self-employment potential, as well as improving student motivation.