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The Corporation

Posted: 08/06/15

Sharing educational expertise globally

Educational standards and expertise from across the globe were the topics for discussion at West Nottinghamshire College last week, as bosses welcomed a distinguished guest.

  • (lr) Mr Jitendra Sharma, His Excellency Mr Ranjan Mathai, Dame Asha Khemka, Mrs Madhu Sethi and Andrew King
  • Dame Asha Khemka and vice chair of the corporation board and Mansfield’s Mayor Kate Allsop present gifts to Mr Mathai
  • Managing director of bksb Harvinder Atwal welcomed Dame Asha Khemka and Mr Mathai to the business premises in Mansfield
  • Media production student Connie Smith interviewed Mr Mathai about his role as Indian High Commissioner

His Excellency Mr Ranjan Mathai, the High Commissioner of India, visited the college on a fact-finding mission on Tuesday (2 June) and toured its state-of-the-art facilities.

Principal and chief executive of the college, Dame Asha Khemka, introduced Mr Mathai to the college’s executive team and governors, which include Mansfield’s new Mayor Kate Allsopp. Mr Mathai also met with business leaders who have curriculum links with the college – including Midlands Aerospace and Center Parcs.

Mr Mathai and invited guests spoke about the impact of the relations between the UK and India and how business and education are developing rapidly in India whose government has been tasked to train over 500 million people in vocational skills by 2022.

During his tour of the Derby Road campus, Mr Mathai, accompanied by First Secretary (Education) Mrs Madhu Sethi and the Consul General of India in Birmingham, Mr Jitendra Kumar Sharma, visited the Create television studio where he was interviewed by 17-year-old media production student Connie Smith.

The television interview, which was recorded live for the students’ weekly Create TV show, saw Mr Mathai being asked his views on the election and his role as Indian High Commissioner.

In the Ministry of External Affairs of India, Mr Mathai has held several key positions, and he was Indian Foreign Secretary from August 2011 to July 2013. He took up his current assignment as the High Commissioner of India to the United Kingdom in December 2013.

The visit included a tour of the college’s Engineering Innovation Centre and the construction centre, both based in Kirkby-in-Ashfield. Mr Mathai saw students working in their vocational specialisms and met with tutors.

He concluded his tour with a meeting at bksb – a subsidiary company of the college which tailor makes software packages in literacy and numeracy for the global market. The business has recently opened a new headquarters in the northern Indian city of Chandigarh as part of its ongoing expansion.

Mr Mathai said: “I was particularly impressed by the industrial training in engineering and construction at the college – these were really impressive places and the quality of the work is excellent.

“In India, we have similar institutes of training in these areas. We can certainly learn from this college how well connected you are with employers, while we move towards training millions of citizens in vocational subjects.

“It’s great to see close relations with businesses who help ensure the course content and the work undertaken is constantly updated to meet employers’ needs. When apprentices come in they can be already confident that they have great skills which are attractive to employers.”