Our websites

West Nottinghamshire College Group operates a number of websites that support our growing business.

The Corporation

Posted: 08/03/16

International influence

West Nottinghamshire College has been sharing its education expertise with a group of academics from India.

Dame Asha (centre) welcomes (from left) Dr Sunil, Dr Pachayil, Dr Saraladevi and Dr Jayanthikumari to the college.

A delegation of assistant professors from universities and colleges in the southern state of Kerala visited on a fact-finding mission to learn more about its approach to vocational and higher education (HE), which they hope to replicate back home.

Dr Ambili Sunil and Dr Anna Abraham Pachayil, assistant professors of economics at Sree Krishna College Guruvayur and Government College Kottayam respectively, and Dr Resmi Mohankumar Saraladevi and Dr Vivek Padmanabhan Jayanthikumari, both assistant professors at Sree Neelakanta Government Sanskrit (SNGS) College Pattambi, toured the Derby Road campus in Mansfield to see its state-of-the-art facilities before hearing about the college’s teaching and learning practices.

It formed part of a four-week visit to the UK through the FLAIR (Fostering Linkages in Academic Innovation and Research) programme. Funded by the Government of Kerala and supported by the British Council, the programme aims to strengthen India’s education system by equipping leading practitioners with international exposure to innovative practices in teaching and research.

Their visit, on Wednesday 24 February, was part of their stay with the University of Derby; one of the college’s partner institutions in its provision of university-level qualifications, which include higher national certificates (HNCs), higher national diplomas (HNDs), foundation degrees and full-honours degrees.

It saw the Keralan academics given an overview of the college by principal and chief executive Dame Asha Khemka before hearing from senior HE staff about its university-level provision and the ways it engages the local community in higher education.

They were also given a demonstration of the software produced by college subsidiary, bksb – an international provider of English, maths and IT online assessment tools – and informed about its recent expansion into India through its specially-tailored ‘Skills Anytime’ products, and the opening of its head office and training centre in Chandigarh.

Dr Sunil said: “There are so many things we can learn from the UK – the professionalism, quality of teaching and learning, and links with industry. At this college, we could see that everything is linked to the employability and the skills of the students.

“I was also impressed by the high standards of infrastructure and the quality of the courses, and the way the college caters for the needs of the local community.”

Dr Jayanthikumari said: “It’s been a wonderful visit. Everyone at the college adheres to professional standards and all aspects of studying relate to employment, entrepreneurship and meeting students’ needs. Things are much more skills-orientated than in India, where our people have high literacy but are not as employable. So there are definitely things we can adopt.”

Dame Asha said: “We were delighted to welcome our international visitors and share some of the innovative ways we deliver vocational training and higher education.

“The college has a growing reputation for the quality and accessibility of our university-level provision, and it was a privilege to give them an insight into our successful approach and to have an opportunity to contribute to shaping India’s educational system in this way.”

The visit represented the second time in as many weeks that Dame Asha had contributed to Kerala’s skills agenda. Earlier that month, she was a guest speaker at Nypunyam 2016 – The International Skill Summit and Skill Fiesta – in Kerala, which she attended in her capacity as the founding chair of AoC India; a consortium of UK colleges working with Indian partners to support the nation’s ambitions of training 500 million people in vocational skills by 2022.