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The Corporation

Posted: 18/10/09

College to welcome South African visitors

West Nottinghamshire College will welcome visitors from South African colleges next week, as part of a project to strengthen educational links between the two countries.

The college is a member of the Education Partnerships in Africa (EPA) project, which sees English higher education and further education institutions working in partnership with counterparts in sub-saharan Africa.

Led by the University of Nottingham, the project is aimed at building African universities and colleges’ capacity to deliver employability skills in partnership with local employers and social enterprises.

It is hoped the programme will provide young people abroad with the necessary skills, knowledge and attitudes to allow them to become more employable and better socially-included.

It is being funded by the UK Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) and managed by the British Council and will see £4.5 million being invested in EPA partnerships between England and Africa between 2008-2011.

Delegates from the University of KwaZulu-Natal, the University of the Western Cape, KwaZulu-Natal Coastal College and Professor Simon McGrath from the University of Nottingham will meet staff at West Nottinghamshire College to explore how to develop the competencies and employability skills needed, as well as meet A level students to discuss differences in further and higher education between South Africa and the UK.

Delegates will also be given a tour of the college’s teaching and learning facilities and learn about the wide range of vocational courses offered by the college.

The visit, which runs from Monday to Friday (October 19-23), follows a recent visit to South Africa by Harvinder Atwal and James Walker from the college and delegates from the partner university, as part of the EPA project. 

The project brings together three universities – University of Nottingham, KwaZulu-Natal and Western Cape – along with three further education and training colleges; West Nottinghamshire College, Northlink and KwaZulu-Natal Coastal. It will also partner with the Manufacturing, Engineering and Related Services Sector Education Training Authority (MERSETA) in South Africa.

Deputy principal Tim Grant said: “We’re proud to be part of this exciting project and have the chance to work closely with educational institutions from South Africa. Colleges in the UK and South Africa provide people with the skills, knowledge and attitudes to become more employable.  This visit is a great opportunity to share best practice.