Cambridge Regional College - Centre of Vocational Excellence

CRC continues Erasmus participation in Finland and Netherlands

Cambridge Regional College has been sharing best practice with colleges across Europe hosting a visit last week for Dutch delegates, participating in a best practice visit to Oulu in Finland and last month welcoming students and educators from Italy, Czech Republic and Finland for a week of activities, discussions and work placements.

The visit to the UK last week by ROC Middenland, an educational institution in the Netherlands, was to explore how CRC has developed their mission, corporate strategy and values, something that the college has received national accolade for in achieving IIP Gold accreditation and being recognised for strong leadership in a recent Matrix award.  ROC Middenland is one of the largest colleges in the Netherlands and spread over several cities in the province of Utrecht. As a large multi-site vocational education provider, they were keen to discover how CRC manages multiple sites in Cambridge and Huntingdon, in order to provide the best possible experience for students, staff and employers whilst continuing to serve the wider community.

Earlier this month twelve representatives from different UK colleges, including Cambridge Regional College, were recently selected to visit Oulu in Finland, led by the Association of Colleges (AoC). The trip was focussed on exploring the support services provided to students in Finland, finding out about mental health trends among young people and how the Finnish system, education and health and social care partners work together to support young people.

Last month, students and educators from Italy, Czech Republic and Finland visited CRC for a week of activities, discussions and work placements. The students participated in a ‘Dragons Den’ task,  involving developing ideas in teams, whilst overcoming language barriers, then pitching the outcomes to local business representatives from Luminus Group and Xtreme Events. This was followed by a number of company tours at leading local institutions. Professional teaching staff also had workshop sessions on developing empowerment and positive mental learning.

All visits were part of the Erasmus scheme which is funded by Europe and sees over 4,000 educational institutions in nearly 40 countries engage in to develop skills for both staff and students. Prime Minister Theresa May has recently confirmed that the United Kingdom will maintain its involvement with the Erasmus programme after Brexit, until at least the end of the year 2020.

CRC Principal and Chief Executive, Mark Robertson, said “We are delighted to continue welcoming Erasmus participants from across Europe to Cambridgeshire and Huntingdonshire. Sharing ideas and successes between different cultures is beneficial to everybody and it is hugely positive to learn from our European counterparts and share our best practice.”

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