A Delicious Culinary Partnership

Warnborough President, Dr Brenden Tempest-Mogg, and Vice-President, Dr Julian Ng, were invited to Qingdao, a coastal resort city in eastern China by the Qingdao Huitong Institute for International Food Culture (HIIFC). Qingdao was a venue for watersports during the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

This is because HIIFC and WC have entered into a partnership to provide executive training including a speciality Mini MBA programme to key players in the China hospitality industry. Longtime WC partner, Amanda Ci, was responsible for facilitating this important cooperation, and she was on hand to welcome the WC visitors.

The visit was timed to coincide with the Qingdao International Beer Festival and the Qingdao Food Festival. Mr Hongwei Huang, the director of HIIFC met and signed contracts with Dr Tempest-Mogg. Mr Huang also is the leader of the Qingdao Culinary Association which boasts a large membership.

As part of the visit, the WC dignitaries visited the festivals and partook in the culinary delights on show. Visits were made also to various culinary schools and institutions who were members of the Culinary Association, whose students would be undergoing the WC training.

The first cohort will begin their programme in September. We are delighted and hope that this trip will be a tasty-mony of great things to come.

World TVET Conference 2015

World TVET Conference (Part 2)

Dr Julian Ng reports more from Warnborough College’s participation at the World TVET Conference in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia. See Day 1 here.

Day 2: 26th August 2015

The second day of the 2015 WORLD TVET conference kicked off with paper presentations at 8am by Dr John Gaal, Dra Marianne Teras and Mr Javier Amaro.

Dr John Gaal is Director of Training and Workforce and development for the Carpenters’ District Council in St Louis, USA. He spoke about his doctoral research into the relevance and importance of professional development, particularly in the TVET area. One of his concerns was that in higher education, teachers often rested on their laurels and stopped practising – relying mostly on past glories and theory to educate.

Dr Marianne Teras lectures at the University of Helsinki, and she spoke of using simulations to learn and develop expertise. Using examples in Finland, she shared the benefits and challenges of using simulations within a learning context. It was also paramount that teachers themselves were competent enough to use such a system.

Javier Amaro introduced the Australian VET system to all present.

After a short tea break, 6 workshops with various themes were held. I chose the group discussing the development of entrepreneurship in TVET.  Comprised of four shorter presentations, participants can ask questions if they are curious.

Peter Tomas Dobrilla from Code Blue, Slovenia, talked about partnerships and collaborations as a creative process.

Mr Steven McKee from Labtech International discussed ways of developing entrepreneurship in TVET. He spoke about how institutions could innovate and cultivate an entrepreneurial spirit, not just among their students but in the way they run themselves too. Hear, hear.

Dr Abang Zainoren from UITM Sarawak gave an impassioned talk on the need for a new model of education since the triple helix model (government, students and industry) was no longer adequate. Citing the Cambridge entrepreneurship model, he encouraged institutions to do more within and without to create and prepare the future entrepreneurial generation.

From the government’s perspective, Mr Somasundaram Nagappan of the Malaysian Multimedia Development Corporation said that the initiatives to inculcate an entrepreneurial spirit went as far as working with TVET institutions and awarding bodies to create internationally-recognised programmes and initiatives, piloting these on a small scale to iron out any kinks before rolling these out on a massive scale.

2pm – renowned motivator and best-selling author John Robertson took to the stage to disrupt perceptions and challenge convention about TVET’s biggest competitors. He raised some salient points about the need to reinvent and change or face death through inertia.

This was followed by Vera Jacobson-Lundeberg who spoke about using soft skills to engage with marginalised communities.

3:15pm – the second round of workshops saw me choosing the track on Innovation for Human Resource Development.

Robert Mahlman from Ohio State University spoke about emerging trends in workforce credentialing, and about a new standard that is being planned in the USA.

Ronan Haughey from Ireland stressed the importance of innovation in TVET to meet the needs of human resource development, for jobs which are out there and jobs which are yet to be created.

Rumyana Shalamanova from the RUNI Center in Bulgaria talked about bridging the gap between education and work.

Day 3: 27th August 2015

The last day of the conference started with 4 paper presentations focusing on entrepreneurship and innovation in TVET.

A plenary session involving all key speakers was held before a formal ceremony by the Malaysian Minister of Human Resources brought the event to a close.

I popped up on stage to receive a certificate for Warnborough’s participation in the MySkills fair, said my goodbyes to fellow delegates, and headed back to join a short cultural tour.

It has been a great conference, well organised by the PPKS in Malaysia and IVETA. Looking forward to next year’s world conference in Fiji.

World TVET Conference 2015 in Kuching, Malaysia

World TVET Conference 2015

Warnborough College opened a stand at the MySkills Education Fair 2015 in Kuching, Sarawak, Malaysia, which was held in conjunction with the WORLD TVET Conference at the Borneo Convention Centre Kuching from 24-27th August.

Vice-President, Dr Julian Ng, represented Warnborough College at the Conference, which was organised by IVETA (The International Vocational and Educational Training Association). IVETA’s current president is Carmel Thompson, who is a Warnborough alumna and Council member.

Dr Julian will give a day by day account of the events.  See other days here.


Day 1: 25th August, 2015

Blank canvas: setting up the Warnborough stand

Blank canvas: setting up the Warnborough stand

8am – Begin setting up stand.

8:30 – First presentation of the day by Datuk Dr Pang Chau Leong, head of the Department of Skills Department, Ministry of Human Resources, Malaysia. First off, stated the problems with TVET education in Malaysia and Asia in general. The problems of student perception, conflicting accreditation policies, etc.

Second presentation was by renowned academic, Prof Dr Georg Spoettl from the University of Bremen. He challenged the audience to think about how curricula and methods of instruction could convey successful performance competencies.

Wendy Perry from Adelaide talked about innovation through partnerships and collaboration in TVET, both in private and public sectors and accredited vs non-accredited provision.

11:00 – A colourful opening ceremony with speeches by the Chief Minister of Sarawak, the Chairman of the Sarawak Skills Development Centre, and our Carmel. This was followed by a welcome traditional dance in full national costume, and an amazing sand art demonstration. Her Excellency Vicki Treadell, the British High Commissioner to Malaysia gave her keynote address on the importance of TVET education and the message that one does not have to pursue the academic (i.e. university) route to achieve success (using herself as a prime example).

With the launch of the TVET conference and the MySkills Educational fair, the delegates went around looking at the different stands before breaking up for lunch.

Dr Julian Ng and various other British representatives held a private meeting with Her Excellency Vicki Treadell about Britain’s role in TVET.

14:10 – Four presentations from Dr Mohammad Naim Yaakub (Colombo Plan Staff College) who spoke about a common accreditation framework for regional integration and globalisation; former IVETA president, Dr Olga Oleynikova, who shared TVET success case studies from Russia; Concetta Fonzo from the National Centre of Euroguidance talked about matching lifelong guidance services to a 21st century skillset; and Prof Dr Wahid bin Razzaly from UTHM Malaysia presented a spirited argument for collaborative innovation.

The first day finished at 5pm.

19:30 – A gala dinner was held at the Pullman Hotel, attended by the guest of honour, His Excellency the Governor of Sarawak, Tun Pehin Sri Haji Abdul Taib Mahmud.

Maria Jacketti - Medusa's Hairdresser: Skyclad

Creative Writing Developer’s New Book

Warnborough College Creative Writing program developer Dr Maria Jacketti’s first collection of poetry, Medusa’s Hairdresser: Skyclad was published by Anaphora Press of Stone Mountain Georgia in July.

Jacketti is a well-known translator of Chilean Nobel laureates Gabriela Mistral and Pablo Neruda, having published a half dozen translations in the 1990s, which are still in print.

Skyclad spans almost 3 decades of Jacketti’s work, containing much poetry about family and distinct places. Most of the place-specific poems are set in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Other poems are set in northern New Jersey, outside of New York City.
Other poems offer a cosmological and spiritual fragrance. Overall, personas, namely “Medusa” and “Medusa’s Hairdresser” guide readers through the book and hint at more journeys to come.

Jacketti is a former college professor and currently works as a reporter and columnist at The Hazleton Standard Speaker. Her professional writing company is Mountain Laurel Copywriting and Content Creation.

Poet Craig Czury wrote of Medusa’s Hairdresser: “With all the cheek of a blasting cap, Maria Jacketti’s poetry unspring like a nest of hair.”

Klaus Gerken, editor of Ygdrasil Literary Journal wrote: “Medusa’s Hairdresser: Skyclad is Bob Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde converted to magnificent poetry. It will revolutionize poetry in a way that the album revolutionized music.”

Buy your copy of Skyclad here.

To read more about the Warnborough Creative Writing program, visit here.