RIP: William ‘Bill’ Houston Chalker – WC Oxford supporter

Dr William (Bill) Houston Chalker

Dr William (Bill) Houston Chalker

It was with sadness that we learnt of the passing of Bill Chalker in Sonoma (California) in 2016. His association with Warnborough College began in 1971/2 while he was on sabbatical from the College of Idaho. While in Oxford, he met Dr Brenden Tempest-Mogg, and heard about the proposed new college for American Study Abroad students, to give them the ‘Oxford experience’. Bill wanted to be part of the inaugural fall semester. He was indeed. He came in September 1973 with 15 junior students from the College of Idaho where he was professor of Sociology.

These students joined other students from America and all were allocated individual Oxford tutors for their courses for credits. The Oxford tutorial system was a challenge for them, but they soon adapted to the Socratic method of learning, used by Oxford and Cambridge universities for centuries. Comments in the visitor’s book summed up their Warnborough experience: “wonderful way to learn“, “for once I am speechless“, “a tremendous year learning about life”.

The highlight of their semester was attending the formal opening ceremony of Warnborough held at Rhodes House. Local dignitaries attended, including the Lord Mayor of Oxford and university dons. Sir Christopher White, Bt. welcomed guests, and Sir Edgar Williams, the Warden of Rhodes House (Chief of Intelligence to Field Marshall Montgomery in World War II), expressed his delight about this unique opportunity for American students.

A letter of good wishes from Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher (then Minister for Education) was read out by Rev. Dr Karl G. Garrison, Jr. from Bethany College (West Virginia). Karl had recruited a group of junior students from his college for the January Term 1973.

The founder of Warnborough, Ethyl M Tempest-Mogg, and her son, Brenden, were pleased that Warnborough was now underway, and thankful for so much local and international support that made this event memorable.

Bill last visited Warnborough in 2010.  2017 marks 44 years since Warnborough was founded, and supporters like Bill Chalker will always be remembered for their enthusiasm and commitment to a new venture for overseas students. We salute Bill and those early students.

Art exhibition in New York featuring a retrospective of Dr Jill Kiefer's artwork

Art Exhibition Showcasing Dr Jill Kiefer Retrospective

“Eclectic-Spective” is a retrospective art exhibition of Warnborough Program Director Dr Jill Kiefer’s work created over the past several years. The exhibit includes paintings geared toward adults and children — ranging from storybook animals to abstract multi-media objects. Works such as “Selfie” and “Double Vision” were specifically-designed with children in mind.

Jill’s art focuses on a variety of themes, but fantasy imagery with an emphasis on animals and hybrid creatures (such as “What’s New?”) as well as on homage works (“Head of a Boy”) are her favorite subjects. Her ideas and inspiration come from the realm of art history and her own imagination.

I believe in magic

“I believe in magic—and the animal kingdom. My art is meant to be whimsical and heartwarming—and to honor those artists that have preceded us. I am also fascinated by unusual materials, bits and pieces, and what I might do with them. One of my favorite pastimes is haunting hardware and commercial paint stores—to see what interesting products might be incorporated into my art. My works range from the representational to the abstract. I love both rustic appearances (“Wet and Wild”) and things that sparkle (“Some Pennies for Your Thoughts”)!  I consider many of my works (such as “42”) to be designs, rather than paintings,” says Jill.

Jill’s two-dimensional works are completed in oil pigment sticks, as well as in mixed and alternative media. The foundations for her sculptures are developed in balsa foam, tin, plastics, and plaster. She often uses rusting agents and patinas in her art when going for an organic look and turns to gold leaf and metallic paints and dyes when she’s striving for a glow or an aura.

Opening reception

The Opening Reception for “Eclectic Spective” was held on 15 April and was well attended by colleagues, family, and friends of the artist. Mark Sarazen, the President of the Ossining Arts Council, attended the event along with well-known local artists such as Bonnie Talluto and Tom Wills, and Ossining Arts Council (OAC) Publicity Director, Elsa Rubenstein. Jill sold several pieces at the opening of the art exhibition, and her work is included in private collections around the globe.

Jill is an active member of the OAC. She leads the OAC ‘Art Speaks’ program, which is a series of presentations featuring local artists and placing them in the broader context of art history. She also oversees numerous gallery activities, which includes coordinating gallery talks for exhibiting artists, and developing special gallery evenings and events. Last year, one of Jill’s paintings (“After Midnight”) was selected to be the focus of a play written and performed by the Westchester Collaborative Theatre (WCT) – a multicultural, cooperative theater company located in Ossining, NY, dedicated to developing new work for the stage and bringing live theater to the community.

Canterbury Arts Conference

Jill will be coming to present at the Canterbury Arts Conference (CArtsCon) in July 2017, over which she presides. CArtsCon also showcases an arts exhibition each year. At the last arts conference, Jill gifted one of her pieces to the Lord Mayor of Canterbury.

Take the opportunity to meet Jill in person both at her art exhibition and at CArtsCon 2017.

German work intern students on the ERASMUS Youth Mobility Scheme in Canterbury

German Youth Mobility Partnership Yields Results

2017 marks the second year of collaboration with our German partner college, Hanse Berufskolleg, in Lemgo. Under the ERASMUS+ Youth Mobility scheme, Warnborough has hosted many European youths as they undergo various internships or training in different countries.

This year, the first batch of 9 German students arrived on 19th March with teacher Iris Köster. Taking up various positions in bookstores, hotels and other local businesses, the Erasmus+ Mobility scheme funds youths to experience living and working in a different country, using a language which is different from their mother tongue.

In the meantime, the students had to complete various tasks separate to their internship roles, while enjoying life in another country.

Programme coordinator, Annegret Kollmeier, arrived halfway through the internship to check that everything went well. She affirmed that the Youth Mobility scheme was of great benefit to the students in Lemgo and spoke of various case studies where students had excelled in their internships.

At the end of the stint, the interns were presented with their certificates of completion, and a goodbye party was held at the local pub. Some of the students had already fallen in love with Canterbury and vowed to return, even if only for a holiday.

The next batch of Hanse Berufskolleg interns will arrive in May.

Dr Betsy Ann Buchanan is one of 15 women honoured at the 2017 WA Women's Hall of Fame

Dr Betsy Buchanan Honoured in Hall of Fame

Betsy Buchanan (right) with WA Deputy Premier Liza Harvey

Betsy Buchanan (right) with WA Deputy Premier Liza Harvey

Dr Betsy Buchanan, was honoured for her work in legal and human rights fields, particularly her tireless advocacy work with the Noongar Aboriginal community on March 8, 2017.  Dr Buchanan was inducted into the Western Australia Women’s Hall of Fame. She attributed her success to staying focused and not losing sight of what is really important.

Community Law Centre pioneer

Dr Buchanan is credited with having established Western Australia’s first Community Law Centre in 1976.  Now, there are 280 such centres in Western Australia. She worked as an advocate based at the Aboriginal Medical Service (later the Derbarl Yerrigan Health Service) working on cases involving housing evictions, the handicapped child’s allowance, the reporting of child sexual abuse and the Royal Commission into Deaths in Custody. Her work with the Aboriginal community has spanned over 40 years.

A distinguished background

Anna Carson receiving the PhD on behalf of Betsy Ann Buchanan

Anna Carson receiving the Warnborough College PhD on behalf of Betsy Ann Buchanan

Betsy was from a distinguished family. Her father was a Country Party Member of Parliament and war veteran. Her interest in indigenous issues came from growing up in a small country town near a mission and reserve. After graduating in law from the UWA she was employed at Crown law in 1971 but then chose to be a voluntary legal and social welfare advocate for Aboriginal people.

Recognised for her work with indigenous peoples

In 2000, she received the distinguished Non-Indigenous Award from the National Aborigines and Islanders Day Observance Committee (NAIDOC) which she felt to be personally a significant acknowledgement of her work with the indigenous communities. She was also awarded a City of Perth Civic Medallion for her legal work with deprived indigenous people.

In 2006, she received her Doctorate from Warnborough College.

We are immensely proud of Betsy and her achievements.

Dr Julian Ng poses with Warnborough's Malaysian learning centre representatives

Welcome for Malaysian Learning Centres

Nine Warnborough College (UK) approved learning centres in Malaysia came together on December 4th, 2016 to meet with VP Dr Julian Ng. These learning centres are something that we are quite proud of as they represent Warnborough’s commitment to VET (vocational education and training).

Each centre focuses on a niche area of VET (for example, in music or cuisine production, art design, IT, engineering or language). Qualifications offered by the centres are validated by Warnborough College (UK), and they range from Levels 1 (Certificate) to 3 (Advanced Diploma).

Dr Julian introduced the Warnborough ethos to the representatives of each centre, and held a Q+A session, after which an official banner was presented to each centre. Warnborough College is committed to helping the centres develop their VET provisions and to provide opportunities to better the lives of their students.

The Canterbury Arts Conference (CArtsCon) was introduced formally to the group, and it is an event which is relevant to quite a few of the centres. It provides a wonderful opportunity for students and staff to present at an international conference to gain exposure and experience, and to bolster their resumés.

We look forward to hosting the centres when they come for graduation and CArtsCon in July 2017.

Finally, much thanks to COSC and A&E College for hosting this event.

Dr Julian Ng with Monique Santiago-Miranda, Sr Helen Malubay, Dr Rochi Marcelo, and Dr Manny Martinez

Visit to St Paul University

Warnborough Vice-President, Dr Julian Ng, visited St Paul University Quezon City (SPUQC) from the 26th November to the 1st December. SPUQC is part of the St Paul University System of institutions, and its headquarters are based in Tuguegarao, Luzon. Warnborough Council members are familiar with this location as many were present at St Paul’s 100th anniversary celebrations in 2007, during which the foundations of a Cathedral were revealed. Warnborough is proud to have contributed to the building of this Cathedral.

Over the years, SPU and WC have embarked on various joint programmes in nursing and business administration, and in distance learning.

This trip, Dr Ng met with SPUQC Vice-President of Academics, Sr Helen Malubay to discuss possibilities for expanding the partnership. Themes for partnership discussed included transnational education (TNE) opportunities and dual award programmes.

Dr Ng met also with Dr Rosalie Marcelo, the Director for Admissions and Linkages, to discuss the way forward for cooperation. Present too, was Dr Manny Martinez, the MBA Program Director, and Monique Santiago-Miranda, to discuss the possibility of study tours across the Warnborough University Alliance (WUA) network. Dr Ng gave some input into the strategic design of a new MBA programme targeted at high-flying executives. A sharing session with English language teachers allowed Filipino teachers to access ideas and tips for teaching English as a Second Language.

Former SPUP alumni president, Marites Guttierez, hosted a function at her elaborate resort, Canyon Cove, where many ideas were shared about the enhancement of SPUP’s global vision with parallels to the Warnborough experience.

Watch this space for details of the new partnership.

The colourful words encapsulate Warnborough and IVETA's vision of collaboration

IVETA Europe Meeting in Bulgaria

The colourful words encapsulate Warnborough and IVETA's vision of collaboration

The colourful words encapsulate Warnborough and IVETA’s vision of collaboration

The European chapter of the International Vocational, Education and Training Association (IVETA) had their second meeting this year in  Sofia, Bulgaria. The event was hosted by Know and Can Association at the Central Park Hotel, facing the majestic Palace of Culture on the 20th and 21st October.

28 organisations participated including Warnborough College (Ireland and UK), the Academy for Distance learning (UK) and Innovative Knowledge Institute (France). Dr Matina Chronopoulou, the IVETA member from Greece attended also.

Universities and other institutions from Bulgaria presented at this event, and time was set aside on the second day to brainstorm ways of networking and cooperation.

Dr Brenden Tempest-Mogg is also Vice-President of IVETA Europe. He spoke about the association’s goals to develop vocational education and training (VET) in Europe, and the rise of competency-based assessments throw the European Quality Framework. Dr Julian Ng did a workshop on Objectives-Based Education (OBE), a paradigm that is fast gaining traction around the world which has been proposed by the European Union as the way forward for VET.

Dr Souha Akiki from IKI spoke about various options available to Bulgarian schools in France and how the French educational system works. Amanda White from ADL described how distance learning was now viable alternative for learning outside of a school-based environment.

Know and Can Chairperson, Dr Rumyana Shalamanova, gave an in-depth look at how partners could avail of European public funds to create projects that were of benefit to citizens and tackle social and educational issues such as unemployment, literacy and conflict.

To lighten the mood and get everyone interacting, Dr Matina Chronopoulou introduced the concept of natural medicine by giving real case studies and actual exercises which made everyone sit up and take notice.

Meetings were held during the breaks, including lunch and dinner. Plans are now underfoot for new ERASMUS+ projects focusing on youth actions and strategic partnerships.  All in all, it was a great meeting of minds, and it set the scene for the next IVETA Europe meeting which will be held in Moscow, Russia in 2017. Many thanks and congratulations to Know and Can’s Rumyana and Nikolay and their staff for their meticulous organisation and hospitality.

Warnborough College Ireland Commencement Exercises 2016

Commencement in Canterbury

The 4th of September saw commencement exercises in Canterbury for some of Warnborough College Ireland‘s students at the Clagett Auditorium within the historic Canterbury Cathedral precincts. Participants came from places such as Ireland, France, Germany, Switzerland, Lebanon, Angola, Greece, the USA and China.

The event began with a trumpeted fanfare by celebrated maestro Kevin Kay Bradley. Dr John Allen, Chairman of the Warnborough Council, opened proceedings with a welcome address. He was followed by WCI President, Dr Brenden Tempest-Mogg, who underlined the importance of ongoing education, and the fact that people learn in different ways (both formally and informally). He spoke about the competency framework which had been used to evaluate several of the day’s graduates, and how that could be a boon for people who had worked their way up in industry.

Our guest commencement speaker was Councillor George Metcalfe, the Right Worshipful Lord Mayor of Canterbury. As one of the UK’s pioneer life coaches, he gave an inspiring talk about how one could showcase one’s talents in today’s competitive world. His salient advice and the knowledge amassed over 20 years was appreciated by all present, not least, the graduates.

Dr Souha Akiki from WCI partner, the Innovative Knowledge Institute (IKI) introduced her Doctoral graduate who was assessed primarily using the competency framework. Dr Matina Chronopoulou, our Warnborough Council member from Greece, ended with a heartfelt note of thanks, telling everyone to go after their dreams with a passion.

The Lord Mayor joined everyone back at Warnborough HQ for afternoon tea and chit chat.

Dinner was a French affair and everyone left sated and happy. Congratulations to all those who took part in the commencement exercises. Roll on 2017.

Key delegates pose with George Konrote, the President of Fiji (centre)

2016 World TVET Conference in Fiji

Key delegates pose with George Konrote, the President of Fiji (centre)

Key delegates pose with George Konrote, the President of Fiji (centre)

Warnborough College President, Dr Brenden Tempest-Mogg, attended the 2016 World TVET Conference which was held in Fiji from 23rd to 25th August, 2016.

TVET stands for Technical Vocational Education and Training, and looks at creating real, practical outcomes for students as a result of their learning. This is very much a philosophy adhered to by Warnborough.

The World TVET Conference is sponsored by the International Vocational, Educational and Training Association (IVETA), whose current President is Carmel Thompson, a Warnborough alumna.

The tropical island of Fiji was chosen as the exotic location for this year’s conference (although it was somewhat rainy). The President of Fiji, Mr George Konrote, welcomed everyone to his country in colourful style, with traditional dances and costumes. Dr Isimeli Tagicakiverata, the Chair of the Conference, laid out all the events admirably and the attendees all had a wonderful introduction to the island nation’s charms.

Dr Tempest-Mogg was nominated as the Vice-President for IVETA’s European branch earlier this year, and joined the rest of the IVETA committee members for various meetings.

Presenters came from around the world, sharing the latest knowledge and practices with delegates. There were lectures, workshops, and discussions aplenty. Competency-based Education (CBE) received a lot of attention, as well (see DBES for more information).

Most of all, it was a great opportunity for networking. Dr Tempest-Mogg networked with educators from Asia, Africa, Australasia, North America and Europe. Watch this space for future partnerships.

After all the hard work, delegates went on tours and tried out the local cuisine and the ‘national’ drink, kava.

Next year’s World TVET conference will be hosted in New Zealand.

IVETA Committee members get-together

IVETA Committee members get-together