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.

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 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.

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

 

 

New Warnborough partner in Paderborn, Germany

Partner in Paderborn

The Berufskolleg Schloss Neuhaus (BSN) invited Warnborough College to present its programmes to key staff members for partnership opportunities in Paderborn, Germany. The College takes its name after the Schloss Neuhaus (New House Palace) close by, and is located in a beautifully-landscaped residential area of Paderborn.

BSN head, Matthias Gross, outlined his plans for European partnerships and expressed his desire to work with Warnborough College for apprenticeships and student transfers. The first programmes are expected to kick off in Spring 2017.

The visit coincided with the annual Frühlingfest (Spring Festival) during which the Germans expressed their love for all things Spring with outdoor music performances, food galore, and general frolicking in the May sun.

Posing with the Warnborough interns at Hanse Berufskolleg

Visit to Lemgo

Warnborough President, Dr Brenden Tempest-Mogg, and Vice-President, Dr Julian Ng, visited our German partner college, Hanse Berufskolleg (HBK), in Lemgo in May. This was to cement the relationship between the two institutions after Hanse sent a group of 11 interns to Canterbury in March.

It was an opportunity to catch up with good colleagues and friends, and also to see the interns again after their Canterbury experience. The Warnborough principals were invited to attend the special Europatag (Europe Day) celebrations where the students showcased the work they had been doing with the public and the Mayor, Dr Axel Lehmann.  HBK students were proud to show the work they had been doing with refugees who had been educated at the college. This included video montages and interviews with different community stakeholders, documentaries of other faiths and cultures, and even reenactments of cultural exchanges to challenge contemporary thinking.

HBK Head, Susanne Tjiete-Gross, introduced the partnership before the crowd and spoke of her hope to encourage more cooperative ventures.  Annegret Kollmeier-McNeill, HBK’s European and International Projects Coordinator, called out the Canterbury interns to receive their Europass certificates from Dr Tempest-Mogg.

Deputy Head, Bernd Wolter, who had accompanied the interns to Canterbury talked also about his wish to provide more opportunities for students to have an experience abroad. WCI is in talks now to provide opportunities for HBK students in Dublin.

While in Lemgo, Mrs Kollmeier-McNeill introduced both principals to Lüttfeld Berufskolleg, HBK’s neighbour, which focuses on engineering and the arts. They were shown around the school by Engineer Tobias Lüttig, the European Projects Coordinator. The Faculty of the Arts were invited to the Canterbury Arts Conference to be held this September.

2016 IVETA Europe meeting at Warnborough College in Canterbury

IVETA Europe Meeting at Warnborough College

Warnborough College hosted the first IVETA Europe meeting for 2016 at its HQ in Canterbury on the 18th and 19th March.

A welcome reception with wine and nibbles was held at HQ on Friday leading on to a nice dinner at Café Rouge.

On Saturday the 19th, the proceedings began in earnest with a welcome speech by current IVETA Europe Vice-President, Dr Brenden Tempest-Mogg. Mari Konturri, the former IVETA Europe VP, presented an introduction about IVETA and its strategic goals and activities, followed by a short presentation on her own institution, Luovi Vocational College.

Other institutions/organisations which presented included Innovative Knowledge Institute (France); Know and Can Association (Bulgaria); The Ronan Haughey Partnership (Ireland); Capture and Create (United Kingdom); Academy for Distance Learning (United Kingdom); Job Point Central (United Kingdom); Canterbury Arts Conference (United Kingdom); and Dispatch Training (Saudi Arabia).

Apart from IVETA policies, discussions also looked at how IVETA could improve networking amongst vocational education and training (VET) providers, accessing funding for projects, and involving various communities through outreach programmes.

Warnborough partners with Hanse Berufskolleg to provide internships for German students

German Interns in Canterbury

Warnborough College (UK) in Canterbury has welcomed 11 young achievers from our partner school, Hanse-Berufskolleg Europaschue in Lemgo, Germany.

The eleven students are taking part in work internships at various locations in Canterbury. The internships last for 3 weeks focusing on areas of career interest for the students, and this gives the interns a chance to improve their English and brush up on British history and culture.

This is the second group to come from Lemgo, and the pictures prove that they are enjoying the experience (so far).  The school Vice-Principal, Mr Bernd Wolter, came over with Mrs Anegrette Kollmeir-McNeil to oversee things. As part of the programme, the interns will visit Maidstone Television Studios, Dover Castle and other local attractions such as museums, art galleries, Roman ruins and gardens.

During their off days, the interns will be exploring London. Dr Brenden said: “I am impressed with their enthusiasm and determination to get as much as possible out of their three week stay, and to be involved with the varied activities of the college. Other groups are being planned to enable more students from Lemgo to come to Canterbury”.

Mr Wolter expressed interest to expand the ERASMUS Plus project to include teacher and staff exchanges with Warnborough. Together with our other European partners, we hope to make the collaboration multi-country in scope.

In anticipation of all this, we are learning how to drink more beer and eat sauerkraut.