Principals from two colleges almost 3,000 miles apart have met to look at the different styles of education curriculums, administration and management between the UK and Estonia.
West Nottinghamshire College’s principal and chief executive Andrew Cropley welcomed Raini Jõks, principal of the Tartu Vocational Education Centre (TVEC) in Estonia, and four of his senior executive team members.
Thanks to the Erasmus+ European study and cultural exchange programme, West Nottinghamshire College and TVEC students and staff have enjoyed a number of exchanges. Every year since 2016, construction and catering students have taken part in work placements at the Kutsehariduskeskus; a vocational college in Estonia.
This week it has been the turn of the Estonian college staff to visit the UK on a three-day educational fact-finding mission and be introduced to the many systems which West Nottinghamshire College has in place to give its students and staff a first-class experience.
On Tuesday (21 January) Mr Jõks and his colleagues spoke with West Nottinghamshire College executive members about the management systems it has in place. This was followed by a visit to the college’s Engineering Innovation Centre in Kirkby-in-Ashfield and the Construction Centre in Sutton-in-Ashfield.
On Wednesday (22 January), the Estonian delegation visited lessons and workshops around the Derby Road campus where they saw students in creative arts and A Level classes as well as classes taking place within the commercial hair and beauty salons. They also learnt about the many community courses that the college offers in the towns and villages surrounding the main college.
The afternoon consisted of discovering how West Notts works closely with employers as well as the range of student support services it offers to students including careers guidance, mental health support and financial assistance.
Raini Jõks said: “We’re really thankful to our hosts at West Notts College. We’ve been made to feel very welcome and it’s been incredibly useful to see how people work here. We were very impressed with the use of learning space at the construction campus – it’s amazing.
“We’ve learnt a lot about how visual displays are used to full effect and how the college and its courses are marketed to students. We shall certainly be looking at replicating some of the best practice back home in Estonia.”