A new guide to international best practice in professional and technical education
The World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) was formed in 2002 in Melbourne. Today it brings together some 4,000 professional and technical education and training providers across the globe.
(Pushing our local Australian barrow for a moment – the CEO of TAFE Director’s Australia, Craig Robertson, has recently joined the WFCP’s Board. And in late 2018, the WCFP’s ninth bi-annual World Congress will be held in Melbourne.)
WFCP’s best practice Guide
Among the WFCP’s roles is to share best practice throughout its network. In fulfilling that undertaking, WFCP recently published World Best Practices Guide in Professional and Technical Education (63 pages). The Guide showcases the activities of member institutions which have recently received a WCFP Award of Excellence. The Awards fall into seven categories, and each category is represented separately in the Guide:
- Access to Learning and Employment
- Applied Research
- Green Colleges
- Leadership Development,
- Higher Technical Skills
- Student Support Services.
Over 3-4 pages, the story is told of Gold, Silver and Bronze Award recipients in each category. For example, under the category of ‘Higher Technical Skills’ the entries are as follows:
- Burton and South Derbyshire College, United Kingdom – Delivering global higher technical skills for tomorrow’s productive economies
- Handan Polytechnic College, China – Innovating the cooperative mode between college and enterprise
- Georgian College of Applied Arts and Technology, Canada – Electrical Engineering Technician and Technology programs.
Best practice exemplars from the Basque country to Nebraska
Details about the Award winning program are provided, along with an indication of next steps for the program. The entries are diverse, and frequently inspiring, like one under the ‘Applied Research and Innovation’ category for Aretxabaleta VET centre in Spain’s Basque country. The entry describes a close collaboration with Fagor Automation, a developer and manufacturer of machine automation and control products:
‘The coordinated teachers/enterprise workgroup has managed to turn an electric vehicle into a “Range Extender” type hybrid vehicle, implementing a prototype vehicle not to be traded. During the process, a combustion motor was coupled to an electric one in order to increase the vehicle’s autonomy. However, the main goal was to acquire the know-how necessary to later introduce that technology in the company.’
Also inspiring is the student support program devised by Northeast Community College in Nebraska, USA. Imagine this:
‘The entire campus – all faculty, staff, and administration – completed advisor training at the close of the 2014-15 academic year… This demonstrates the level of importance that is being placed on the Strengthening Student Advising Initiative and the commitment of the entire campus to make student success a priority at Northeast.’