The Chair (Sonia Fisher) of Newport Kutaisi Twinning Association (NKTA) attended the Wardrop Discussions as invited by the Georgian Embassy based in London.
Ms Fisher was invited to provide a brief presentation noting the activities and work of NKTA. She was joined by the two other twining organisations along with many other organisations and businesses.
The theme of the day was centred around ‘People to People-Culture and Education Pillar’
Please find notes as written by Ms Fisher
The following areas are split into a number of areas that being
- International Higher Education Links
- Culture and Creativity
- Professional Development of health/ Bio-Medical Professionals
- British Georgian Society
English Language learning and teaching:
Objective: Outline new areas of focus, including more and wider access to English learning opportunities at the community level, and increased teacher development programmes.
International Higher Education links:
Objective: Understand and explore education links in higher education, science and research, particularly international student mobility, and including the Study in Georgia campaign.
CULTURE AND CREATIVITY:
Objective: Discuss opportunities for further capacity building in the arts/creative industry sector, with a focus on SMEs, the media as creative industry and festival development.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF HEALTH/BIO-MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS:
Objective : Share an overview of he collaboration with the British Medical Journal on professional development schemes for health and bio-medical professionals.
Objective: To better understand priorities , future plans and scope for further cooperation in the 3 UK -Georgia twinning schemes.
BRITISH GEORGIAN SOCIETY.
Objective: Share an overview of the British Georgian Society and the society’s plans.
- There are new areas of focus – access to early language
- British Council to help institutions in Georgia -widening the access beyond cities.
- Aim to build stronger educational links/UK/Georgia.
- Partnership with the Ministry of Education.
- 3000 English language teachers engaged by the British Council.
- Teacher/Education programme in Georgia. Links for continuous development.
- Promotion of English language throughout primary schools.
- Ministers of Justice /Ministry of Science in Georgia to extend English language teaching which is a priority.
- Training the trainers.
- An international Education Centre to be established with funding for students – with English language a priority.
- There is an aim to strengthen English language teaching and British Council ready to co-ordinate.
- Open foundation – British Council to provide support.
International Higher Education Links:
- Scholarships available for Georgian students particularly scientific students.
- Many projects which can be implemented and it is an ambitious plan attractive to foreign students.
- 25 programmes for Higher Education which will give students the Diploma in International Education. High quality with Quality Assurance attached.
- Joint Degree programmes with foreign universities – accredited programmes.
- Cooperation already with USA and France.
- Double degree / Masters degree programmes.
- A large campus to be developed in Kutaisi to attract foreign students.
- A need to expand additional programmes.
- Inform UK Universities that this opportunity is there!
- Further UK cooperation required :-
- Teaching of English
- Vocational education.
- Staffing exchanges
International Education Centre:- Funding by Georgian Government.
- Network with UK Universities required.
- International cooperation and training needed to improve quality assurance mechanisms in Georgia.
- Scientific opportunities to be established in Georgia and exchange programmes for research students . Georgia offers cooperation with UK.
Georgia Regional Hub: for Education .- Director of Education , Professor Rebecca Hughes.
- Innovative Centres which are interesting to teachers.
- Keen to support international credit mobility.
- Erasmus British Council to act as agent. Expansion needed – student .staff exchange.
- ‘Go International Go Live’ Programme being launched by the British Council.
- Already 20 universities have signed up and probably all universities will sign up to the programme.
CULTURE AND CREATIVITY.- Nick Dodds Executive Director Festivals and Events Ent.
- Strong cultural links . Institute of Creative Georgia / creative industry strategy.
- Focus on creative industries.
- Value of creative sector in UK = £24 Billion.
- This important sector in UK could be a valuable sector in Georgia.
- Festival events in UK are increasing in popularity .
- British Council supports publicity of Arts Centres. and the broad range of festivals which are an important part of the mix.
PROFESSIONAL DEVELOPMENT OF HEALTH/BIO-MEDICAL PROFESSIONALS.
- Collaboration with the British Medical Journal on professional development schemes for health and biomedical professionals.
- British Medical Journal is not a big organisation. British Council has helped with the translation in Georgia.
- It is an immediate resource for current information but the challenge is cultural and need to resolve to get it embedded . BMJ are looking for partners to assist.
- Each representative of the Twinning Associations gave an account of their recent and future plans .
- The Georgian representatives thanked all three Twinning associations for their work and were impressed with the amount of activity which took place between the two countries. It was appreciated how important these links were to Georgia.
BRITISH GEORGIAN SOCIETY.
- Reported details of their current membership, Many events organised but mainly in London . Hope to organise events outside of London so wider membership can attend.
- Re education – Will fund individuals who are BGS members for research in Georgia.