In February, Nescot were privileged to welcome Mr S R VENUGOPAL, Head of Section, Computer Department, Govt. Polytechnic College, Palakkad, Kerala, India.
The visit was part of the UKIERI (UK India Education Research Initiative) project arranged through the AoC (Association of Colleges). The main purpose of the trip was to investigate opportunities for information exchange between our two institutions and to gain an understanding of vendor engagement, industry engagement, ILT and curriculum development within a successful FE college.
Mr Venugopal was given a tour of the college, including the Computer Department where he took part in programming and networking lessons, as well as observing teaching in the less familiar subjects of Art & Design and the Gas and Electrical Academy.
As a result of his trip Mr Venugopal is returning to India with firm ideas about how to develop ILT within a curriculum, and methods to involve industry in developing the curriculum and provide students work experience opportunities. He is also going to work with Mohan Chana – Director of Employer Engagement and International Studies, Sage Lal – Head of Computing and Industry Partnerships and Joseph Hanke Section Leader Computing and Advanced and Higher IT Apprenticeships, on a joint project proposal on Pedagogical Strategies in Skills Development, for which two members of staff will be visiting Kerala to gain an understanding of Civil Engineering and Graphic Design courses in which they have expertise.
Mr Venugopal was impressed by Nescot College’s use of Moodle as a Virtual Learning Environment and with the way its capabilities have been maximised to ensure a more complete learning experience for the student. He feels that the interaction we have with industry has led to courses being up to date and relevant to today’s fast moving technology industry. He also feels that the support provided in the college is very good and was impressed with the high level of student activity and interaction in lessons. This is his first visit to Europe, and he has enjoyed his stay, despite the snow!
Sage Lal Head of Department Computing and International Projects said “We were delighted to have Mr Venugopal come and visit Nescot College and the Computing Department. We feel honoured that the state of Kerala in India selected Nescot Computing Department to showcase its skills and have the opportunity to share its teaching pedagogy. We discussed the use of the VLE and curriculum developments and links to vendor programmes and how these skills have given Nescot computing students a competitive edge which in turn would help develop the state’s Computing curricula. We see this as an exciting journey for both sides to learn from each other and benefit students in both countries. We look forward to going out to visit Mr Venugopal in Kerala in the near future”.