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College takes lead with training across China.

CITY of Sunderland College is taking the national lead in an ambitious initiative by the largest grouping of colleges in the UK to develop vocational training across China.

Principal, Angela O'Donoghue has made several trips to China during the year with the aim of developing in-country delivery of vocational education and has met with Chinese officials to get their backing for the project.

"As a college our aim is to identify regions where the expertise we can offer in vocational training will assist the growth and development of those communities so that they become better places to live and improve employment opportunities for young people.

In recent times that strategy has already seen us gain projects in China, Vietnam and Malaysia."

The project is being co-ordinated by the 157 Group of Colleges, an alliance of the largest further education colleges in England.

There are 25 in the group and to join a college must first have scored at least a grade 2 for leadership in management in its most recent Ofsted inspection and have a turnover of not less than pounds 35m per annum.

It is funded through the Joint International Unit, an arm of the department of Business, Innovation and Skills.

Ms O''Donoghue, said: "The 157 Group is keen to develop its strategy for working internationally, in order to enhance the potential for delivering UK training and qualifications overseas as well to explore valuable business opportunities.

City of Sunderland College has had a very strong international dimension for some time and we was delighted to be asked to play a lead role in China, especially as we are one of the very few colleges in the UK with the experience of delivering in-country training."

The project will develop links between three UK colleges and three Chinese colleges before being rolled out across 157 colleges in China.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 8, 2009
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