Nine vocational students from three of Wales’ colleges are on a trip of a lifetime in Chongqing, China, swapping skills knowledge and glimpsing new horizons in the world’s fastest growing city.
The students, who are studying at Ystrad Mynach College, Coleg Morgannwg and Yale College Wrexham, are being hosted by City Management College in Chongqing for the next two weeks (17 Nov – 1 Dec). They will be participating in skills and cultural workshops relevant to their studies, which span a wide range of vocational areas, including: health & social care, sports science, engineering, information technology, and art & design.
Setting the scene at the grand welcome ceremony this morning, the Welsh group was treated to a special address by Li Shyiu, International Director at Chongqing Education Commission. Her participation demonstrates that this visit, organised by CollegesWales (UK) International, is considered significant and strategic at governmental level in Chongqing.
The five staff members who are accompanying the students have a busy programme of relationship-building activities to manage. Hospitality and catering links are the key focus of the Coleg Powys representative, whilst the representatives from Ystrad Mynach College, Coleg Morgannwg and Yale College Wrexham have a wide remit to cover between them, including: health and social care, business, sport, travel and tourism, hair and beauty, and public services.
Hands-on teaching will add a particularly interesting dimension to the experience of the Welsh staff. Al Koursaros, senior lecturer in management and business at Ystrad Mynach College and who is also the CollegesWales (UK) International’s Group Leader for the duration of the visit, will be teaching Chinese students at City Management College.
Sian Holleran, International Coordinator at CollegesWales (UK) International, said: “CollegesWales (UK) International is keen to ensure that vocational learners from Wales have opportunities to broaden their horizons and consider their place in the global economy. I am delighted that the Wales-Chongqing Further Education Consortium has been able to secure this skills-based experience for Welsh learners as well as to facilitate strategic level discussions with counterparts in Chongqing.
“That the group from Wales has been feted by the International Director at Chongqing Education Commission augurs particularly well, and I am confident that the visit will serve to deepen relationships and develop more opportunities for learners in Wales and Chongqing.”