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European exchange programme set to more than double in size

THE number of students set to benefit from a fully-funded European exchange programme will more than double next year as an exciting new bid is secured.

Around 28 Grimsby Institute students and 17 members of staff will have the chance to travel to Germany, France or Malta for three-week placements, funded through Erasmus+.

While learners will stay for the full duration, staff will conduct research projects on a rotation basis, in a bid to find innovative new ways to raise aspirations of local people.

Emma Forrest-Leigh, Associate Principal for Digital and Creative Industries, said: “When teams come back, every single person has done something to improve the quality of what happens here.

“We’ve been working with four partners on different projects; some for student placement, some for staff development. This new bid brings all of that together.

“In terms of an enrichment programme, this is immense. The skills and wants are matched up with what our partners can offer, e.g. Hospitality learners studying patisserie in France.”

Emma said the opportunity also lies for staff to take part in the programme for the first time, or continue work they have started in previous years.

“100% of the staff that have taken part say it’s the best Continuing Professional Development (CPD) they have ever done.

“We want to sustain that interest, by giving them the chance to go further and learn even more.

“We are also looking at running an international college competition during the programme, when we have students visiting us from our partners.

“It would mean the entire Arts Faculty as well as Hospitality would benefit and, suddenly, there are huge amounts of people gaining from the project.”

Emma is hoping to branch the programme out even further in future years, adding the scope for achievement is “huge”.

“Up to now, there has been one faculty involved. This new bid means there can be two, but in future we hope to build it up to involve even more.

“It’s becoming one of the biggest Erasmus+ programmes in terms of the spread of subject area and we want to widen it even further, so I’m always looking to hear from other faculties which would like to be involved.

“We run the programme in February and it forms part of our learners’ assessments, so they don’t miss out on any work time in college.

“There will be both first and second year learners going next year too, so those applying now still have the opportunity to be involved.”