Skills network offers students a passport to the world

May 16, 2003

Institutes of technology in Australia, the US and Canada have established an education network to develop an "international skills passport" that will give students global employment opportunities.

The Box Hill Institute of Technical and Further Education in Melbourne developed the scheme with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology and the Colorado Mountain College.

Box Hill chief executive John Maddock said the ultimate goal was to enable students to gain employment in any continent by providing them with industry-focused courses that would be recognised worldwide.

Further education and industry partners will be brought in over the next few months.

Mr Maddock said: "Our aim is to provide an experience that builds on the successful education provided by the student's home institute and adds an internationally complementary experience that will enable them to receive credentials from each of the institutes they participate at."

He said that globalisation was the driving force behind the scheme. With nations and their industries becoming increasingly intertwined, education institutions involved with vocational education needed to collaborate.

Student and staff exchanges have already taken place in trials of the scheme last year, in which Melbourne students attended the Canadian and US colleges. Box Hill is currently playing host to a group of 18 hospitality students from Alberta who are undertaking a food and wine study tour in Australia.

The first semester-long exchange, in which Box Hill students will attend the Alberta college, has been planned forlater this year. Students will receive a Box Hill diploma with a logo from the Canadian institute indicating the work completed there.

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