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West Lothian College Malaysian Partnership wins National STF award

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West Lothian College Malaysian Partnership wins National STF award

An international project involving four HND Engineering students from West Lothian College has won a Scottish Training Federation (STF) Award.

West Lothian College recently partnered with the Malaysian Economic Planning Unit of Malaysia's Prime Minister's Office on an initiative to enhance vocational programmes and outcomes for learners through curriculum development aligned to employers' needs.

The project which involves the College working with global manufacturer Mitsubishi Electric was named as the winner in the Success in Partnership Category at the prestigious STF Awards 2018 as part of the STF Conference and Annual Dinner at Crieff Hydro on September 25.

The successful partnership was supported through an International Skills Partnership brokered by the British Council (UK) and the Malaysian Government. The programme focusses on improving student experiences by combining college curriculum with industry training. 

West Lothian College students were given the opportunity to work with Mitsubishi Electric staff to develop training manuals. These manuals explain production procedures and appropriate materials for the manufacturing of air-conditioning units as well as the advantages and disadvantages of existing procedures. This project was linked directly to accredited learning outcomes which meant coursework was directly linked to real employer needs.

The students were then given the opportunity to travel to Malaysia and present the outcomes of their project.  While in Malaysia the staff and students were hosted by Ungku Omar Polytechnic in Ipoh Province, whose students were also part of the same employability project working with Carsem, a major employer in Malaysia. The students were given cultural and technical tours of the both the College and District allowing them to experience new cultures as well as an understanding of how work is carried out in Malaysia. Their trip culminated in a showcase event attended by employers and other educational establishments held at the Polytechnic.

The programme has helped to reform current curriculum and place employer and student needs at the forefront.

Colin Miller from West Lothian College said: "We are delighted to have won this award. The success of the partnership between the College and Mitsubishi Electric is a fantastic example which can be used to show prospective partners how mutually beneficial working in tandem with the College can be.

"The project has allowed the students to apply the theory they have learnt in the classroom and has allowed them to develop new skills; particularly those needed by industry and has improved their employability.

"It was fantastic to work with the Economic Planning Unit of the Prime Minister's Office in Malaysia to deliver this programme and we have to thank them and everyone else involved in the project for the great opportunity."