Five TAFE Western delegates have returned from a special trip to India confident an ongoing partnership with Centurion University of Technology and Management will produce better learning opportunities for Indigenous students in both countries.
TAFE Western Head Teacher of Construction (West) Matt White was one of five TAFE representatives who spent eight days in India, touring the University, meeting with University staff and students, Indian politicians, industry experts and Indigenous communities, sharing knowledge and working on ways to improve Indigenous learning outcomes.
The trip was supported by an Australia-India Council grant, and was a return visit after five Indian delegates visited TAFE Western in December last year.
“The trip was excellent – not only was it very enjoyable, we really felt we achieved a lot and built an even better relationship with Centurion University that will benefit students in India and Australia,” Mr White said.
“From a TAFE perspective, it was great to learn about a not-for-profit microbusiness they run at the University which helps students in training transition to starting their own business.
“They also have very strong and beneficial partnerships with employers that guarantee jobs. These are just some of the things we can learn from them and work on at TAFE in the future.”
From Centurion University’s perspective, Mr White said they were very interested in learning more about TAFE’s ability to recognise prior learning and the organisation’s successful apprenticeship systems.
“We met with Indian Federal and State Governments and politicians who are very keen to learn more about recognising prior learning – so much so they have agreed to facilitate another group to come back to Australia to learn more later this year,” Mr White said.
Mr White said the highlight of the trip for him was spending time in a small tribal village, while Head Teacher Aboriginal Health Tracy Goodwin loved visiting the Taj Mahal.
“To see the locals in a small village where they have lived for hundreds of years was an eye-opening but fascinating experience,” Mr White said. “Culturally it was amazing to see people living so happily with limited resources.”
“The trip as a whole was an amazing experience,” Ms Goodwin added. “The visit to the tribal village was amazing, the people were very welcoming and excited to have visitors from Australia.
“It was wonderful to see the preservation of their culture and farming practices, and them enjoying a life they are very content with.
“There is enormous potential for TAFE Western to engage internationally with developing countries as leaders in VET – helping increase the quality and capacity of their trainers and educational programs.”
In further proof of TAFE Western’s successful partnership with Centurion University, 10 society and culture TAFE Western students will travel to India in November as part of the Outbound Mobility Program.