A delegation of Swedish teachers has visited Telford College as part of an international programme to improve language skills and cultural awareness.
The group, from Nösnäs Gymnasiet in Stenungsund, said they were impressed with the facilities, and praised the ‘friendly, caring and very knowledgeable’ staff.
The visit was the first stage of an ongoing link-up between the two colleges as part of the Erasmus programme, designed to improve accessibility for education and training.
The next stage will see a group of Telford College staff making a return visit to Sweden – and it is also hoped to launch a student exchange programme for both sites as part of the two-year project.
Lindsey Mulhern, English lecturer and course team leader for GCSE English at Telford College, said: “Our Swedish visitors were blown away by how welcoming, kind and positive everyone was – staff and students – as well as the facilities we have here.
“They have told me that are returning to their college with new ideas and a renewed energy after having seen what we do here.”
Rachael Wilson, head of maths and English, added: “We very much enjoyed hosting our Swedish colleagues and developing new friendships which we hope will continue to flourish as we continue to work together.
“It was a pleasure showing off our facilities and sharing the good practice we have worked hard to develop. We now very much look forward to our visit to Sweden.”
From the Swedish group, English tutor Kerstin Ulmefors said: “The sports facilities were superb”, while construction lecturer Martin Eriksson added: “The facilities and equipment were of a very high standard and modern.”
The Erasmus programme is designed to help colleges develop meaningful international links, including greater cultural understanding and improved language skills.
It also encourages partners to share good practice, exchange strategies, and promote the importance of global citizenship – especially with the UK’s impending departure from the EU.
Graham Guest, Telford College’s principal and chief executive, said: “There are benefits to this project on many levels.
“It promotes inclusivity and awareness of other cultures and the importance of collaborative working, and provides valuable opportunities for students to travel and experience other cultures.
“Enrichment activities such as this play a key role in allowing students to develop their confidence and independence outside the classroom.”
Emilia Quaranta, director of language, education and partnerships at Nösnäs Gymnasiet, said: “It was very rewarding to see how much emphasis is placed on creative arts.
“We are extremely excited to start this partnership, and are looking forward to welcoming Telford College staff to Sweden soon.”