On 7 November, Northlink College hosted its first International Day in the FET College sector at Encore restaurant and conference facility at Northlink College Tygerberg Campus. The purpose of this day was to approach embassy consulates and find ways to deliver better services to international students that would indirectly contribute to the knowledge sharing and skills development of the respective countries. Northlink wanted to create a platform to discuss and strengthen future international relations and collaborations. The event saw consulates from China, Germany, Namibia and Russia and seeks to attract more embassies from around the globe in future. It is set that International Day will become an annual event on the College calendar.
Northlink College currently serves 750 international students from 25 different countries. So it is definitely feasible to start by creating links with the various Embassies or Consulates in South Africa. An International Day for students will also be held annually where they will get an opportunity to showcase their countries specialities and to also show them that Northlink supports and also have an interest in their future.
Amongst the guest speakers were, Phathutshedzo Mabuda, Acting Director: International Relations Western Cape, Zozo Siyengo, Chief Directorate Further Education and Training and Prof. Juliana Smith College council executive committee member and Deputy Dean of Teaching and Learning at the University of the Western Cape (UWC). They too gave their views on the international relations and expressed the importance of such beneficial relations for international students who wish to study at Northlink. The consulates also contributed to the event by expressing their thanks and appreciation for hosting their country’s students and alluded to possible future involvement in this undertaking.
“We want to create a platform for vocational education and training with other countries. It’s important for us to allow for an international community or culture in the vocational education sector, in this way we can work better together and find strategies to produce better quality students, which will also hold benefits for local students who wish to study abroad in future,” says Trish van der Merwe, Deputy CEO: Innovation and Development at Northlink College.
With the integration of international students, these students not only acquire the above skills, but they also learn to conduct themselves and excel within a democratic and socio – economic order. Through these interventions and events such as this the College hopes to understand the country’s unique circumstances and training needs, to explore the possibility of cooperation agreements and with it to discuss possible future joint training projects. Many more meetings will be scheduled to start this process that will grant a learning opportunity for the young generation across the globe.