New College Lanarkshire (NCL) is one institution that has successfully taken educational and vocation training programmes that they provide in the UK and exported them to China. NCL has been exporting dental nurse courses to China and providing guest lectures, teacher training, assessments and certification with partner institutes since 2011 when the college was first approached by an agent from China.
“Dental nursing programmes were in their infancy in China when we first started working there,” explains Hazell Scott, International Activity Manager at NCL. “They didn’t have that qualification in China.”
After the initial partnership with a university in Inner Mongolia in 2011, additional programmes have been developed with Youjiang Medical Universities for Minorities in Guangxi and with a college in Qingdao.
“There is a new innovation park in Qingdao and they’re hoping to open a dental training school that will offer a four-month programme and give nursing graduates a training centre.”
The partnerships include the joint delivery of programmes in dental nursing with the college providing online access to non-accredited dental materials, as well as offering opportunities for staff training and student exchange.
“We have a great relationship with our partners. Over the last five years we have developed an excellent face to face relationship,” explains Scott, who travels regularly to China. “We understand how much it takes to get a quality driven approach. And this would not have been possible without our agent who understands local business culture. We have developed a trustworthy professional relationship with him and he is always looking for new opportunities for us.”
NCL provides training, assessments and licenses for dental nursing courses with the partner institute. And “once or twice a year, we have a programme for lecturers and teachers to come and train on an eight-week training programme,” explains Scott. “We also work with private colleges from October to December in order to identify teacher nurses, and are also looking at student exchange programmes for an 80-week course.”
Dental nursing programmes were in their infancy in China when we first started working there
For NCL, launching in China is part of their international strategy. Whilst this does give them additional income, it is also about internationalising the campus and building an international body of students.
“China is a huge market and this has potential to give us significant income but actually the benefits are beyond financial,” says Scott. “A lot of organisations are just out to make profit but at NCL we also have the largest European commission funded programme and work a lot with partners around student mobility and on exchange programmes that are mutually beneficial.”
“We have an incredibly supportive board of management who are not necessarily revenue-driven, but who instead have covered all our costs for partnership exchanges and visits and have allowed us to pursue our plans with the aim of developing further opportunities in the long term.”
Acknowledging the role of CBBC in the college’s ongoing development, Scott talks of how important it is that they are “joining CBBC at this time when we are in the process of opening a new training centre. There’s a lot that’s new for us and we really need sound legal advice in order to make sure everything is ok.”
NCL was also awarded a British Council grant for their work on the Belt and Road Initiative.
“It was in line with our objectives and a recognition of our partnerships’ approach to finding innovative ways of working together.” Altogether six projects were awarded funding and NCL were only Scottish company to win it. Furthermore, they were shortlisted for two British Business Awards as well as CBBC’s China-Scotland Business Award for Education.