College celebrates launch of partnership with South East Asia

A North East college is celebrating the culture and traditions of Indonesia to launch a new partnership that will help to secure new overseas opportunities and success for its students. 

Days after Indonesian president Susilo Bambang Yudhoyono made history with the only official state visit this Jubilee year, Gateshead College is celebrating with a week (5-10 November) of activities aimed to inspire students, staff and the local community with aspects of Indonesian art, culture, sport and performance. 

The week marks the start of a new relationship between the college, the Indonesian Embassy in London and partner training providers to help develop more than 500 vocational community colleges over the next five years, across Indonesia and to secure vital international work placements and opportunities for students. 

Richard Thorold, principal and CEO at Gateshead College, said: “Indonesian Week is a fun and interactive celebration which is enabling our students and college community to immerse themselves in the history, culture and traditions of the Indonesian people. 

“But more significantly, it marks an important commitment to our students to create opportunities to develop an understanding of international markets and equip them with the skills and attributes needed to succeed in a world of work that is becoming increasingly international.”

The week of activities will include puppetry and gamelan music workshops, dance and Indonesian martial arts (silat) demonstrations and woodwork techniques. The college’s catering students will prepare and serve Indonesian street food.

It’s planned that further elements of art, culture and business from Indonesia and other countries, will be incorporated into the curriculum in the future to enhance the courses and to increase understanding and awareness with the ultimate aim of establishing the College as a Centre for International Applied Studies.

Events in Indonesian Week will be attended by representatives of the Indonesian Embassy and regional business leaders and there will also be wider community participation, including pupils from Lingey House Primary School taking part in the celebrations at the College’s Baltic Campus.

Richard continues; “The opportunities in Indonesia have been hailed by UK business leaders and Government due to its largely young population, huge natural resources, rapid economic growth and new political stability. However, the availability of vocational training is very scarce, which presents a unique opportunity for us to share our expertise and best practice to help with the development of a modern, high quality system of vocational training and education across the region.

“We hope this will be the first of many of such partnerships and a key step in establishing Gateshead College as an international college where our students and employers can gain new skills, better employment prospects and new business for the North East.”

Pic caption:Lingey House Primary School pupils celebrate Indonesian Week with Gateshead College students (L-R) David Garside, Connor Betteridge and Jamie Leigh Crosby, all 16.