A year ago I wrote about the trip I took to Breda in the Netherlands as part of a project to bring some of their students across to Edinburgh for a research project. Now it’s 2012 and the project has just seen its third iteration with another two groups of Breda students heading across to Scotland… some 160 people in total. Quite an astonishing effort given the difficulties I’ve had encouraging my students to spend a day in Perthshire (which I’m sure is nothing to do with my choice of destination).
From one year to the next there have been some changes in the nature of the work the Breda students do during their ten days in Edinburgh, though the biggest change from my perspective is that I’ve taken a step back throughout the project. Nevertheless Napier has been more involved than ever. Colleagues of mine have contributed lectures and workshops on our campuses, they’ve attended guest speakers that Breda have invited in and all are keen to build on this link between the two institutions.
I think this is all great, very rewarding and a creative collaborative effort. It’s also testament to what can be achieved in Higher Education that a small idea a few years ago, which I was allowed to run with so long as it didn’t get in the way of my core job, has become a sustainable annual event that reaches so many people. From this have already sprung: Erasmus exchanges for both students and staff in each direction; the sharing of ideas and contacts; research projects... and lots of good memories and friendships.
Image: 'Orange fever' / flickr.com/photos/veneman/4761098876/