I’ve just had a very positive meeting with some senior colleagues from Queen Margaret University. The new QMU has just been built in East Lothian and has been named as one of the top 10 modern universities by the Sunday Times Good University Guide. It’s mission statement reads as follows:
To enhance the quality of life and serve communities, through excellence and leadership in vocationally and professionally relevant education, research and consultancy, as a university which is outward looking and committed to innovation, participation and lifelong learning.
In line with that exciting ambition we discussed the possibilities for partnership and soon recognised that the scope was huge and that what we have at present requires greater coordination and strategic direction.
Here are some of the possibilities:
1. Continuing Professional Development for education staff in East Lothian Council through the University’s Centre for Academic Practice and MSc in Prof Ed.
2. Sharing QMU’s Learning and Teaching strategy to help to develop independent learners by end of S3.
3. Delivery of QMU part-time learning in EL Schools.
4. Creation of virtual and not-so-virtual learning environments for S6 students.
5. Sharing of kit & equipment e.g. chemistry labs.
6. Joint appointments or secondments.
7. Specific projects in areas such as performing arts especially drama, dance, film-making & theatre.
8. Shared utilisation of space in capital projects.
9. Research evidence for ELC meeting single outcome agreement , eg in health.
10. Engaging with the “Curriculum for Excellence” and “More Choices, More Chances” agendas.
We are already planning an exciting conference to be held at the campus scheduled for June 2009 which will involve every new S6 pupil in East Lothian but this just goes to show the incredible potential which exists for partnership events which will benefit both the university and the community of East Lothian.
Our next step is to organise a high level strategic meeting to examine other partnership opportunities across the Council, beyond education, and to select a small number of initiatives to take forwards in a productive and coherent manner.
Other suggestions are very welcome.