These case studies showcase the impact of internationalisation activities within the UK technical vocational education and training sector, and have been compiled as the result of a recommendation in the British Council’s 2017 report Changing Lives: Internationalising the skills sector

Internationalisation activities can include a whole host of academic and strategic initiatives carried out by further education colleges, from developing partnerships with colleges in other countries and offering overseas placements to students and staff, to recruiting international students. But what links these activities, and what these case studies aim to demonstrate, is the positive impact internationalisation can have on students, teachers, learning environments and local communities. 

The contributors were selected based on their significant commitment to internationalisation, aside from any commercial motivation. For many of the colleges included, the primary aim of their international work is to provide learners with opportunities and experiences that will benefit their future and support their development as global citizens. Alongside a series of institutional cases, this impact is perfectly captured within the case study of a past student whose international experiences back in 2003 helped to shape him as an individual, giving him a global outlook on his future and career and an understanding of other cultures. 

As an alumnus of a further education college myself, I can testify to the life-changing power of internationalisation. Contacting contributors and compiling these case studies brought back memories of how the international opportunities I was given have impacted on my life, from boosting my self-confidence and improving my foreign language and communication skills to, ultimately, helping me develop a passion for further education and pursue a career I love. 

Marguerite Hogg
International Projects Manager, Association of Colleges and International Consultant