Box Hill Institute is celebrating 20 years of the Global Education Network (GEN) partnership with the Southern Alberta Institute of Technology (SAIT) in Canada, Kirkwood Community College in Iowa, USA, and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) in Singapore. This partnership has provided numerous opportunities for rich and diverse international training and education for staff and for students. As part of the celebrations, Box Hill Institute is today hosting a virtual conference.
For Box Hill Institute students, it has provided subsidised programs for short exchanges, semester exchanges, study tours, community service learning projects, and global learning projects. Students have toured veterinary clinics in England and built schools in Cambodia.
Box Hill Institute CEO, Vivienne King, said, “The GEN initiative provides wonderful learning opportunities for our students and professional development for our staff. These trips have a huge impact on students who start to see possibilities for their careers that they would not otherwise have been exposed to.
“These trips also provide diverse experiences and exposure to different cultures, so the learning experiences go beyond professional training and really open staff and students’ eyes to the various cultural practises and lifestyles in other nations,” she said.
Initially, the GEN partnership focussed on providing opportunities in hospitality and information technology but it has since expanded to include a diverse range of opportunities including animal studies, event management, floristry, beauty therapy, sport management, business, and social media.
When students from Canada, Singapore and the US visit Australia, in addition to attending classes at Box Hill Institute, they get to enjoy uniquely Australian experiences including a visit to Phillip Island to see the penguins, attending AFL games, learning about Australian indigenous culture, touring along the Great Ocean Road, and patting a koala.
During 2020, GEN moved to a virtual global learning offerings due to COVID-19. The program was able to evolve into new online exchange opportunities and projects including the coordination of an inaugural 2020 International Varsity eSports Championship and a Capture the Flag competition for cybersecurity students. We also adapted and ran marketing, graphic design and printing technology projects.
GEN’s strategic plan is reviewed every two years and performance is measured against a scorecard. According to the last scorecard, between June 2015 and May 2017, 245 students participated in GEN with visits to Australia, Cambodia, Canada, Peru, Singapore and the USA. There were also 117 staff who participated in GEN activities and programs, and nine faculty study trips.