Barnfield gets set to go global
BARNFIELD has already expanded across Bedfordshire by sponsoring academies, but it is now looking to spread its reach even further – with overseas ventures.
The Barnfield Federation includes Barnfield College, academies in Luton, Dunstable, and Leighton Buzzard and two free schools.
Now its chief executive Pete Birkett, who was knighted in the Queen’s birthday honours this year, is looking at linking up with education establishments in Turkey and Africa.
Members of the Barnfield College board were told late last year that Mr Birkett had visited Turkey “with a view to exploring ways to establish a series of programmes with universities”, and that “opportunities in the Middle East were also being considered”.
This week a Barnfield spokeswoman told The Luton News that, along with a small delegation of Barnfield College staff, Mr Birkett had been invited to visit schools and colleges in Turkey.
She said: “They were invited to visit with a view to exploring ways of sharing best international practice, developing joint courses and establishing student and staff exchanges.
“In order to progress this further the college has since submitted an application to become Erasmus University Charter accredited.
“We await the official letter confirming that we have been granted this status – this will then allow us to continue our discussions over the many potential opportunities that exist.”
This autumn, staff from the college and the University of Bedfordshire are set to travel to East Africa to look at developing other partnership activities.
The spokeswoman continued: “As a dynamic and highly performing organisation and an Investors in People Gold Champion, Barnfield is continually exploring ways to enhance our student and staff experience, as well as raise additional funding for investment in our learning facilities and student experience.
“By opening ourselves up to the international market we hope to create greater opportunities for both our students and staff as well as bringing financial benefits to Luton through an increased number of international students and visitors.”
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Weather for Luton
Saturday 25 May 2013
Temperature: 5 C to 15 C
Wind Speed: 14 mph
Wind direction: North
Temperature: 6 C to 18 C
Wind Speed: 12 mph
Wind direction: North west