coLAB meeting in Clermont Ferrand- collaboration to support refugees to train as teachers at LCC

CoLAB Group photo
CoLAB Group photo (courtesy Clermont Auvergne University)

coLAB is a European Union and Council of Europe funded collaboration to promote inclusive practices in European academic institutions and to enhance understanding and respect towards refugees. At London College of Communication (LCC) coLAB offers teaching opportunities to refugees with expertise in Broadcasting, PR, Research and Journalism: seven participants are taking part this year.

In mid-January 2019 Siobhan Clay, Educational Developer in the Exchange, and Sophie Williams-Brown, International Development Officer at LCC, visited Clermont Auvergne University (UCA)  to represent LCC in a coLAB project meeting.

The meeting was hosted by Cecilia Brassier, Director of the Department of Information and Communication and lead coordinator for UCA, with representatives from the Council of Europe, an educational consultant and the three other university co-ordinating partners: LUMSA in Rome, IHECS Brussels, and LCC.  Vivienne Francis, Senior Lecturer BA Journalism, is the lead co-ordinator for UAL.

The team heard progress updates and focussed on exploring future funding streams and collaborations to ensure coLAB develops and has a sustainable legacy. It was also an opportunity to discuss the Toolkit/Good practice Guide which will support other HEIs to implement a similar scheme in their universities.

Siobhan Clay’s involvement has been to support the seven LCC participants into learning and teaching practice and theory, through the two day Thinking Teaching  course, delivered with Vikki Hill and Lucy Panesar. She has also mentored four of the seven colleagues, supporting lesson preparation, reflecting on teaching and developing practical strategies and material to teach and interviewed students and staff taking part.

Siobhan says of the trip to Clermont-Ferrand: “It was such a fantastic opportunity to meet colleagues from the collaborating universities who are establishing this positive and necessary work, and to hear about the differing contexts in each country. The team are passionate about coLAB and I would say sector leading in their efforts to establish European universities as welcoming and supportive places for refugee experts in their home countries, to have the opportunity to teach in European HEIs. Support from the LCC International office, Deans and PVC has been integral to the work at LCC, it would be wonderful to explore developing this now across UAL.“

During the Thinking Teaching course I really enjoyed working with the group, there was a very high level of intellectual engagement and enthusiasm from everyone. It felt like a dynamic and respectful space to hear people with different professional & academic backgrounds and experiences, articulating their work and approaches to teaching and learning with confidence, professionalism and humour. I learned and was very humbled by, the breadth of experience in the room and the strong communication skills of each participant. I was thoroughly invigorated by the 2 days and felt privileged to be involved in the project.”

More information on coLAB:

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