Five UK colleges visited Guatemala on 16-17 February to develop alliances with Guatemalan public and private institutions.
The colleges’ view is to strengthening English language and technical skills-based education in the country.
The Mission, under the auspices of the British Association of Colleges (AoC), consisted of: Edinburgh College, Scotland’s Rural College, Bradford College, Cambridge Regional College and the Bournemouth & Pool College. These academic institutions prepare young people in the UK to enter university or develop a technical career.
This visit follows an exploratory mission by AoC Managers in August last year, when a critical need for training youngsters applying for certain jobs was highlighted. The visiting colleges offer professional training in technical areas requiring the use of English.
According to official statistics the UK has one of the largest shares of the English language global training market - approximately 35%. Other strengths of UK education are: a highly developed educational system, world-leading educational institutions with an international reputation for teaching and research, and a developed student finance system, as well as excellent opportunities for scholarships.
The delegation met key stakeholders from the private and public sectors of Guatemala, including the Ministries of Education and Economy, universities, and INTECAP. They also took a tour of the “Guatemalan Silicon Valley” in the technological development area of “Cuatro Grados Norte” in the capital. The mission visited Guatemala as part of a regional tour that included Costa Rica and Panama.
To mark this visit, the British Ambassador to Guatemala, Thomas Carter, said:
The UK has a strong reputation for world-class education. 4 of the 10 best universities in the world are in the UK, and the UK is of course also the birthplace of the English language. Building on this reputation, the five colleges participating in this mission are seeking partnerships in Guatemala to improve the levels of English language training and vocational training offered in this country. These partnerships will allow Guatemalans not only to improve their skills but also to get better jobs.