Wed 20 November 2013
Aberdeen College is committed to the ethos of promoting enterprise and entrepreneurship, recognising the importance of embedding this in the curriculum across all departments. Aberdeen College adopted a holistic approach to developing enterprise, and targeted all areas of the curriculum for development of an enterprising mindset amongst staff and learners alike, encouraging all to turn their learning into earning - from engineers to musicians, from students on life skills programmes to BA Commercial Photography students.
Each year the College is able to positively influence 20,000 full and part time learners in relation to developing the entrepreneurs of tomorrow, equipped with skills, knowledge and an enterprising approach to life, learning and earning. Due to the upbeat approach taken by the College, in 2011 Aberdeen became a hub college within a country wide enterprise project sponsored by Scotland's Colleges, and in recognition of its sector leading approach within this initiative, Aberdeen College was named The Most Enterprising College in Scotland in 2012. Furthermore, the College reached the final of a UK wide competition for Enterprise in Education, and was the only shortlisted Scottish College within the category.
Within the setting of a buoyant economy, the role of the College in relation to developing innovation is crucial. The whole curriculum has been reviewed to create an internal network of enterprise champions, whilst the college has also developed an external network of experienced professionals and educators to support new developments. The College has also embraced partnership and collaboration with its partner college in the NE of Scotland to focus on enterprise and entrepreneurship as a conduit to developing relationships and practices in advance of the impending merger, to the benefit of learners and staff alike.
A range of social and cultural enterprises have been developed, including a charity shop, 'The Charity Box', operated by students with learning difficulties within the college environment, raising more than £20,000 a year for charities. Pop up shops feature in the field of art and design, showing off creative skills in a city poised to progress its bid for city of culture 2017. Every event held by learners embraces enterprise as a key strand, so where students build cars, auctions are held for charity; where students cook food, dinners are held for local dignitaries. The social and economic benefits of learning are clearly seen by all.
This project commenced in 2011, and leadership for enterprise is now embedded across the curriculum, with key external and internal stakeholders working in collaboration to support innovation in the North East.
Leigh Brown, Enterprise Development Officer at Scotland's Colleges said 'Aberdeen College has been an integral part of our hub programme. The work done... in embedding an enterprising mindset across the College and the wider community has been important to the success of this project'