International college membership body appoints England-based principal as new chair

An England-based college principal has been named as the new chair of a global membership organisation for technical education and training.

Dawn Ward, who leads Burton and South Derbyshire College, was appointed to the role at the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) yesterday.

She replaces Craig Robertson, the chief executive of Technical and Further Education (TAFE) Directors Australia.

The WFCP is an international network of more than 50 colleges and technical education associations that spans six continents. Members share best practice, collaborate, and engage in joint research initiatives.

It was formed in 1998 from a group of five countries – Canada, the UK, USA, Australia and Africa.

Burton and South Derbyshire College is a member of the federation and runs its own international venture. It signed up to the Saudi Arabian Colleges of Excellence programme in 2013 and launched the International Technical Female College in Jeddah, a female vocational training institute, in partnership with Highbury College. Highbury stepped away from the project last year.

Ward said she was “delighted and humbled” to be elected by the WFCP as their chair.

“The federation has done amazing work in bringing together a global network of internationally focused education institutions for collective benefit and I am keen to ensure that this momentum continues,” she added.

“I know first-hand the life changing impact international education has on people’s life chances and career prospects which is why we have worked so hard at BSDC to embed this work into our learners’ journey and provide our domestic learners with the opportunity to not only think globally but to also secure international experiences that enhance their global outlook.”

Ward, who was made a CBE in the Queen’s New Year’s honours in 2014, is the deputy chair of the Chartered Institution for Further Education.

She is also a council member of the Greater Birmingham Chambers of Commerce and a director of Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership.

A spokesperson for the WFCP said: “Dawn Ward brings to the position a wealth of experience. She has been an engaged member of WFCP and its board for many years and has shown the organisation great dedication, leading and being active in a number of subcommittees, including the awards of excellence and governance subcommittees.”

There are three UK-based members in the WFCP – the Association of Colleges, Burton and South Derbyshire College, and Colleges Wales.

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