Queen Margaret University (QMU) and Jewel & Esk College have signed an agreement that aims to widen access to education and maximise the sustainability of both institutions. Building on the existing relationship between the College and the University, QMU Principal and Vice Chancellor Dr Petra Wend met Jewel & Esk Acting Principal and CEO Peter Malcolm today (Monday, 18th January 2010) to sign a memorandum of understanding that identified ten major areas of potential inter-organisational collaboration.
Dr Petra Wend welcomed the agreement saying;
“This Memorandum of Understanding opens the door for strong and active collaboration between two modern, forward thinking learning institutions for the best interests of our students and the industries and communities that we serve. We will focus on key areas, such as health and creative industries where there are synergies and will seek opportunities to merge resources to create a whole that is greater than the sum of its parts.”
The agreement commits the institutions to explore potential for improved management and business efficiencies but the main focus is on delivering clear succession pathways and support for learners between institutions.
Peter Malcolm echoed Dr Wend’s thoughts, “QMU and Jewel & Esk have a history of working well together. We already share staffing and support services across many areas and a mutual involvement in curricular subjects like health, the creative industries and knowledge transfer with local businesses. Today’s agreement formalises this collaborative approach and opens the way for further cooperation as our relationship strengthens.”
The ten areas identified for collaboration are health; creative industries; articulation initiatives that allow students with an HND, HNC or equivalent work based qualifications to access degree level study without having to repeat years 1 and 2; schools and community activity; knowledge transfer; student associations; student support services; IT, library, sports and accommodation services; commercial and community use of facilities – both institutions have new or newly refurbished premises offering high quality facilities – and geographical proximity opportunities.
In the area of health, both institutions have a track-record in meeting the career development needs of NHS staff and will work together to deliver contracted work jointly. For example, there is potential for using a Scottish version of ‘Foundation Degrees’ as a ‘qualification product’ that gives maximum flexibility over design, content and assessment for primarily work-based and individualised learning already researched by Jewel & Esk.
QMU and Jewel & Esk are major contributors to the creative industries. Where QMU has a major presence in drama and stage performance, Jewel & Esk has a focus in music business, performance in modern music and the application of digital sound and web technologies in commerce and business. Resources will be shared and opportunities explored for joint activities which could provide entry into new areas of activity.
We will work together to evaluate the commercial & community use of our combined facilities and estates to identify the benefits of joint marketing, co-ordinated use of facilities and consistent developments that maximise income and engagement with businesses and communities.