A key feature of each World Congress are gatherings of the World Federation of Colleges and Polytechnics (WFCP) Affinity Groups.
The Affinity Groups, each focused on key functions of TAFEs, colleges and polytechnics, bring together experts from around the world to discuss exemplary practices, and emerging trends and issues. This year’s pre-Congress Affinity Group workshops, to be held in Melbourne on 8 October from 10:30 am to 2:30 pm, will examine their respective topics through the lens of the Congress theme, Preparing for the Skills Future, Now and will feature a range of formats and activities, from expert panels to video presentations and facilitated discussions.
Some examples of this year’s workshops include the Entrepreneurship Affinity Group, which will ask whether entrepreneurs are born or can be made. The Applied Research Affinity Group will use international case studies allowing participants to chart projects through the ‘3-Ds’, design, development and deployment. The Student Support Affinity Group will examine how student support services are able to cultivate learners’ ability to innovate. For practices to engage with marginalised learners, the Access to Learning and Employment Affinity Group will dedicate much of its workshop to examining different international practices of engaging learners from Indigenous communities. Our next update will provide details about the other Affinity Groups on Higher Technical Skills, Sustainable Education and Global Skills.
For more information on the Affinity Groups and to find out how to participate, please contact André Diez de Aux.
What are the WFCP’s Affinity Groups?
WFCP Affinity Groups are international communities of practice that allow members and TVET practitioners to connect and discuss important and/or emerging issues and practices with their peers.
The WFCP’s Affinity Groups are formed around shared interests or common goals and are designed to give members a space to collaborate and exchange knowledge and practices in their areas of expertise. Affinity Groups allow members to foster partnerships and learn from across the WFCP’s global membership network.
At the 2018 World Congress, Affinity Group Workshops will be held on Monday 8 October and are a fantastic opportunity to join detailed discussions on key areas of interest in the TVET sector with other colleagues and practitioners.
The Workshops will last for four hours, and will include roundtables, presentations, panels and discussion. The workshops are open to all full Congress delegates, and participants do not need to be either members of the Affinity Group or members of the WFCP.
It is anticipated that by participating in the workshops, delegates will gain invaluable knowledge of current practice, identify future areas for development and make global networks for ongoing collaboration.
Affinity Group leaders are currently developing programs for each workshop, which will be available on this website as they are finalised. Below is a description of each Affinity Group and the areas that they cover. The workshops will include discussion of these key areas.
- Higher Technical Skills. In this Affinity Group, members:
- Share knowledge and experience in the development of higher-level professional and technical qualifications that meet the demands of the workforce, and in engaging with employers to proactively respond to changing and emerging occupations
- Discuss practices that build institutional and practitioner capability to develop and deliver higher level professional and technical qualifications
- Develop governance and institutional strategies that support the development and delivery of higher professional and technical qualifications
- Establish a ‘go-to’ source for information on current and emerging issues relating to higher education delivery in colleges and polytechnics
- Applied Research and Innovation. In this Affinity Group, members:
- Share the results and outcomes of applied research projects
- Share exemplary practices in the area of applied research and innovation and the establishment of incubator spaces
- Discuss strategies and approaches to developing institutional and jurisdictional policies that support institutes’ involvement in applied research and innovationProjects discussed will be in areas such as mechatronics, drone technology, additive manufacturing, 3D printing applications, composites, sustainable water management, internet of things, and robotics.
- Student Support Services. In this Affinity Group, members:
- Collaborate to support the ongoing growth and evolution of institutes by promoting international exchanges and cooperation amongst colleges and institutes
- Share successful and current practices and case studies in student support services aimed at maximising student engagement experience a
- Establish a worldwide outlet for sharing information, experience and professional discussion of professional and technical education
- Access to Learning and Employment. In this Affinity Group, members:
- Share knowledge and exemplary practices that enable access to learning and employment
- Discuss approaches to foster collaboration with industry and employers for work-based learning
- Leadership Enrichment. In this Affinity Group, members:
- Examine the critical issues impacting professional and technical education and training worldwide
- Canvas responses to these issues from within the affinity group and externally
- Share best practices in leadership
- Entrepreneurship. In this Affinity Group, members:
- Share knowledge and exchange best practices in the area of entrepreneurship
- Share practices for integrating entrepreneurship into the curriculum
- Work with community partners to build the role of institutes within entrepreneurial ecosystems
- Support collaboration and development of partnerships amongst WFCP senior leaders through a variety of activities that support entrepreneurship
7. Sustainable Education (formerly Green Colleges). In this Affinity Group, members:
- Share knowledge and practices in the area of sustainability, at both the curriculum and institute levels.
- Collaborate and support the development of inter-institutional partnerships relating to sustainable education
8. Global Skills and Labour. In this Affinity Group, members focus on:
- Recent work by the OECD on the role of skills in global supply chains
- Work undertaken across the Asia-Pacific region to develop regional occupational standards which support countries develop the skill level of workers to global standards for industry sectors
- Enhancements required to recognition and skills standards systems to support increased mobility
- The impact on colleges and polytechnics, especially those wanting to engage globally
- How international collaboration in the area of workforce development can support the achievement of the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals.
Workshops will be held at TAFE locations within the Melbourne CBD and within easy distance of the Melbourne Convention and Exhibition Centre for the official welcome reception of the Congress.
Lunch will be provided at each of the workshops.
The Affinity Group workshops are open to full Congress delegates, but participants do not need to be WFCP members to attend. Pre-registration is essential, and you can indicate which workshop you wish to attend when registering as a Full Congress delegate. Please note that two day and one day registrations do NOT include participation in the AG workshops, you must register as a Full Congress delegate to attend.
You may also wish to join a WFCP Affinity Group and if you would like to please fill out the application form. For more information about the Affinity Group workshops at the 2018 WFCP World Congress or Affinity Groups more broadly, please contact André Diez de Aux.