FLAIR International Internships are offered with the noble intent of motivating young faculty members to enhance their commitment and level of contribution to the purpose of higher education. Over the last three years the programme could give opportunities to 47 faculty members to observe and bring home best practices from reputed UK Universities. International Interns of 2013-14 and 2014-15 have already started making meaningful changes in the educational practices in their own colleges emerged out of FLAIR.
Skype Interactions with UK Universities during
Pre- Departure Meeting of Internship 2015
Dr. Sreejith P, Assistant Professor in Zoology, University of Kerala has coordinated a two day International workshop on ‘Virtual Internationalisation’ making effective use of new technology to enhance the student experience’, which is organized during 18-19 Jan 2016 by Department of Zoology, supported by University of Roehampton in association with IQAC University of Kerala, Department of computational biology and bioinformatics, FLAIR programme and Association of British scholars.
In order to initiate cooperation between the University of Kerala, Trivandrum and the Roehampton University a Memorandum of Understanding was signed on 8th October, 2015 between the Registrar, University of Kerala and the Deputy Vice Chancellor, Roehampton University. The MoU pertains to organising academic events and professional development workshops for faculty members, promoting academic mobility between the two Universities, promotion of joint research projects and development/management of specific projects of mutual interest.
Virtual Design Project: College of Engineering Trivandrum (CET) and Arts University Bournemouth (AUB)
Karthik Mohan, Assistant Professor in the Department of Architecture, CET, worked with Prof. Kirsten Hardie, AUB, UK for his one month FLAIR International Internship during Feb-March 2014. His passion and commitment towards the cause of Higher Education and the FLAIR Programme resulted in a Virtual Studio Design Project between students of the CET and AUB. A virtual collaborative design studio done with 42 students of CET Department of Architecture and 35 students from Arts University Bournemouth started on 17th April 2015. This new venture has enabled students from both the universities to interact and work on design of a Refreshment kiosk project.
The 6 week design studio was be led by Karthik Mohanand Sonia Nicolson, Professor in Interior Architecture, Arts University Bournemouth, United Kingdom. Students from Kerala helped their partners from the UK in establishing a good rapport, thereby attaining valuable suggestions and design details for a site overseas (in Bournemouth) and vice versa. They hadinteracted with their partner via facebook, skype, whatsappetc. By the end of May 2015, both UK and Indian students had designed a refreshment kiosk and the presentation drawings are uploaded in an online exhibition portal.While the Indian students developed kiosk designs for the Bournemouth, the UK Students developed same for Trivandrum.
Dr.Sithara Balan (Government College for Women, Trivandrum), Assistant Professor in Home Science, visited the University of Southampton to work for a one month internship under the guidance of Prof. Sabu S. Padmadas, School of Social Sciences, University of Southampton in 2014.
She brought home the idea of Learning Hubs or smart learning/discussion spaces, for student-faculty collaboration and group activities by students, and took active role in the building of one such in her own parent institution. Her sustained and painstaking efforts have resulted in the establishment of such a learning space, first of its kind in the Government Colleges of the State.
Ashkarali, Assistant Professor in Electronics, Government College, Mananthavady had undergone FLAIR International Internship in 2015 in the Sheffield Hallam University, UK and a Short term training on MOODLE Learning Management System in the International Institute for Information Technology, Bangalore during the year 2014. He has set up KERALA MOOCS, a web portal for the benefit of faculty members for offering MOODLE Courses. Dr.Saheer V.C., Assistant Professor in Chemistry, Government College Madappally has introduced a MOODLE application for mobile phones and tablets thereby simplifying the use of technology for learning management. Several faculty members of the State are now actively using this platform for managing their courses.
Shibin Philip, Assistant Professor in Economics, Government College, Kottayam and Shefeeque V, Assistant Professor, MES Mampad College were placed in the University of Southampton, United Kingdom to observe the best practices in teaching –learning under the mentorship of Prof. Sabu S Padmadas, Professor of Demography and Social Statistics. Upon completion of the internship they developed a collaborative research project proposal on “Return Migration in Kerala” and submitted it for the consideration of the Economic and Social Research Council (ESRC) United Kingdom. This proposal has been accepted and the two faculty members are now in the process of initiating the project work.
As part of the research project, Shibin Philip and Shafeeque were invited for a Two Day International Conference on "Ageing and Well-being: Cross Cultural Perspectives on Health and Social Care" at the Institute of Social and Economic Change (ISEC) in Bengaluru during December 17-18, 2015. Based on the interactions at the conference, the two faculty members have now been added to the Age Globe India- Europe Research Network. Age Globe research network is established by ISEC jointly in partnership with the University of Southampton (UK) and the University of Groningen (The Netherlands). Other members of the network include Centre for Development Studies (Trivandrum), Tata Institute for Social Sciences (Mumbai) and United Nations Population Fund (Delhi). The network is funded by the UK Economic and Research Council (ESRC), Dutch Science Foundation (NWO) and the Indian Council for Social Science Research (ICSSR).