Institute of Export expands its Foundation Degree in Professional Practice in International Trade, in drive to boost export skills
Serving more than 2, 000 members in commerce, finance and banking, the Institute of Export & International Trade has announced the latest move in its drive to enhance UK export performance.
The initiative takes forward the aspiration of the Institute to equip individuals involved in export to meet the business challenges of the day.
With this emphasis on raising professional standards, the Institute has added an extensive new module to its two-year Foundation Degree in Professional Practice of International Trade.
Developed in partnership with Anglia Ruskin University, the programme will build in considerable flexibility to fit around the daily business commitments of participants. The enhanced course will be launched in September 2013.
The new module will help students develop analytical, technological, communication and learning skills.
Lesley Bachelor, director general of the Institute, said that the degree would “position all learning in a vocational context by focusing on the key features of successful management in international trade. Examining the needs and characteristics of organisations in this sector, along with internal and external constraints and challenges that impact on decision making, the module will adopt a flexible approach centred on our students’ personal development planning process – meeting the needs of the most diverse student requirements.”
Ms Batchelor – herself a graduate of the Institute of Export – is keen that the Institute should tackle a perceived skills gap at national level. She was the key mover in instigating the foundation degree, and is behind an all-level National Vocational Qualification programme.
The high point of this educational activity each year is an impressive graduation ceremony – at London’s Mansion House this May some 80 graduates received their awards from the guest speaker, BBC economics broadcaster Stephanie McGovern.
Anglia Ruskin is one of the largest universities in the east of England, offering courses leading to undergraduate and postgraduate degrees to a substantial student population, and providing part-time education in a range of professional qualifications.
In the Institute’s new module, the many subjects will include the use of information and communications technology, managing time and resources, investigative skills and techniques, effective written and oral communication, problem solving and the use of case studies, work-based learning and personal development, and sector-specific elements such as historical, political, economic, social, technological, environmental and legal aspects.
The course is taught online by university tutors and international trade experts, with full access to university resources. It is seen as suitable for all professionals, regardless of industry or sector, who are working in export, import, trade or international business. It is estimated that candidates will need to study for an average of at least 10–15 hours a week on the basis of the flexible, work-related approach.
Participants are spared the nerve-wracking ordeal of exams. Assessments will be compiled through project work, presentations, assignments and case studies.
Ms Batchelor said: “As UK university fees continue to rocket, this Foundation Degree has been specifically designed to meet the needs of businesses and their employees trading in a competitive global market.
“For fees of just £6, 600 – which can be paid in stages across the two years – the Degree offers exceptional value for money for a high quality university programme. The additional module will accelerate our goal of helping British companies match the level of commitment to professionalism in international trade, training and education made by their European and worldwide counterparts.”
The course has drawn admiration from businesspeople based in other countries. Locunda Karam, chief executive of Strategic Project Services, of Cape Town, South Africa, said that anyone involved in international trade or wanting to expand their experience should strongly consider taking the degree. “It is especially beneficial for experienced people wishing to up-skill and to expand their knowledge in the international business and the global trade environment.”