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UCL secures flagship training contract with Foreign and Commonwealth Office

Sian EGardiner10 December 2017

Foreign and Commonwealth OfficeUCL has won a flagship contract to train the Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s staff and diplomats around the world in economics, with specialist subject matter to include how different markets and exchange rates operate, the economics of the environment and more.

In a significant coup for the university’s Economics department, UCL will train up to 300 FCO staff a year over four years. UCL won the contract through an open competition in which it scored particularly highly on content and focus on learner needs.

Shamik Dhar, FCO Chief Economist and Head of the Diplomatic Academy Economics and Prosperity Faculty, said: “UCL won the contract by really thinking through what our diplomats need in their day jobs and are designing a course that is accessible to the whole of the FCO’s global network.”

Bespoke online courses

The bespoke courses, aimed at degree level learners, will be predominantly delivered online. They will modernise the FCO’s current economics teaching and provide FCO staff with practical insights on the markets and economies in which they are posted.

The programme has been designed to suit staff out in the field who might be studying after the working day, and includes video on demand elements. Teaching will be broken into 15 to 20 minute sections, along with live interactive webinar sessions, to ensure staff can work at their own pace.

“We will be introducing learners to cutting edge research,” said Parama Chaudhury, a principal teaching fellow at UCL. “Learners in this programme will be equipped with the knowledge of the most reliable and current research on pressing issues, and what the experts in the field are presently recommending in terms of policy.”

Specialist subject matter

The course will consist of two main parts, with one billed as Core Learning (CL) and one as Job Specific Learning (JSL). Both will be practical in nature, enabling learners to see how the course subject matter can be applied practically in both their individual roles and the markets in which they work.

The specialist subject matter will include the macroeconomic crises, economics data, regulating markets, economic growth and development and more.Image

Image: Foreign and Commonwealth Office (credit: p_a_h, source: Flickr)

Collaborating in Chile: UCL hosts Chilean Guest of Government Event

CiaranMoynihan31 May 2016

Roundtable Delegates take their places at the Chilean Guest of Government event at UCL in May 2016

Professor Michael Arthur, President and Provost of UCL, hosted a successful Chilean Guest of Government Event earlier this month.

The event provided an opportunity for the public to directly engage with project and programme leads from a range of companies, UK research funding agencies and UK universities, to explore the vast range of UK-Chile collaborations underway.

The event was held in conjunction with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO), the Chilean Embassy London and the International Unit, Universities UK.

Guests included a high level Government of Chile Delegation, led by Heraldo Muñoz, Minister of Foreign Affairs. Professor Robin Grimes, Chief Scientific Advisor to the FCO and Her Majesty’s Ambassador to Chile, Fiona Clouder joined the Event on behalf of the British Government.

Mutually beneficial collaborations

Alberto Undurraga, Minister for Public Works visiting the UCL STEaPP Project with Dr Michele AcutoThe event began with a Project Showcase – the FCO’s first joint Newton-Prosperity Showcase displaying a range of UK-Chile initiatives that have been funded through the Newton-Picarte and Prosperity Funds.

This was followed by a roundtable discussion on education, science and innovation, focusing on how the UK and Chile can work more closely together in future.

Minister Muñoz welcomed the strong approach to partnership between UCL and Chile, which was outlined by Professor Michael Arthur in his welcome words at the roundtable. He highlighted the importance of such funding opportunities in developing mutually beneficial projects between the two countries.

The Minister stated that Chile’s upcoming removal from the DAC List of ODA Recipients must not result in an immediate removal of access to such funding sources and that the Chilean Government would be discussing this with key stakeholders over the coming months.

Supporting national priorities

Andrés Gómez-Lobo, Minister for Transportation and Telecommunications and UCL alumnus and Heraldo Muñoz, Minister for Foreign Affairs visit Jeremy BenthamMinister Muñoz and Minister Gómez-Lobo outlined a number of national priority areas, which they noted could benefit further from partnerships with UK institutions, including astronomy, energy, the use of satellite technology to prevent illegal fishing along Chile’s coast and city transport initiatives.

Professor Michael Arthur said: “It was wonderful for UCL to host this fantastic event with the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Chilean Embassy London and the International Unit.

“The event highlighted the exciting range of projects that are already underway between UK and Chilean institutions and the scope for further partnerships. Chile is one of UCL’s priority countries for development of partnerships that can lead to the creation of wise solutions to global challenges – the commitment of the Chilean and British governments to supporting development of such links is inspiring and I hope will lead to further engagement between UCL and Chilean institutions in future”.

Building shared approaches

Her Majesty’s Ambassador Fiona Clouder added: “The event at UCL demonstrated the vibrancy of collaborations already underway between the UK and Chile. Since I began my posting in Chile, I have seen a strong increase in UK and Chilean universities working in partnership to address challenges that not only affect Chile but also the UK.

“I hope the discussions at UCL will add to the momentum already developing around building shared approaches to benefit both nations in the future.”

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