Expanding BTC’s Partnerships
May 22, 2018
"No university can afford to be an island, and certainly, no teachers college can afford to be an ivory tower," says new BTC Dean Dr. Ted Purinton. Having joined BTC in the midst of a push for deeper institutional collaboration, Purinton sees the college as being able to have a wider impact as a result of close connections throughout the country and across the globe.
Led by Dr. Faten Abdelhameed, Head of BTC’s Department of Research, new collaborations have been forged with important in-country institutions, such as the Higher Education Commission Scientific Research Directorate, the Al-Mabarrah AlKhalifia Foundation, the British Council, and the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland Medical University in Bahrain. The partnerships each meet specific needs for both the partner and for the BTC. For example, as the Scientific Research Directorate and the BTC work together, both have discovered the need for a national agenda of educational research, tied specifically to planning for the Ministry of Education as well as other critical social services within the country.
Collaboration with the British Council will increasingly focus on teaching strategies and BTC’s Foundation program, while collaboration with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland will focus on research methods. According to Abdelhameed, “We have already learned a lot from our partners, and we hope to contribute as well to their goals.” The partnership with the Royal College of Surgeons in Ireland began with workshops provided to BTC faculty on strategies for publishing research, led by Professor of Public Health and Epidemiology Dr. Susan Dovey. Also visiting the BTC as a guest speaker, Director of British Council Bahrain, Mr. Richard Rooze, worked with faculty to develop strategies for direct engagement in the teaching profession of Bahrain.
Internationally, the BTC has the roots of a strong partnership with the Woolf Fischer Research Centre of the University of Auckland in New Zealand, given that five of its faculty members obtained master’s degrees at the university. The partnership will be ramped up with a visit by the Associate Dean for Research of the College of Education and Social Work Dr. Aaron Wilson. The visit will take place in late June 2018 and will involve workshops on literacy teaching strategies, educational research, and adolescent literacy. “A strong connection with the University of Auckland is critical for our global strategy. We need to make sure we are constantly engaging in research across borders and providing ways for BTC faculty to collaborate, as well as to study abroad,” said Mr. Salman Yusuf, Instructor in the Department of Educational Studies.
The focus of such partnerships should be quality, not quantity, explains Purinton: “We only have so much time. We must be externally focused, but we cannot water down our pursuit of engagement. For this reason, it is important that we choose the best partners for our work.” The dean states that the college will continue to refine its partnership strategy so that it adapts to changing needs in the field.
CAPTION FOR PICTURE: Dr. Faten Abdelhameed and Dr. Ted Purinton with staff of the Bahrain Training Institute.