International Projects

The Association of Colleges is involved in a range of international projects. We regularly lead our own projects, for example pilot projects in China and Panama delivered through the Cross-Government Prosperity Fund. We also join multi-partner projects, such as those available through the Erasmus+ Programme. We are particularly interested in consortium projects that allow our member colleges to take part; in government-funded programmes that help to develop the UK's relations with other countries; and in vocational education research. 

International Qualification Programme for Brazilian students of Tourism and Hospitality

Following a successful pilot programme delivered in winter 2014, the Brazilian Ministry of Tourism partnered with AoC to operate an International Qualification Programme (IQP) in early 2018. The IQP comprised an 11-week training course for 100 Brazilian students of Tourism and Hospitality delivered at 10 colleges across the UK. The objective of the IQP was to improve the students’ vocational skills by studying in a UK college context, with the added benefit of studying in the medium of English. Read our blog about the success of the programme. 

Prosperity Fund Pilot Project, China 

During 2016, AoC led a consortium that partnered with Ningbo Educational Bureau, China on a pilot skills project. The purpose of the project was to build a requirement for ‘dual professionalism’ and to strengthen employer engagement in the delivery of vocational education in two key skills areas for the city of Ningbo; advanced manufacturing and port logistics. These skills areas linked closely to the priorities of ‘Made in China 2025’ and to increased trade co-operation as outlined in the ‘One Belt One Road’ initiative. The pilot brought together experts from vocational colleges, private training providers, sector skills councils and associations in the UK. An assessment was conducted of existing employer engagement practice in order to introduce and implement the concept of ‘dual professionalism’, where the vocational teacher is also industry expert. The UK consortium worked with partners in Ningbo to develop employer engagement strategies which met local need and institutional priorities.


AoC is a Secretariat member of the UK-India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI). The UKIERI programme enhances educational links between India and the UK, funding bilateral projects. AoC supports the delivery of skills and leadership development projects.


AoC is currently involved in two Erasmus+ projects with partners in the Netherlands and Finland. Our projects focus on areas of importance to college life, such as our Key Action 1 project 'Developing Good Practice in Safeguarding Students', which examines mental health support strategies. AoC's Key Action 2 project 'SHERPA' looks at why some European economies and societies are more successful than others in integrating asylum seekers and refugees into their labour markets, and in offering opportunities which enable young immigrants to showcase their talents and obtain qualifications. 

For more information about AoC's international projects, or to discuss a potential project, please contact Emma Meredith.