By Jacob Waite – Chief News Reporter
UCLan students have partnered up with academics from Finland at a knowledge exchange initiative.
Community leadership ideas may soon be introduced on the streets of Burnley and Helsinki – courtesy of a new initiative developed by UCLan.
Organised by UCLan’s Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership, the workshops gave Community Leadership students from the UCLan Burnley Campus the opportunity to learn alongside social workers and academics from Finland.
Dr John Lockhart, Director of the UCLan-based Freire Institute and Kaijus Varjonen, Senior Lecturer at the Laurea University of Applied Sciences led the workshops.
The students also met Elizabeth Monk, the Mayor of Burnley, in the Council Chambers for a discussion on community empowerment.
Byran Wilks, Community Leadership student, told UCLan: “We share the same ideas, values and beliefs as our Finnish colleagues and we are all looking for the same goals. To make a difference to society it is critical to link knowledge with action.”
Dr Ali Melling, Director of the Centre for Volunteering and Community Leadership, said the students had learned a lot from the initiative, and Dr Lockhart of the Freire Institute added: “Our vision is to establish a long term collaboration that has mutual benefits for all.”
Community Leadership is a two-year foundation degree followed by a BA top-up. Both courses are run by UCLan’s Burnley Campus.