Students at the IAESTE summer reception ©

Jonathan Littlejohn

One of the British Council’s charitable purposes is to: ‘encourage cultural, scientific, technological and other educational cooperation between the United Kingdom and other countries’, writes Sarah Chidlow, a Consultant working on our IAESTE programme.

The IAESTE (International Association for the Exchange of Students for Technical Experience) Programme is an important part of this commitment, as it is for the Scottish Government, the programme’s principle funder.

There are a few key reasons behind this, for example: being an important driver for promoting outward and inward student mobility; the development of graduate employability; and the internationalisation of university departments and private enterprise in Scotland. 

We are proud to be part of IAESTE - a programme entering its 72nd year - and of our partnership with the Scottish Government, our local committees, employers and higher education institutions throughout Scotland who assist with the delivery of the IAESTE programme. Every year in Scotland we host a summer reception to celebrate the accomplishments of incoming international students and recognise the invaluable contribution that employers here in Scotland make to the IAESTE scheme. 

For this year’s event, which took place on 18 July, we welcomed our guests to the DoubleTree by Hilton Hotel Edinburgh City Centre; a fantastic setting overlooked by Edinburgh Castle. It was an event graced by sunshine, and one which embraced the current interns on placement in Scotland, who represent more than 15 countries including Japan, Russia and Germany. 

It was also an opportunity to honour our most engagee employers by presenting them with the 2019 IAESTE awards. Special recognition goes to Glasgow Caledonian University and Edinburgh Napier University for over five years of consistent engagement, and the University of St Andrews, the University of Glasgow and the University of Edinburgh for over 35 years of engagement with the programme.

The evening began with speech by Professor Anne Anderson, Vice Principal and Head of the College of Social Sciences, at the University of Glasgow, and member of the British Council’s Scotland Advisory Committee. Guests also heard from a wonderful range of speakers: Suze Farrell from the University of Dundee and her trainee from Ghana, Benjamin Kingsley Harley, as well as  previous IAESTE trainee from Canada, Doris Zhang, who now works for BAE Systems in Glasgow as a Supply Chain Graduate.

It was clear that there was a great sense of passion and dedication to the IAESTE Programme in Scotland, with guests across Scottish Universities, STEM employers and Local Committee members generating a buzz to upscale our IAESTE efforts in Scotland for the upcoming 2020 cycle!

Check out our photo gallery from the event over on our Facebook page.