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A Taste Of India For Yorkshire School Children


School children from East Yorkshire will today welcome 20 pupils from Bangalore arriving for a two week visit as part of the UK India Education and Research Initiative (UKIERI).

BAE Systems is one of four ‘corporate champions’ of the five year initiative, managed by the British Council, which aims to improve cultural and educational links between India and the UK. Investing £100,000 per year in collaborative education projects, BAE Systems aims to boost cultural awareness and understanding of science and engineering among young people.

The Company has been working with schools in Brough, where it builds the Hawk advanced jet trainer, and Bangalore, where Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd is building Hawk aircraft for the Indian Air Force. Teachers from Brough have already travelled to Bangalore to meet with their Indian counterparts and have developed joint curriculum projects. BAE Systems has created a dedicated website for the schools to share resources and pupils communicate regularly both via the website’s online forum and webcams.

This week marks the first opportunity for the young people to meet face to face and gain a true understanding of each other’s culture. The Indian pupils will visit Brough Primary School, South Hunsley School and St Anne’s Community Special School taking part in assemblies and lessons, as well as art and technology projects to experience school life in Britain. The British pupils will be paired with their Indian counterparts to learn how their day compares to life at school in Bangalore. The pupils will also have the opportunity to tour the BAE Systems site at Brough and meet the engineers working on the Hawk for a behind the scenes look at how the world’s most successful advanced jet training aircraft is made.

Kerry Featherstone, Head of Assurance & Business Improvement at BAE Systems in Brough, said: “Our involvement in this project is part of an extensive outreach programme working with schools, colleges and universities in the communities in which BAE Systems operates.

“The programme has already delivered social and educational benefits to these young people. For many involved, this visit provides a unique opportunity to gain an appreciation of different cultures that they will need to operate in a global economy in later life.”
Joanna Gilbert, International Schools Coordinator at Brough Primary School, said: “This initiative provides opportunities for pupils in both countries to interact with and learn from other young people in another country, who they would not normally have chance to meet.

“The project has helped to challenge their perceptions of the world and as a result, they are more open to new experiences and people, which is helping to breakdown barriers to their personal development.”

In addition to supporting the schools project through UKIERI, BAE Systems is also investing in further and higher education initiatives. Kerry Featherstone said: “BAE Systems is committed to supporting education activities within the local community. We have developed a sustained partnership with South Hunsley School, Brough Primary School and its other feeder primary schools, including the Robert Blackburn Scholarship, GCSE in Engineering and the work experience programme.

“Our aim is to enhance the science, maths and technology curriculum which enthuses children about choosing engineering as a career with BAE Systems through its Advanced Modern Apprenticeship Programme.”

BAE Systems is also working in partnership with Leicester University on a three year research project with the National Aerospace Laboratories in Bangalore and the Indian Institute of Science in Bangalore, which aims to develop new control technologies for Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). BAE Systems is bringing its skills in successfully applying knowledge in a commercial environment to contribute to the innovative, cutting edge research that Leicester University and its Indian partners are producing.


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