A BASINGSTOKE college principal will return to China next month as part of a programme to improve leadership skills in the country.

Anthony Bravo, from Basingstoke College of Technology (BCoT), will visit with Lynne George, the chair of governors, Lorraine Heath, assistant principal for business and quality assurance, and Shelly Van Meter, head of English.

The trip is part of a programme sponsored by the British Council, established to enhance the leadership of higher vocational colleges in China and the UK, by providing opportunities for leaders to absorb new concepts and educational practices.

The project also offers the opportunity for British colleges to exploit commercial opportunities in the Chinese economy, and, in return, assist the Chinese government in developing a workforce with skills needed to thrive in the 21st century.

During his third visit to South East Asia, Mr Bravo and his team will spend time at colleges in China and Hong Kong, as well as hosting conferences in both countries, aimed at drawing on the experience and expertise of teaching staff.

He said: “As part of the conferences, we will be sharing best practice in teaching English, apprenticeships and quality assurance leadership.

“These will be a fantastic opportunity to generate new ideas, broaden perspectives and establish concrete ways for China and Britain to work together in management and teacher training.

“I am positive they will also lead to further student and teacher exchanges, the teaching of UK qualifications in China and direct recruitment of Chinese students to the UK.”

As part of the programme, BCoT has welcomed two Chinese teachers from Xingtai Modern Professional School.

Miss Chang and Miss Yu, who specialise in English and IT, will learn from teaching staff at the college and take part in an extensive personal development and social programme organised by BCoT.

Miss Chang said: “It is our honour to have the chance to visit BCoT. We will be staying in the UK for one month to examine the advanced teaching and managing methods.

“We are touched by the friendliness and enthusiasm of everyone, and believe we will be very happy here at the college.”