Forth Valley College’s new Universities Partnership Officer has more than a degree or two of knowledge about the Scottish further and higher education system – as she helped to develop some of it!
Muriel Alexander recently took up her new post – which helps coordinate, promote and develop FVC’s integrated degree programmes – and is loving her new role.
“Since I walked in on my first day there has been a really nice feeling about the college. Everyone has been very welcoming and supportive. The University of Stirling – who I have been dealing with regularly since I started -have also been fantastic.”
A total of 25 years of valuable experience in higher education – since she graduated with a degree in Geography at the University of Edinburgh – has seen her work for a number of universities in Scotland including Glasgow, Strathclyde and Glasgow Caledonian. Muriel has also worked for University of Paisley during the time it merged with Bell College of Technology, to form the University of the West Scotland in 2007.
Her experience in Admissions, Guidance, Marketing and Strategic Partnership development have helped her in a variety of roles that she has undertaken throughout her career.
“I have worked in Lifelong Learning and widening participation roles in a range of universities across Scotland and for me it has been all about recognising and enabling credit transfer between the college and university sectors to enable students to minimise duplication of study years by building on what they have learned previously and working seamlessly towards a degree. The Integrated Degree Programmes are a great example of this with the added bonus that the students are considered to be university students from day one which helps reduce some of the transition challenges that a lot of college students experience when they move from college to university and from HND to degree”.
In her spare time, Dunblane based Muriel has also turned her hobby in Genealogy and a subsequent post graduate qualification in Genealogical, Palaeographic and Heraldic Studies from the University of Strathclyde, into a successful business called Scottish Relatives and Roots.
“I have a career which is about shaping peoples’ futures and added to that I now have a business making a living out of researching the dead!” Muriel said with a smile.
This experience actually enhances her new role at FVC in relation to the BA Heritage and Tourism integrated degree, as researching family trees has become a big market in Scottish tourism, and it is just one of the things that prompted her to apply to join the college.
Muriel, went on:
“This job ticked all of the boxes for me – developing and negotiating articulation links between the college and universities, and helping students to benefit from this which can make a difference to their careers and lives. The integrated degree programmes help students who may benefit initially from smaller classe sizes and more support, and encourages participation in a supportive environment, where people can flourish.
“Everyone is so committed and dedicated to what they do here at Forth Valley College. I am really enjoying my new role so far and looking forward to the future here.”