FVC experts are pioneers for new Scottish housing programme

FVC FuturEquipped un Falkirk Campus

FVC experts are pioneers for new Scottish housing programme

A team of expert Forth Valley College staff are working on a Scottish Funding Council (SFC) pilot programme to create the best new age housing for Scotland.

Led by Care, Health, Sport and Construction Curriculum Manager Sarah Higgins, with help from fellow CM Charlie Cameron, lecturers Stuart Taylor (Construction) and Robin Young (Social Care) and William McRae (Computing and IT) from the Department of Creative Industries Hospitality and Tourism, are representing Forth Valley College on the national FuturEquipped Project.

They are part of a group of 50 lecturers, mainly from the eight top tier colleges in Scotland, to develop how the care, construction and IT professionals of the future are taught how new technology will be incorporated into the housing needs of tomorrow.

The need for improved innovative housing has emerged through the progress made on healthcare and advances made in digital technology and construction methods and materials, which can give homeowners with or without special needs a better quality of life in their own home and limit the amount of medical treatment needed in hospitals.

The lecturers from three different discipline areas - Construction and Engineering, Health and care and Information technology - will spend five days together on an innovation learning programme. The next stage will see the lecturers expose students to the new thinking and deliver relevant lectures to see how they respond. The aim is to eventually be able to incorporate a half credit outcome at SCQF Level 6 in all future students’ courses in these subject areas.

This pilot project provides an opportunity to increase the college value to industry in the priority area of future housing and health needs. It will focus on the future skills required to meet greater levels of automation and digitisation in the delivery of new housing and the integration of supporting digital healthcare technology into homes.

The aim of the pilot is to explore the potential for Scotland’s colleges to support business innovation through collaboration with Innovation Centre expertise and capability. It will assist the SFC to understand how the performance of both colleges and Innovation Centres can be strengthened through closer collaboration, and will also help inform future decisions about innovation support strategies and effective funding models.

Forth Valley College Principal Dr Ken Thomson, said: “Once again I find myself intensely proud of Forth Valley College staff who are helping to develop and evolve teaching and learning at a national level. Sarah and her team are going above and beyond through the passion and expertise they have in their chosen fields and we are all looking forward to the results of this pilot programme.”

Sarah Higgins, Curriculum Manager in the Department of Care, Health, Sport and Construction, said: “Over the past year the health and social care team have been working to develop their capacity in digital health and care developments. The team are keen to reflect this learning in the curriculum and the FuturEquipped project has provided the opportunity to do this. We are delighted to be at the forefront of change at a national level and it is great to lead such a great team of Forth Valley College expertise on this project.”

Charles Cameron, also a Curriculum Manager Department of Care, Health, Sport and Construction, said: “This an exciting time in the development of futureproofed housebuilding and construction builds aiming to provide the best social care provision for our communities.

“We in the construction industry realise the importance of the new technology opportunities, not merely added to the buildings, but fully immersed and designed into their creation from the outset. This is a perfect opportunity for the collaboration between all the disciplines - lecturers, students and future professionals - to bring this ambition and goal to fruition.”

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