Cai Melakoski, Head of TAMK‘s Media Programme, came to visit MCUK in Salford earlier this year when I was settling into my new role as Programme Leader of BSc in Computer & Video Games. I was exhilarated when Cai proposed to start Erasmus Exchange with our CVG programme.
Strengthening our international connection and encouraging our students to collaborate with people from different backgrounds is another agenda I have in mind to improve the programme. Erasmus exchange is one protocol of doing so. Through the exchange, students will be able to meet other students involved in game development in different countries, do projects with them, and travel to see different parts of the world. TAMK would be an ideal partner: well-organised and rich curriculum, creative students, helpful and passionate staff (like Cai), plus their good connection with Nokia and some other Finnish SMEs such as Rovio that develops the famous Angry Birds application.
I sensed enthusiasm from our current students ever since I revealed this exchange plan. But since we haven’t never done this before, there are a lot to learn. I invited Lloyd Peters, the Erasmus coordinator in our School, to give an introductory talk to the students on 7 March 2012. This step-by-step guide is very helpful. Step 5 (drafting a learning agreement) appears to be a critical step for completing the application process – those interested need to complete a form and indicate which modules / packages they would like to take when spending a semester in Tampere (here are the choices and the schedule). For more information, please see the Salford University’s Erasmus Page and British Councils’ Erasmus Page.
I have also been invited to participate in the TAMK’s International Week (7-11 May 2012) as a teaching staff. Apart from sharing my work and contributing my knowledge, this visit also provides me with a chance to see the environment where some of our students are going to spend some time.
Apart from Erasmus and international exchange, there are also other protocols I’d like to explore to strengthen the connection with the outside world. For example, I’m keen on organising a Global Game Jam or hack days at Manchester / Salford in the near future. Students have also been encouraged to take part in this year’s Dare to be Digital. There are also opportunities to work with talented students visiting MCUK from the rest of the world (e.g., the students from the prestigious Entertainment Technology Centre at the Carnegie Mellon University).
There you go – I’m making myself look like an eager beaver again. But with so many opportunities, it’s hard not to be enthusiastic and hopeful. Let’s just get it started and see how it goes.