On 16th April about 50 people gathered at Bicton College for the Official Opening of the new accredited Course on Institutional Management and Business Planning. Those attending were the Principal and staff of Bicton College, students of Bicton, BOAT Trustees, Friends of BOAT and the course participants This course is based on five years’ experience of offering a similar course which did not lead to an official qualification. The course is accredited by the University of Plymouth and the Course Leaflet can be found on this website.

David Henley, Principal of Bicton College, welcomed everyone present and reinforced the importance of BOAT to the work of the College. His wish was to continue to strengthen the links in future.

Fred Harper, Chairman of BOAT, opened the course officially and noted that it perhaps marked a coming of age of BOAT in its 21st Year. He also thanked Jane Townsend, Deputy Principal Academies at Bicton College for her help in putting together the course and getting it accredited. He also acknowledged that many other people had been involved in the preparations and confirmed that successful students would receive a short course certificate.

Fred Harper welcomed the six students on the course who arrived the previous week and had complete their induction period. They are:

Maurice Barasa from Kenya. who is the Human Resources Coordinator for the Inter Christian Fellowship Evangelical Mission

Victor Kaimfa from Malawi, who is an Agriculture and Community Development Facilitator with Veritas College

Agostinho Cigarro from Mozambique, who is Finance and Administrative Manager for the country working for Concern Universal

Tony Atah from Nigeria, who is Project Coordinator ,Environment and Livelihoods, for Concern Universal

Judith Byaruhanga form Uganda, who is a Coordinator for farmer training in food security and sustainable livelihood strategies for the Kulika Trust

Florence Namulindwa from Uganda, who is Director of Training the Trainers in Agriculture and Extension also for the Kulika Trust.

He said that their experiences of the course would be valuable to the Trust in possibly modifying it in future. He also warned them that they would be extremely busy! He wished them well on the course.

The course was successful and initial feedback indicates that the participants enjoyed it and benefited from it. They have all taken a way key points learnt which they can apply in their work back home. The assessment schedule was very demanding and this is something that will be looked at in the planning and delivery of the course in 2013.

All of the students passed the course and will be awarded a Short Course Certificate from Plymouth University showing that they have achieved 30 Level 5 Credits. The Certificates are not likely to be available until late August or early September.