Students usually appear on other people's stands at BETT but Doga students have their own
Considering the annual BETT educational technology show is mostly about schools, it's odd that they don't feature more highly. The mould was broken last year, however, when a school exhibited at Olympia for what is thought to be the very first time.
They came all the way from Turkey to run the Doga School stand at BETT 2012. And they'll be back for BETT 2013 at ExCeL in London''s Docklands to spread the word about the 32 schools they run in Turkey, explore possibilities for new business in the UK and share developments in their t-MBA (teenage Master of Business Administration) Project Pool Contest.
Dogukan Ozgen, the head of Doga's t-MBA department, explained: "We have opened the 't-MBA International Project Pool Contest' for the first time this year to students across the world having previously been run to great success throughout our network of campuses in Turkey. It is aimed at encouraging students to develop a project on any subject relating to their studies, so long as it contains some element of environmental awareness, social entrepreneurship, or cultural exchange.
“By attending BETT in 2012, we started to open the global education community’s eye to what Doga is and what we stand for. We are keen to use our presence at the show in 2013 to further raise awareness and provide those who visit us with a deeper understanding of what makes us different.
'Students are the best endorsement of what our approach to education can achieve'
“We will be joined on our stand by a number of our own students as they really are the best endorsement of what our approach to education can achieve. By being able to engage directly with our current students, visitors will witness what makes a t-MBA ‘GRAD’ – namely, they are great communicators, they are ready to lead the world, they are active in technology, they are determined to succeed, and finally they are self-confident.”
The Project Pool Contest was created in Turkey in 2009 to further the aims of the t-MBA, a teenage version of the MBA which has now been accredited by Edexcel. This year the contest was launched internationally, aiming to "raise self-esteem, motivate entrepreneurs and create social leaders". For the first time, UK schools had the chance to enter and get in the running for prizes of $5,000, $3,000, or $2,000 and to visit Istanbul in April for an international education summit.
Doga's stand is being specially designed with the look and feel of the interior of a computer, and students will show how they use a range of technologies for their learning experiences. “The BETT Show is one traditionally focused on the technology used in education," added Dogukan Ozgen, "and while we do not develop any technology, we will be showcasing how we integrate and use the very best equipment for the benefit of our students.”
The students will also showcase the work they are doing for their t-MBAs. They are all expected to complete a social responsibility project to gain their qualification, and at BETT 2013 Doga will make a £5 donation for each visitor to its stand to the students' fund to comlete their project – a well building programme in Ethiopia.
Doga Schools place a high emphasis on an international profile for its campuses to widen the horizons of their students, and the t-MBA is seen as a way to develop an international business qualification that can be viewed in the same way as the International Baccalaureate. The international flavour and quality benchmarks are reflected in the make-up of the t-MBA board which includes the former civil servant in charge of UK schools Ralph Tabberer, Harvard Ford Foundation professor of international education Fernando Reimers, former Apple education director Herve Merchet and Britannica international business development director Caroline Kennard. They will judge the final work in the contest (the winners announced at BETT 2013 have two months to complete their final projects).
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