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Trawl for training tips

Eight British universities are to take part in a $53 million (Pounds 33m) scheme to upgrade primary and secondary teacher training.

The Turkey National Education Development Project is being paid for by a World Bank loan. The British Council is being paid about $12 million as the leading contractor in an international consortium developing the scheme.

Delegates from Turkey have spent two weeks visiting British institutions to find out which ones can be used to provide the best services. They are looking for help with mathematics, science, social studies, music, arts and general studies teaching.

The universities due to take part, chosen for their track record in teacher training, are: Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Loughborough, Leeds, Nottingham, Manchester Metropolitan and London (King's College and the Institute of Education).

Ohio State University and Arizona State University will also provide training. A Turkish education consultancy, VAKTAS, will contribute support services and consultants.

The aim is to make teacher training in Turkey compatible with that provided in western Europe. The country has associate membership of the European Union.

The project director, Professor Ercin Kasapoglu of the University of Hacettepe in Ankara, said: "We do not really have deficiencies in our own system, but it is going through a reorganisation, which is why we are looking for the best possible deal and provision from British and American institutions."

The project is expected to last for three years and will involve more than 140 postgraduates a year - 54 studying for masters' degrees, 62 doing PhDs and 24 carrying out post-doctorate studies.

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