Let me be honest with you. Some people I told my plans to, looked at me like I’m crazy. Really. The truth is, the way I see it, anyone who tries to do things a little differently will always find themselves at the receiving end of either criticism or ridicule. Yet, what I’m going to do is neither negative nor ridiculous, far from it. My plan is to start the Pure Transfer Limited University. It’s as simple as that.
Not a campus.
No, I’m not planning to create an ornate campus with quadrangles and lecture theatres. What I want to do is provide an online forum in which tangible expertise from my sector can be passed on in a useful and inclusive way. If you stop to think about it, it’s not a particularly fanciful dream. I simply want to get people learning in a way that works for them.
Thinking beyond the classroom.
I don’t know about you, but I wasn’t a great lover of school. I don’t feel that the way we learned there particularly ‘clicked’ with me. At the time I supposed that this lack of connection was probably my ‘fault’, but, looking back, I’ve changed my mind. You see, everyone learns in different ways. Some lap up the traditional classroom-based model, others, like me, don’t. I’m far more of a practical person, I like to get stuck in and find solutions. I’m not one to have my nose in a book all day.
Different, but equal.
Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying there’s anything bad about having a traditional ‘academic’ inclination. I’m really not. What I am saying is that it shouldn’t be seen as a ‘better’ path than the vocational one I took. They are different and equally valuable.
So, I didn’t go to University myself, it just wasn’t an option for me. What I did do was enter the workplace and learn a hell of a lot on the job. Too often this practical knowledge is underplayed, but it’s vital in industries such as mine. The question has to be, is there a way of passing on this learning other than picking it up by spending 30 years in a job? Can you study a field like mine, that of high purity manufacturing, and get a head start? I believe you can.
I also believe that this type of education should be delivered in a way that really connects with learners. It should be engaging and practical – two things you couldn’t say about the vast majority of my time at school.
A different way to learn.
That’s why we’re going to launch the PTL-U as an online resource, something Pure Transfer’s staff (and others across the industry) can access and engage with, within a timeframe that works for them. Ours won’t be stuffy courses that require students to read endless dry textbooks. Instead, they’ll access creatively imagined lessons and resources that engage with those who didn’t think academia was for them.
What’s the plan?
We’ll be creating a collection of resources that students will be able to use at their own pace. These resources will include:
Old fashioned lectures really aren’t for us. PTL-U will provide online presentations delivered in plain English, that are both engaging to watch and have a ‘No More Than 10 Slides’ guarantee.
- Supplementary video content.
PTL-U will also create banks of specific and useful videos, showing the practical side behind the theory. Once again, this content will be short and sweet, telling students what they need to know in a method that really connects.
- Personalised profiles.
Each student will be able to track their progress through the PTL-U content, as will their real world mentors, who can provide additional support if necessary. These are real courses with expert oversight that lead to respected qualifications.
The entire PTL-U syllabus will be based around the famous K.I.S.S. approach (Keep It Simple Stupid). There’s no prizes here for posturing or using long words, it’s all about gaining real world knowledge and supporting the next generation of high purity experts. Academic pretensions are left at the door.
- The vision.
So what do we, here at Pure Transfer, hope to achieve through the PTL-U? Our plan is to encourage learning amongst those who may never have been encouraged before.
“Learn as if you were to live forever”.
It’s certainly an approach that I take to life – every day is a ‘school day’. Gandhi’s quote is a call to action for all of us, even those who didn’t feel like we fit in with the academic world. There are many different ways to learn, and the PTL-U will be an example of that. Because, at the end of day, none of us are going to live forever, and the knowledge gained in hands-on industrial sectors like mine, needs to be preserved just as much as an understanding of Shakespeare’s sonnets or particle physics.
There are few things that make me more proud than seeing a person achieve something they hadn’t previously thought possible. In the years to come, I look forward to seeing students, many of whom hadn’t thought academia was for them, graduating from the PTL-U, having benefited from a different type of learning. In my mind, it won’t be long before the PTL-U has created a whole new generation of high purity gurus who will continue to share their knowledge with others to support this vital part of our economy.
I do have a dream for PTL-U. My dream is, in not too many years, I’ll be listening to a presentation by a former PTL-U student, who has broken new ground and is now able to teach me something new about high purity manufacturing. That will make me very happy, assuming their presentation is 10 slides or less.