The first Friday of term brought with it a field trip. Two year groups of Global Development students crowded the platform at York Train Station, ready to head to the model village of Saltaire.
We met the teaching team outside Saltaire United Reformed Church, split into groups and were handed a pamphlet of questions. The questions were designed to make us explore the town. As we worked through the pamphlet we discovered stories from the industrialisation of the town. Getting slightly lost in the streets, we uncovered the life of Sir Titus Salt and his model village.
Championing welfare among his workers Sir Titus Salt built a hospital, school, and a park among many other things. An investigation of the Salts Mill also unveiled a short documentary of the village’s construction, as well as some great food!
The impact on our Global Development studies
There were direct benefits of this trip to our Global Development studies. For example, it linked in with the problem based learning (PBL) industrialisation problem week. This meant we could bring our knowledge from the trip into our discussions. However, there were broader benefits that came from the trip too.
There are so many theories and discussions that exist in development. But getting to visit Saltaire allowed us to see the stories and processes behind the industrialisation of the village. It is so easy to get lost in theoretical debates, but getting out of the classroom let us focus on seeing the development around us.
The trip also demonstrated how complex and multidimensional development is. It showed that development happens everywhere and how development is more than just foreign aid budgets.
What we learnt
Saltaire was a purposefully built village that was made to develop a workforce. The model village truly demonstrated how there are multiple aspects to consider when developing a village.
The trip demonstrated that development is multidimensional and cannot simply be boiled down to economic improvement. There are many factors that have to be addressed and considered when working in the development field. Going to Saltaire very clearly broke down the separate factors to consider – these include welfare provision, housing, access to services (such as schooling and healthcare), as well as the more traditional economic measures.
What offer holders can look forward to
The BA Global Development degree has a small cohort. Offer holders can look forward to what often becomes a tight-knit group of students. From a personal perspective, working in such a small group has meant that I have made lots of friends. I think this is something that can be quite comforting for new students. University can be a daunting experience, particularly when you feel you’re lost in the crowd. Having people that you know the name of and can sit with in lectures can help you feel more comfortable.
You can also look forward to an environment where you actively learn. You’ll go on trips, work through problem-based learning, and regularly have case study-focused work that really lets you explore and study for yourself rather than regurgitating what you have been taught by the lecturer. Honestly, getting to lead my own learning is what drew me to study at York.
Read more student stories about studying Global Development at York.