California students get a taste of CSI Glasgow

31 July 2014

Professor Mike Mannion addresses the CSULB students

Professor Mike Mannion addresses the CSULB students

Students from California State University Long Beach (CSULB) have arrived at Glasgow Caledonian University (GCU) for the third annual summer programme in comparative forensic sciences.

The packed three-week course – organised by GCU’s Dr Mahesh Uttamlal – will see the students studying everything from fingerprinting techniques to the operation of the Scottish prison system.

A number of cultural events will complete the Americans’ introduction to Scotland, with a trip to Edinburgh, Stirling Castle, Glasgow museums and a whisky distillery. They will also soak up the atmosphere of the Commonwealth Games.

Between now and August 17, the itinerary includes a number of forensic science sessions in the University’s laboratories, an introduction to the Scottish legal system and field trips.

The students are accompanied by CSULB academic in criminal justice and forensic studies Professor John Wang.

Dr Uttamlal, senior lecturer in chemistry and forensic science, said the summer school was the result a chance meeting between Rhona Hodgart, Manager of GCU’s Study Abroad and Exchange Office, and her equivalent, Sharon Olson, at CSULB.

Dr Uttamlal said: “Over the past three years we have developed the programme and it has now become the most popular summer offering within the Californian State University system.

“We have achieved the right balance between theory, practical, field trips and a cultural programme, making every day a new learning experience.

“The students will return to California having been given an insight of how the criminal justice system works in Scotland. They will use to knowledge to make comparisons with the US system.

“The Chemical Sciences subject group has really embraced the GCU Internationalisation Strategy and our own students on the BSc/BSc(Hons) Forensic Investigation programme can now also study in California as part of their studies.

“The exchange is good for the University and it’s good for the students too. It enhances our reputation as an education provider and gives all the students who take part a broader perspective of the world.”