EUCIS-LLL gathers 30 European networks working in the various fields of education and training in order to promote lifelong learning. We consider that the validation of non-formal and informal learning should be a top priority in the modernisation of our education and training systems. It is a concrete tool for lifelong learning. It contributes to offer more flexible learning pathways for European citizens and helps individuals, institutions and employers to identify and take into account individual progression and development in personal and professional pathways. We also see validation has a way to broaden access to education and qualifications, by offering a second chance or a relevant alternative to “non-traditional” learners... This magazine aims at providing key data on validation, examples of countries’ profiles, interviews of experts but also of learners to give an insight about recent developments in Europe linked to the validation of non-formal and informal learning. I hope you will enjoy the reading! Audrey Frith, EUCIS-LLL Director.
Before we start...
For the purposes of this “LLL-Mag”, we use the term validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNFIL). It encompasses different types of known processes: the recognition of prior learning (RPL), Accreditation of Prior Learning (APL); Accreditation of Prior Experiential Learning (APEL); Accreditation of Prior Certificated Learning (APCL); Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL); Accreditation of Prior Learning and Achievement (APL&A); Recognition of Current Competencies (RCC); and, more recently Learning Outside Formal Teaching (LOFT). These various definitions already give an idea about the complexity of the processes under scrutiny as well as of the diversity of learning settings in Europe.
What’s the current situation in Europe?
The validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNFIL) is a fashionable topic attracting interests of stakeholders from different sectors of education and training. At the EU level, several initiatives have been taken in order to push forward the process of validation and build pathways between non-formal, informal and formal learning. Common European principles and guidelines have been established, peer learning and exchange of good practice have been promoted through a regularly updated inventory of policy and practice across Europe and through the provision of financial support for projects from EU lifelong learning and youth programmes. The Europe 2020 strategy explicitly calls for ‘the promotion of the recognition of non-formal and informal learning’ under its Youth on the Move flagship initiative. In this sense, by the beginning of 2012 the European Commission should launch a communication on this topic.
VNFIL is recognised as an important tool in the context of the current economic crisis as well as in the pursuit of economic and social goals at European level. However, in Europe VNFIL is organised differently across member states and consequently there are enormous differences within its development and implementation among European countries. In general, we can distinguish three groups of countries:
• The ones that have put in place national systems making validation an integral part of their education and training and employment policies (i.e. France, Portugal); when this is the case it is seen as another nationally endorsed route to recognition of learning outcomes and possibly to certification.
• The ones that have introduced validation partially, putting in place legal and institutional frameworks for future development in sub-sectors of education and training or in the employment sector;
• And a third group of countries where validation remains low on the political agenda and an overall strategy is lacking and there are few concrete initiatives.
This classification has been further extended in the 2010 CEDEFOP inventory to four categories (see table below). However, it is important to keep in mind that this categorisation provides only an overall assessment, because the situation on validation is multi-faceted, with different degrees of process and development in different sectors. Moreover, each country applies its own strategy. Sometimes we can observe a centralised approach, which leads to the implementation at national level, whereas some counties do not have any national or regional strategies and evidence ‘bottom-up’ approaches where local educational institutions and workplace initiatives have been developed. There are also different ministries, institutions and bodies responsible for the implementation, control and award of validation. For individuals, outcomes of validation are crucial. In some countries, an applicant can obtain a full diploma whereas in a majority of countries, an applicant can only benefit from access to education or from credit exemptions. To understand better the process of VNFIL and differences within the European Union, we prepared a short description of validation in four European countries.
With the Qualifications (Education and Training) Act (1999) steps towards the Recognition of Prior Learning (RPL) have been taken. The Act provides a framework for a life-wide approach to learning where qualifications are “that which are conferred, granted or given by an awarding body which records that a learner has acquired a standard of knowledge, skill or competence”. The Act itself did not legislate specifically for a detailed RPL system but rather brought into being a range of institutions which through their policies and procedures has ensured that RPL is now a key issue and one which is being addressed by all sectors of the educational system. The Act gave birth to the National Qualifications Authority of Ireland (NQAI) that has a responsibility to develop the use of RPL and to coordinate validation practices between awarding bodies and sectors and to ensure that the developments take place in a coherent manner across different educational sectors and awarding bodies. This agency is to become soon the Qualifications and Quality Assurance Authority of Ireland, QQAAI. While RPL for access, and credit/exemptions, is generally practised, the concept of making full awards on the basis of RPL is a relatively new one for Ireland.
In therory, if an individual wants to get his/her qualifications recognised, he/she can contact a Professional Development Advisor via the competent authorities and complete a written application form to determine his/her suitability for the scheme. If the applicant is eligible, he/she will be registered to join the scheme, and a mentor will be appointed to guide and help her/him. The applicant prepares a Portfolio of Evidence based on the syllabus, which sets out the standards that must be met. The applicant attends an interview/exam/practical skills demonstration in front of a Committee. If the standard is met, the applicant will be awarded a National Certificate. However this process is not fully implemented yet. The list of awarding bodies can be found on the NQAI website (http://www.nqai.ie/).
Recognition practices have been fostered in the French educational landscape as a result of a law on validation of professional experience, passed in 1992. Since 2002, the validation system has enabled the validation of prior learning and full or partial acquisition of diplomas and qualifications. French regions have developed information centres, while validation procedures have been drawn up by Ministries and validated by the National Committee for Professional Certification (CNCP). Another tool for validation is the Skills Audit (bilan de compétences), which enables learners to reflect upon their career paths, achievements and available training opportunities. In 2006, the Committee for the Development of Validation of Experience was established to investigate new developments in validation. In higher education, practices have been institutionalised due to the Law of Social Modernisation of 2002, which enables full exemption from coursework through the recognition of three years of professional experience.
If an individual wants to validate his/her qualifications, he/she can directly contact the institution that awards the qualification or an information centre. Any public or private body can be considered as a legitimate awarding authority if it offers qualifications that are classified in the National Qualifications Directory (RNCP). The next step is to gather material in order to assess the eligibility of the candidate. If eligible, they will be asked to prepare an application to present their experience. If needed, a mentor will be appointed to guide the candidate. Finally, a jury will decide whether or not to award the diploma or qualification. In cases when the applicant does not receive a full validation, he or she can continue to receive individual guidance until full validation can be obtained. The total number of diplomas delivered via VAE (Validation des Acquis de l’Expérience [Accreditation of Prior Learning or APL]) by universities is approximately 4000, and has remained stable since 2007; over half of these (2200) are full diplomas. Information about validation can be found on the government website: http://www.vae.gouv.fr/.
In Portugal, the validation of non-formal and informal learning (VNFIL) has been taken up as a relevant political issue. The Recognition, Validation and Certification of Competences (RVCC) process was implemented in 2001. A main political shift occurred in 2006-2007 with the creation of a National Qualifications System (NQS) and a widened scope of the RVCC process that includes recognition of scholar competencies (basic and secondary level) and vocational education Within this context, the New Opportunities Centres were created to provide qualifications to the population, through the RVCC processes and through qualified training. One million adults enrolled into one of the 459 bodies across the territory to formalise their qualifications in 2010. The Centers are managed by the National Agency for Qualifications (NAQ) that also coordinates the National Qualifications Catalogue for lower qualifications equivalences. The National ANQ set up in 2007, is the body responsible for the coordination of the national system of validation. Several other bodies are involved into validation practices. 453 New Opportunities Centres all over the country by the year 2010.
Opportunities Centres are the main interlocutors for individuals; they contribute to make the efforts made in terms of recognition visible to the population and became central in the RVCC process. There, an applicant obtains information about his/her possibilities on VNFIL. The next step for the applicant is to make a portfolio under supervision of a mentor. After that, the applicant presents it in front of a team from the centre (in case of basic and secondary education level). The next stage is the validation by a Jury composed of persons from the centre and an external evaluator. The process ends with a full certification (the individuals achieve a qualification level) or a partial certification (some competences are certified but not enough to achieve a qualification level); in this last situation, individuals are enrolled in a training course in order to conclude the qualification pathway. But even when a full certification is awarded in the end of the RVCC process, the individuals are encouraged to continue their studies. Thousands of low-skilled adults therefore had their qualifications acknowledged thanks to the New Opportunities Centres but it seems that progress needs to be made in the field of higher education where practice remains very difficult, expensive and slow. Learn more on http://www.anqep.gov.pt/.
No national strategy in Lithuania is dedicated to validation of non-formal and informal learning – the practical implementation has been rather slow and so far based on ad-hoc initiatives. However several laws have been adopted such as the National Education Strategy 2003-2012 (2003) that proposes flexible structures for a holistic approach to education and a focus on learning outcomes via a recognition system for untraditional pathways. A new edition of the Law on Education passed in 2003 set out key elements to formally certify competences acquired through non-formal or informal learning. Several regional, national and European initiatives have also been implemented. Validation practices are managed in a partnership approach. The Ministry of Education is involved in confirming final qualification examinations and determining the equivalence of education levels attained abroad. Public bodies participate in the process and other actors play a decisive role such as vocational schools and training institutions (that give support to applicants), colleges or social partners. Furthermore, several universities have been developing their own validation systems and have used EU funding to experiment these systems during the last few years.
Individuals with at least one year’s work experience and who are over 18 can apply for the recognition of competences by registering in a licensed vocational school that examines the documents provided by the individual. The student and school agree on a timetable of courses, credit tests and consultations and when the results are positive, the student can take the final qualification exam together with those from formal education, meaning that informal outcomes can only be validated through formal procedures. Individuals who successfully pass the exam are awarded with the same qualification certificate or qualified worker diploma. Assessment and recognition services are paid by the student or by his/her employer (in some cases by the Labour Exchange for unemployed people). Although the Education Strategy aimed at reaching 15% of the adult population involved in education and training by 2012, the target may not be reached. Weak individual financial capacities and a lack of information have been identified as the main problems.
Download the publication "Validation of non-formal and informal learning".
The general report of EUCIS-LLL’s Annual Conference has been published and you can now also find it online. The conference’s main theme was “Social Innovation for Active Inclusion; LifeLong Learning Contribution for a Better Tomorrow” and gathered more than 100 participants from all over Europe that came to listen to our high level speakers and exchange knowledge and good practices.
You can now find the report of the Annual Conference here.
Education and training systems in Europe are now at the forefront as one of the main drivers of growth in times of crisis. More and more is expected of them: equip the future workforce with the right skills but also become open and flexible so that no one is left behind. Active inclusion is one of the main objectives of the EU2020 Strategy and education and training systems need to adapt to the paradigm shift towards a life-long and lifewide approach to learning to become more inclusive and tackle the challenges of the next decade. The recent focus on learning outcomes cannot be concretised without social innovation: new ideas and practices shall emerge so that access and participation, core values of EUCIS-LLL, become central in the modernisation process of European systems for better social cohesion, active citizenship and economic competitiveness. As EUCIS-LLL believes that civil society is the main agent of change, this conference has been organised to enable and highlight an exchange of good practices and a stimulating multi-stakeholder gathering.
More than 100 actors from the different sectors of education and training from all around Europe reflected upon innovative ways to combat educational disadvantages and fight youth unemployment. The conference also provided a specific insight into the opportunities for intergenerational learning, in the context of the current European Year 2012 on Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations.
Giving non-nationals/ non-residents access to national grants and making them portable across borders would make mobility easier. In some cases, legal and administrative barriers prevent this. Initiatives such as 'Money Follows Researcher' show how those barriers can be removed and how Member States and research organisations can organise access to and portability of national grants, while upholding the interests of all parties.
Other obstacles include human resources policies which result in poor career prospects for young researchers, inadequate gender equality practices, social security obstacles and, insufficient academia-business mobility with only one in six researchers in academia having experience in the private sector. Obstacles to the fair recognition of academic diplomas also persist.
Member States are invited to:
Remove legal and other barriers to the application of open, transparent and merit based recruitment of researchers
Remove legal and other barriers which hamper cross-border access to and portability of national grants
Support implementation of the Declaration of Commitment to provide coordinated personalised information and services to researchers through the pan-European EURAXESS network
Support the setting up and running of structured innovative doctoral training programmes applying the Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training
Create an enabling framework for the implementation of the HR Strategy for Researchers incorporating the Charter & Code
Advertise all vacancies on the EURAXESS Jobs portal using the common profiles established in the European Framework for Research Careers
Fill research positions according to open, transparent and merit based recruitment procedures proportionate to the level of the position in line with the basic principles of the Charter & Code and including non-EU nationals
Develop strategies to support the career development of researchers in line with the HR Strategy for Researchers
Define and implement principles for accessibility to and portability of national grants
Provide structured doctoral training based on the Principles for Innovative Doctoral Training
Develop and implement structured programmes to increase mobility between industry and academiaThe Commission will:
Strengthen collaboration and coordination in the EURAXESS network so that it becomes a means for researchers to access tailor-made assistance
Support the setting up of a European Accreditation Mechanism for Charter & Codebased human resources management in universities and publicly-funded research institutions
Support the work of a 'pathfinder group' of countries for the achievement of automatic recognition of comparable degrees
Take initiatives to address social security barriers for researchers in the EU and further facilitate the entry and stay of third country national researchers by:
Clarifying in a Communication EU rules on coordination of social security schemes for groups of workers with a high level of intra-EU mobility, including researchers
Resuming work on a pension portability Directive setting minimum standards for the acquisition and preservation of supplementary pension rights
Supporting stakeholders in setting up pan-European supplementary pension fund(s) for researchers
Reviewing Directive 2005/71/EC on a specific procedure for admitting third country nationals for the purposes of scientific research.
In the last few days there has been a lot of speculation concerning the lack of funding for the Erasmus programme, which is part of the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP). This situation does not threaten current grants and there should be no problems for students studying or on a job placement abroad either now or in the coming semester. However, if no longer term solution is found, serious problems will appear later in 2013. The Commission will now request the Member States and the European Parliament to find a solution before the end of the year.
More information is available in this memo
The Erasmus programme enables students in higher education to spend between 3 and 12 months in another European country – either for studies or for a placement in a company or other organisation. Any student enrolled in a participating higher education institution in one of the 33 Erasmus countries can benefit (EU Member States, Croatia, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Switzerland and Turkey). Erasmus is a part of the EU's Lifelong Learning programme and accounts for more than 40% of its budget. The Lifelong Learning programme also covers the Leonardo da Vinci programme (vocational education and training, at least 25% of the budget), the Comenius programme (school education, at least 13% of the budget) and the Grundtvig programme (adult education, at least 4% of the budget).
What is the origin of the current funding problem for Erasmus?
The European Commission's proposal for the overall EU budget for 2012 amounted to €132.7 billion. However, the final budget, agreed by Member States and the European Parliament, was €129.1 billion. The 2012 budget also had to cover some €5 billion in unpaid bills held over from the previous 2011 EU budget, which was also underfunded. The Commission, the Council and Parliament agreed to take stock of budget implementation in the course of 2012 to see if additional funding would be necessary. The three institutions have been in regular contact regarding funding shortfalls affecting numerous programmes, however they have not reached an agreement. Janusz Lewandowski, the Commissioner for financial programming and the budget, is expected to propose an 'amending' budget later this month to bridge the deficits.
Will Erasmus run out of money before the end of 2012?
No. The European Commission has transferred 70% of Erasmus funding for the 2012-2013 academic year to national agencies in the participating countries, which distribute the money to universities and students. So during the current semester, up to the end of the year, there should be no problem in paying Erasmus grants to students who are going abroad for a study period or job placement.
Have students who went abroad between January and September 2012 received their grants?
Yes, if they have completed their exchange and submitted reports to their university, showing they completed their study period or placement. In this case, they will have received 100% of their grants. These grants are not affected by the current budget squeeze since national agencies, and as a consequence universities and vocational institutes, already received the necessary funding for the 2011-2012 academic year.
Will Erasmus students who go abroad between October 2012 and February 2013 receive a lower grant than they expected?
Students who go abroad in the first semester of the 2012-2013 academic year should not have a problem. However, if the shortfall in the 2012 EU budget is not resolved, funds from the 2013 budget will need to be used to cover the gap. Faced with the prospect of a continuing shortage of funds, universities and colleges are likely either to reduce the number of places they make available for the second semester of the 2012-2013 year, or to reduce the level of grants - which is likely to mean that students from more disadvantaged backgrounds will not able to take part in the scheme. If the full funding is made available, the Commission envisages that around 270 000 students will benefit from the Erasmus programme in 2012-2013.
How much has the Commission paid to national agencies so far? What is the shortfall?
The Commission has already transferred around 99% of the 2012 budget for the Lifelong Learning Programme (LLP), which covers Erasmus, Leonardo Da Vinci, Comenius and Grundtvig. In total, it has transferred €980 million to national agencies in the participating countries and to the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) which runs part of the LLP. Around 45% of this sum is earmarked for Erasmus grants. But this money does not match the grant commitments previously made for Erasmus and its sister programmes. The Commission was therefore recently forced to request an additional €180 million from the EU budget to meet its commitments under the LLP up to the end of 2012. The shortfall in the case of Erasmus this year amounts to around half of this sum i.e. €90 million.
The deficit in the 2012 budget means that the Commission has not been able to reimburse payment claims from national agencies for LLP grants totalling over €118 million. The claims have been filed by the following national agencies: Austria €6.3 million, Belgium (French-speaking community) €3 million, Belgium (Dutch-speaking community) €4.7 million, Czech Republic €7.2 million, Estonia €2.8 million, Germany (Leonardo programme) €14.5 million, Germany (Erasmus) €11.3 million, Germany (Comenius and Grundtvig) €5.9 million, Ireland (Erasmus) €1.3 million, Ireland (Leonardo, Comenius and Grundtvig) €0.9 million, Lithuania €4.3 million, Poland €29.5 million, Slovakia €5 million, Slovenia €2.7 million and UK (Erasmus and Comenius) €19 million.
The Commission also expects to receive further payment requests totalling around €100 million before the end of the year from Belgium (German-speaking community), Denmark, France, Greece, Hungary, Italy, Latvia, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Romania, Spain and Sweden. It will not be able to meet these payment demands either unless the EU budget receives an injection of funds, or only in 2013 when the new budget is available.
Non-EU countries participating in Erasmus and its sister programmes pay to be part of the scheme.
What is the Commission doing to solve the problem?
The deficits concern practically all headings of the EU budget. The Commission is doing what it can to manage the situation, including proposing the transfer of any funds which will not be used elsewhere. This so-called 'Global Transfer proposal' is currently being prepared by the Commission. This year, however, the sources which can be transferred amount to less than €500 million in total for all areas, which is not enough. That is why the Commission has to ask the budgetary authority (European Parliament and Member States) to urgently increase their payments into the 2012 budget.
What will happen if Member States fail to make up the deficit?
The implementation of the Lifelong Learning Programme will be put at risk if Member States and the European Parliament do not agree on additional payments into the budget. It is expected that the first areas to be hit will be cooperation projects involving schools, adults and vocational training, while it will not be possible to pay Erasmus students and Leonardo Da Vinci apprentices the level of grants they expected. If the shortage of funding continues it could in some cases also affect the salaries of staff in the national agencies. The situation will initially improve in 2013 when funding from the new yearly budget is available. The Commission has proposed €1.14 billion in payments to support the Lifelong Learning Programme next year, of which roughly €490 million would be spent on Erasmus grants for students and staff on exchanges. But, if the Member States fail to make up the shortfall from 2012 (at least €180 million), the 2013 budget will be partially used to cover this negative balance and it is likely that it will have been totally used by mid-2013 – so even bigger problems are to be expected after that.
What part of EU budget goes to the Lifelong Learning programme?
The total EU budget 2007-2013 was €975 billion in current prices. The Lifelong Learning programme is €7 billion which represents 0.71%. The current shortfall for the LLP is about €180 million. The total proposed EU budget 2014-2020 is in current prices €1.156 trillion. The budget proposed for the future Erasmus for All programme is €19 billion, which represents 1.64% of this total.
How much does the EU spend on the Erasmus programme and how is it distributed?
In the current budgetary period (2007-13) the EU has allocated €3.1 billion for the Erasmus programme. In 2012 the allocation is €480 million and the estimate for 2013 is €490 million (see table below). This represents around 0.35% of the EU budget. During the 2012-2013 academic year, the number of Erasmus students since the launch of the scheme 25 years ago will reach 3 million. The EU provides annual grants to national agencies in the 33 participating countries. National agencies are responsible for organising calls for proposals and for signing grant agreements with universities, schools, colleges and other educational institutions in their country. Students apply for an Erasmus grants through their home university which is responsible for paying them the agreed grant.
The overall Erasmus budget for student and staff mobility is allocated to different countries on the basis of the following factors:
Population: number of students, graduates and teachers in higher education (level 5-6 of the International standard classification of education, ISCED). Data is provided by Eurostat.
Cost of living and distance between capital cities: used as corrective factors, applied to the population factor.
Past performance indicator: calculated on the basis of the number of outbound staff and students in the past (using the latest available data).
Nearly 90% of the Erasmus budget is invested in student and staff mobility. Erasmus also supports cooperation projects and networks which account for around 4% of the budget. These are managed centrally by the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency (EACEA) in Brussels. The remaining 6% of the Erasmus budget covers the operating costs of the agencies (average of 4.4%) and other actions including studies, conferences, university-business cooperation, Bologna secretariat, as well as preparatory work for the new university multidimensional ranking system. The table below shows the total Erasmus funds spent by year since 1988.
How is the monthly EU grant determined?
Erasmus grants are designed to cover part of the additional costs of living abroad and travel. Erasmus students do not pay tuition fees at their host institution abroad. In each country, the national agencies allocate the funds at their disposal to higher education institutions. A national agency can decide to give higher grants to fewer students (as is the case, for example, in Bulgaria, Cyprus and Turkey) or to give lower grants to more students (as for example in France and Italy), but has to respect a ceiling for grants set by the European Commission for every country of destination (see Lifelong Learning Programme Guide). The national agency allocates funds to applying institutions based on factors such as amounts requested or past performance. The institution can then decide on the exact monthly grant it pays to students (and the weekly or daily rate to staff) within a range set by the national agency; this range differs from country to country. The monthly grant depends on the destination country and the type of mobility. For instance, there has been a tendency to give higher grants for job placements than for studies abroad. The national agencies can increase the monthly grant for socio-economically disadvantaged students. Various sources of other co-financing from national, regional and local sources can complement the Erasmus grant given by the European Union. In 2010-11, the average monthly EU grant for student mobility ranged from €133 for Spanish students to €653 for students from Cyprus. Across all countries, the average monthly grant was €250.
How can students and staff apply for Erasmus grants?
The Erasmus programme is open to all students studying at higher education institutions holding an Erasmus University Charter in 33 participating countries (27 EU Member States, Iceland, Liechtenstein, Norway, Turkey, Croatia and Switzerland). Most of Europe’s higher education institutions – more than 4 000 – have signed up to the Erasmus University Charter. The first step in applying for an Erasmus study period or job placement grant is to contact the international relations office at the home institution and to fill in a learning agreement for Erasmus studies or a training agreement for Erasmus placements before the mobility period. This agreements, which set out the programme to be followed by the student during her/his study period or placement, need to be approved and signed by the home institution, the host institution or company abroad, as well as the student. This both simplifies and ensures full academic recognition from the home institution for work satisfactorily completed during the Erasmus period.
Erasmus studies: Those who want to carry out part of their studies abroad must be in at least their second year at a higher education institution.
Erasmus job placements: students can take up an Erasmus placement from the first year of higher education studies.
Periods abroad – both for studies and for placements – can last from 3 to 12 months each, or a combined total of 24 months. For students in short-cycle higher vocational education the minimum duration for placements is two months.
Erasmus for staff: Teaching staff are required to submit a teaching programme to their home institution or enterprise agreed by the host institution. Staff wishing to apply for an Erasmus training grant must similarly have their training programme agreed by their home institution and the host institution or enterprise.
In 2010-2011, Spain sent out most students for both studies and placements (36 183), followed by France (31 747) and Germany (30 274). Spain was also the most popular destination country with 37 432 incoming students, followed by France (27 722) and then Germany (24 733). The United Kingdom hosted twice as many students (24 474) as it sent abroad (12 833). A majority of countries sent out more students than they hosted. The best balance between incoming and out-bound students was recorded in Slovenia, followed by Spain and the Netherlands. 3 040 higher education institutions sent students on mobility exchanges, an increase of 6.6% on the previous year.
7.2% increase for Erasmus studies
During the academic year 2010-11 out of 231 408 Erasmus students, 190 495 went abroad for studies, an increase of 7.2% on 2009-10. The numbers going abroad for studies decreased in 3 countries (Luxembourg, Hungary and Poland) while 16 witnessed an above average increase. In relative terms the highest increase on 2009-10 figures was in Croatia (96.6%), followed by Liechtenstein (84.2%) and Cyprus (25.1%). On average, students went abroad to study for just over 6.4 months and the average grant was €232 (against €236 in the previous year).
Social sciences, business studies and law were the most popular subject areas for Erasmus students (34.7%), followed by humanities and arts (31.5%) and engineering, manufacturing and construction (12.6%).
15% increase in Erasmus job placements
Since 2007, Erasmus has offered students the opportunity to go abroad to gain work experience in companies or other organisations. In 2010-11 one-in-six Erasmus students – 40 913 out of 231 408 – chose this option, an increase of over 15% on the previous year. The average duration of a placement was 4.3 months and students received on average a monthly EU grant of €366 (down from €386 in 2009-10). As in recent years, France was the country sending the most students on Erasmus placements (5 958, with a 14.6% share), followed by Germany (5 096, 12.4% share) and Spain (4 756, 11.6%). The United Kingdom was the most popular destination for Erasmus placements, hosting 6 970 students (17% share), followed by Spain (6 852, 16.7% share) and Germany (5 614, that is 13.7%). To support work placements abroad, a higher education institution can create a consortium for placements. These consortia comprise higher education institutions (HEIs) and other organisations, such as companies or associations. In 2010-11, some 74 placement consortia were funded in 13 countries. Placement consortia found opportunities for more than 14% of placement students.
The largest group of students on Erasmus placements came from a social sciences, business and law background (26.6%), overtaking humanities and arts (17.1%) which had the biggest share the previous academic year, and followed by agriculture and veterinary students (15.4%), whose number was eight times that of the previous year.
How many higher education (bachelor and master) students are there in the Erasmus participating countries? How many of them spent part or all of their studies abroad in 2010-11?
Out of a total student population of more than 22.5 million in the then 32 participating countries, around 1% of them received Erasmus student mobility grants in 2010-11. In 2010, the total population in the EU-27 was around 18.5 million students. Assuming that the average study duration in higher education institutions is 4-5 years (bachelor and master), it can be estimated that around 4.5% of all European students receive Erasmus grants at some stage during their higher education studies. Of those, 67% are at bachelor level, 28% at master level, 1% doctoral level, and 4% in short-cycle studies. Around 10% of students in total have spent or are spending part or all of their studies abroad with the support of Erasmus or other public and private means.
At their meeting in Bucharest (Romania) on 26-27 April 2012 (IP/12/394), Higher Education Ministers adopted the Bologna Mobility Strategy which states that, by 2020, 20% of European higher education graduates will have spent part of their studies abroad, in line with the European benchmark for higher education mobility adopted in November 2011.
For more information
Erasmus hits new record with 8.5% increase in student exchanges (IP/12/454)
More about the Erasmus programme and the Lifelong learning programme
Erasmus facts and figures [brochure]
The "EQAVET quality cycle" is a new online tool developed by the European Quality Assurance in Vocational Education and Training (EQAVET) network which helps Member States and vocational education and training (VET) providers to enhance the quality of VET.
The tool is based on the guidelines of the European quality assurance reference framework for VET and helps to adapt these guidelines to the situation in each country.
The tool assists VET systems and providers to:
evaluate their approach to quality assurance;
examine how other Member States and VET providers in Europe operate their quality assurance system;
explore new ideas relating to the design of national, regional or institutional quality assurance systems;
stimulate further thinking on how to introduce or develop quality assurance mechanisms.
The tool is available at:
For VET systems: http://www.eqavet.eu/.
For VET providers: http://www.eqavet.eu/.
Leaflet "EQAVET Quality Cycle".
EQAR has been founded by ENQA, EUA and EURASHE, the European representative bodies of quality assurance agencies, students, universities and other higher education institutions, respectively, to increase the transparency of quality assurance in higher education across Europe. EQAR will publish and manage a register of quality assurance agencies that substantially comply with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG) to provide the public with clear and reliable information on quality assurance agencies operating in Europe. The register will be web-based and freely accessible.
The Register is expected to:
promote student mobility by providing a basis for the increase of trust among higher education institutions;
reduce opportunities for “accreditation mills” to gain credibility;
provide a basis for governments to authorise higher education institutions to choose any agency from the Register, if that is compatible with national arrangements;
provide a means for higher education institutions to choose between different agencies, if that is compatible with national arrangements;
serve as an instrument to improve the quality of agencies and to promote mutual trust among them.
All agencies which comply substantially with the European Standards and Guidelines for Quality Assurance (ESG) can be admitted to the Register. Substantial compliance with the European Standards and Guidelines is to be evidenced through an external review by independent experts. Such a review is coordinated either by a national authority or another organisation that is independent from the quality assurance agency under review. Full ENQA membership, being also based on substantial compliance with the ESG, will normally constitute satisfactory evidence for inclusion in the Register. See Application: Requirements for further information.
Employers, trade unionists and public authorities in charge of vocational education and training (VET) from eight southern and eastern Mediterranean met in Istanbul, Turkey on 15 and 16 October.
The participants took stock of almost two years of activities in an ETF regional project on social partnership in VET.
‘The Arab spring has changed the landscape of social partnership considerably,’ said Petri Lempinen, expert in social partnership at the ETF. ‘Egypt has seen the rise of new independent trade unions with more than 200 affiliated unions and 2 million members. Mushrooming of new trade unions and employers’ organizations is visible also in other countries.’
Cooperation between labour, employers and government is not easy
In 2012 the ETF mapped the roles of social partners in VET in Jordan, Morocco and Tunisia. Three countries have different traditions and structures of social dialogue. But there is one common element: a real cooperation between labour market and government is not always easy. Many Arab countries have a tradition of centralized decision making which is an obstacle to active and effective participation of employers and especially trade unions.
‘Social partners from the region recognize that they need to develop awareness and capacity to assume the role in the development of VET,’ said Mr Lempinen. ‘Our project supported this for example by producing a guidance note for use by national and sector organizations when working with their own members.’
The participants of the conference asked the ETF to tailor its support to different target groups as countries have different education and legal structures. They also stressed the need to increase countries’ ownership of the project
‘The new project could be linked to existing structures such as Jordan’s TVET council, ‘proposed Nadera Karim Al Bakheet, director of the E-TVET Council Secretariat at the Ministry of Labour of Jordan.
Host country’s experience most relevant to project members
Among ETF partner countries Turkey has one of the most advanced systems of social partnership, which covers employment and training issues. The country has adequate structures for cooperation and social dialogue e.g., the Economic and Social Council was established in 1995. There are regional councils for employment and training issues. They all have a strong base in legislation.
Enis Bagdadioglu of TURK-IS, a trade union confederation, and Akansel Koç of Leather Industry Employers Association in Turkey, said social partners take concrete actions and they have responsibilities in governance and financing of training. Turkish employers and trade unions have worked together to train their representatives in various social dialogue bodies. For example in metal industry some 120.000 workers have been retrained. Several participants of the meeting in Istanbul pointed out that Turkey provides relevant example to learn from as it is in many ways closer to the Arab countries realities than EU member states.
‘The conference in Istanbul is another example of the ETF encouraging this “South-South” cooperation, said Mr Lempinen. ‘Earlier we organized a study visit for employers and trade unions from Egypt, Jordan and Lebanon to Morocco.
In 2013, more emphasis on the local level
Learning and sharing good practices of social partnership between the Mediterranean countries will continue in 2013 with the new regional project on governance for employability. The new activities will support social partners’ involvement in the governance of VET not only on the national level but also locally because a lot of practical cooperation takes place there.
INFORM - ISSUE 07 - NOVEMBER 2011 - EQUITABLE HUMAN CAPITAL DEVELOPMENT.
The Torino Process.
TƏHSIL VƏ BIZNES SAHƏLƏRINƏ DAIR TƏDQIQAT AZƏRBAYCAN.
Un seul objectif: apporter en un même lieu, au cours d’une seule journée, toute l’information nécessaire à la gestion et à la création de votre entreprise et trouver ainsi des solutions concrètes aux problématiques de développement et de management.
Les ENTREPRENARIALES 2012 seront notamment marquées par la remise du Prix de l’Entreprise de l’UPE 06, parrainé par DEVEUM. Ce concours a pour objet de récompenser et d’aider à la concrétisation des meilleurs projets de création d’entreprises présentés par des étudiants de l’Université de Nice-Sophia Antipolis. A cette occasion, DEVEUM, partenaire de l’évènement, aura le plaisir d’offrir les récompenses aux lauréats:
- 1er prix: une dotation financière de 1500€ et un diagnostic de potentiel d’éligibilité aux aides publiques
- 2e et 3e prix: un diagnostic de potentiel d’éligibilité aux aides publiques
La remise des prix aura lieu de 17H à 17H45 au stand de l’UPE 06 en présence des partenaires du monde économique et de la presse locale. Pour en savoir plus: http://www.entreprenariales.com/.
Un obiettivo: fornire in un unico luogo, in un giorno, tutte le informazioni necessarie per la gestione e la creazione del vostro business, e quindi trovare soluzioni concrete ai problemi di sviluppo e gestione . Più...
Le prochain café des ACTIFS (+45 ans) qui aura lieu le 08 novembre à 15h30* aura pour thèmes:
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