14 avril 2013

Progress towards the Bruges communiqué

Publication coverTrends in VET policy in Europe 2010-12 - Progress towards the Bruges communiqué
Attention has clearly focused on helping young people remain in, and return to, education and training through work-based learning routes. Building on their joint work in the last decade, countries have advanced in setting up qualifications frameworks and devising approaches to assure quality in VET, but much work is still in the planning stage. More attention to the professional development of VET staff, better monitoring of VET labour market outcomes, and considering incentives where appropriate, could help progress in the coming years. Download Trends in VET policy in Europe 2010-12.

This is the mid-term review of progress towards the 22 short-term deliverables defined in the Bruges communiqué of 2010. The current slow economic development and high unemployment in the EU have increased the need for policies that have a real impact in the short term. The pressure to address high unemployment, especially high youth unemployment, in several countries, is growing. Investment in skills is a challenge in times of tight budgets but the policy agenda in Europe, and in other countries such as the United States, has put more labour market relevant (vocational) education at the centre of strategies for long-term economic success and competitiveness. Vocational education and training at all levels is at the core of Europe’s response to the economic crisis. Skills are also critical in addressing the consequences and challenges of an ageing labour force and rapidly changing skill needs, as well as an important facet of the strategies to develop a greener and sustainable economy.
Vocational education and training (VET) for young people and adults is an essential part of the Europe 2020 strategy. Traditional distinctions between vocational, general and higher education are blurring because of the strong vocational component of the last. VET also contributes to innovation and entrepreneurship. Despite high unemployment and weak prospects for economic growth in some countries, labour market bottlenecks are already visible for some occupations. Even in countries still in recession, unemployment coexists with unfilled vacancies, indicating structural imbalances between skills supply and demand. VET and work-based learning are attractive options for acquiring labour market relevant qualifications closely matched to needs. They serve the needs of citizens, enterprises, and society by easing access to the labour market and providing opportunities to update individuals’ skills and competences. This goes hand-in-hand with the need for flexible education and training paths that offer opportunities for, and allow combining, different types and levels of education and training throughout life.
In 2002, in Copenhagen, under the Lisbon strategy and as a parallel to the Bologna process for higher education, ministers responsible for VET in the EU, EEA-EFTA and candidate countries, the European Commission and social partners agreed on priorities for VET. The core intentions were to improve lifelong learning opportunities and mobility between Member States in a single European labour market. The process of coordination that followed has supported Member State cooperation and has become a catalyst for modernising VET systems across Europe.
The Bruges communiqué in 2010, in line with the Europe 2020 strategy and the policy priorities for VET, combines a long-term perspective with short-term measures. Pursuing short-term deliverables requires immediate action and it is important to follow developments closely; as before, Cedefop and ETF have been entrusted with this task.
This report analyses progress towards the short-term deliverables. The synthesis report indicates the overall trends and the progress of Member States. Separately published country fiches, concise information on VET systems, and statistical indicators, to be published in the beginning of 2013, will complement the report and provide further, specific data which will allow policy makers to consider concrete actions for development. I hope that this mid-term review of progress, 10 years after the cooperation on VET was launched, can inspire European and national policy-makers and pave the way for policies and practices in the years ahead. Christian F. Lettmayr Acting Director.
Executive summary

Attractive, open, modern and inclusive vocational education and training (VET) is a pillar of knowledge economies. Dealing with the economic crisis, and the long-term challenges that Europe faces, requires investment in people’s skills: VET is an important part of that investment. In Europe, about half of all jobs require a medium level qualification, primarily acquired through VET.
There is no single European VET system. VET is very diverse and the variations in systems, providers, regions, and sectors make comparisons challenging. Complicated governance structures that affect the consistency and complementarity of policies make it difficult to point to single policies to tackle or alleviate problems. The merit of any particular policies must always be assessed taking into account the unique features of a country's VET system and the socio-economic context.
Since 2002, European countries have worked jointly on common priorities for vocational education and training in the ‘Copenhagen process’. The second phase of that process started in 2010 and supports the Europe 2020 agenda. The Bruges communiqué combines the long-term vision for 2020 with a commitment to implement a series of actions (short-term deliverables, or STDs) by 2014. This report reviews what countries have done since 2010 to implement these STDs.
Main trends
Europe has done a lot to make VET more attractive, not just since 2010 but also before. Education and career fairs with a VET focus take place in all countries and skills competitions are held in most. Activities to familiarise young people in compulsory education with VET have been stepped up, in several cases using simulated or real business experience or work-experience/‘tasters’. Several countries have also introduced campaigns to encourage enterprises to provide or invest in VET.
Improving mobility and recognition of skills and competences, within and across Europe's diverse VET and labour markets, requires trust. A common approach to quality assurance in VET helps create this trust. In line with the relevant recommendation (European Parliament; Council of the EU, 2009b), the majority of the countries had devised a national quality assurance approach or were working towards this aim by 2011. They are also progressing towards a national quality assurance framework for VET providers, an objective for 2015 set out in the Bruges communiqué.
Key competences and basic skills provide the foundation for lifelong learning and career development. Including key competences in the level descriptors of national qualification frameworks (NQFs) helps to make them visible. Across Europe, they are part of IVET curricula. In two out of three countries, opportunities to improve underdeveloped key competences already existed before 2010; in those where this was not the case most are taking steps to create such opportunities. In some countries, however, foreign language learning remains an area of concern.
Work-based learning and, more specifically, apprenticeship have a long tradition in many European countries. The trend to reinforce work-based learning and to (re)introduce apprenticeship, which became apparent before 2010, has continued. Ensuring that work-based learning is of high quality, labour market relevant and accessible, is a high priority. Cooperation between the VET and employment authorities as well as social partners is common at different governance levels. Areas where progress appears slow are policies and services to support cooperation between VET and enterprises for professional development of teaching staff.
Although data on graduate transition and employability in their early career are collected in many countries, only about half report using the data systematically to inform VET provision. Monitoring can also help to support at-risk groups’ participation in VET by identifying which groups partake the least and providing more background on why this is the case. Despite these potential benefits, using monitoring to support VET participation for at-risk groups is absent in many countries and is an issue that requires more attention in the coming years.
Lifelong learning plays a crucial role in the knowledge economy and individual countries; actions to support it have been at the core of joint work on common priorities since 2002. Improving lifelong learning and labour mobility requires that qualifications are comparable with each other and across borders. The aim of the European qualifications framework (EQF), endorsed in 2008, is exactly this. Most countries have decided to develop national qualification frameworks as a basis to link up to the EQF. Since early 2010, NQFs based on learning outcomes have developed dynamically across Europe, with 29 countries developing or having designed comprehensive NQFs; seven of these have entered early operational stage and four have implemented them fully. As well as ensuring qualification transparency, NQFs are sometimes seen as a regulatory tool, as instruments to make education and training more coherent, or as a way to reinforce permeability and lifelong learning.
Making sure that knowledge, skills and competences acquired in work or elsewhere are valued has been part of European policy since 2001, but only a minority of countries had a highly developed system to validate non-formal and informal learning by 2010. In many countries, validation focuses on easing access and progression to education and training, rather than on acquiring qualifications; where this is the case, validation is often limited to VET qualifications.
More than half of the countries stimulate participation in adult learning by making access to VET easier and ensuring that learning outcomes or qualifications are valued in subsequent training and on the labour market. Most countries also encourage learning through suitable time arrangements, accessible learning venues, and good opportunities for combining learning with family obligations.
Guidance and counselling services support people in making educational and career choices and managing career transitions. Most countries have set up forums or platforms to coordinate guidance policies and provision, or integrated guidance in their lifelong learning strategies. To improve accessibility, countries have put in place, or further developed, web-based guidance. Attention to further development of counsellors’ competences has increased but a practitioners’ competence framework is not yet a reality in many countries.
Countries have committed themselves to promoting internationalisation and removing mobility obstacles, but few have set specific targets to increase mobility. Most learning mobility in VET is enabled through European programmes and (co)funding. Evidence on mobility outside European initiatives is difficult to capture. Crediting experience acquired during VET abroad is on the rise. The European credit system for VET (ECVET) supports borderless lifelong learning through the possibility to transfer and recognise learning abroad and by allowing people to build qualifications based on knowledge and skills acquired in different national contexts. As well as supporting cross border mobility, ECVET has also gained relevance for national and regional mobility. Countries are moving forward by revising standards and curricula and modularising, but few are ready to implement ECVET soon.
Creativity and innovation drive new ideas and support competitiveness and economic growth but the role and contribution of VET tends to be neglected. Activities focus on promoting creativity and innovation through competitions open to VET learners and institutions. While embedding innovation and creativity strategically into VET is becoming more popular, progress in including VET in national innovation strategies appears slower. Although knowledge exchange platforms exist in half of the countries in 2012, progress has been limited. Strategies to ensure VET relevance, by enabling learners to use innovative technology through cooperation with business and industry, tend to be more common.
Entrepreneurship drives business creation but, as a general mindset, it supports problem-solving and innovative skills which are useful in daily life as well as in different working environments. VET or lifelong learning strategies that promote entrepreneurship skills and appropriate learning methods were already in place in most countries before 2010. Entrepreneurship strategies that consider VET, however, tend to be more recent or are still in the pipeline. Progress is limited in developing services that help VET strengthen ties with the business world and in guidance and counselling strategies supporting entrepreneurship.
Europe missed its 2010 target to limit the share of Europeans who leave education and training with low or no qualifications. Alarmingly high youth unemployment has increased the pressure to take action. Governments have been invited to set national targets and several received specific recommendations from the Council to reduce early leaving from education and training. In line with earlier trends, measures focus on (alternative) work-based learning options to motivate young people to stay in education and training and on easing transition into VET. Some countries are also developing modularised approaches. Guidance and mentoring, and other forms of learner support, are important parts of the package. Incentives for learners and their families to remain in VET, and for enterprises to provide training or employment, are widespread. Second chance options are also widely available. One option to address early leaving remains relatively unused: incentives for VET institutions to prevent drop out.
Low-skilled and other at-risk groups face barriers to learning and risk being trapped in low-skilled jobs, low employability and, in some cases, unemployment. Countries have progressed in opening up learning opportunities for low-skilled and other at-risk groups, but focus is needed, as many actions and initiatives are only in the preparation phase. Most countries pay specific attention to learners with migrant backgrounds by providing opportunities to learn the host country language. Using ICT to support groups at risk in gaining access to VET is an area where progress appears limited. Few countries have an ICT strategy or digital agenda that considers at-risk groups.

Progress is visible in several areas, notably in EQF/NQF implementation, European quality assurance reference framework for vocational education and training (EQAVET), work-based learning, and reducing early leaving from education and training, but many policy measures are still in the planning stage. Areas where there has been less action so far require further attention, such as monitoring labour market outcomes and informing VET provision, using incentives, and the professional development of teachers and trainers. European tools and principles will need to interact and become more coherent to benefit European citizens fully.
In 2014, Cedefop will review achievements in the short-term deliverables and progress towards the strategic objectives of the Bruges communiqué. Maintaining momentum will be key to achieving the goals.

Posté par pcassuto à 01:25 - - Permalien [#]

EUNEC statements on the European Commission Communication ‘Rethinking education'

Cedefop - European Centre for the Development of Vocational TrainingEUNEC statements on the European Commission Communication ‘Rethinking education'
EUNEC, the European Network of Education Councils, comments on the set of policy recommendations published by the European Commission on 20 November 2012 in order to reinforce the cooperation between EU Member States and give a new impetus to education policy in the EU Member States. The recommendations of EUNEC focus on the most important part of the proposal, the Communication ‘Rethinking education: Investing in skills for better socio-economic outcomes’.
Link: EUNEC statements on the European Commission Communication ‘Rethinking education'.

Posté par pcassuto à 01:23 - - Permalien [#]

Tertiary attainment – sustained progress by European Union Member States

Cedefop - European Centre for the Development of Vocational TrainingAlmost half of Member States have reached the Europe 2020 target of 40% of people aged 30-34 holding a higher education degree or equivalent qualification, according to the latest data. Since the target was announced in 2010, progress has been steady, rising by around one percentage point a year. If current trends continue, the European Union should meet its target by the end of the decade.
Increasing the level of educational attainment of the labour force is a major EU objective. A highly skilled European workforce is fundamental to Europe’s global competitiveness and a driver of economic growth and prosperity. It is seen as the key to unlocking Europe’s potential for research and innovation. It is also necessary as most new jobs created in the future are expected to be highly-skilled. As well as the Europe 2020 target, almost all Member States have set their own targets for 2020, taking into account national circumstances and policy objectives.
Main Findings
- More Europeans are pursuing higher levels of education than in previous generations. This is leading to significant shifts in attainment levels over time within European countries. Older cohorts of workers with low educational attainment are steadily leaving the workforce and being replaced by better educated younger generations. In 2012, in all Member States, the proportion of young people aged 25-34 with tertiary education is markedly higher than that of adults aged 55-64 (see Figure).
- There are large disparities between men and women. Data show notable progress for women since 2000, who have outpaced men and now, overall tend to be better qualified in nearly all Member States. However, in maths, science and engineering the gender gap has increased in the past years at European level. Significantly more men than women graduate in these subjects, which are in high demand on the labour market and will continue to gain in importance.
- Cedefop’s latest skill supply and demand forecasts indicate that, overall in Europe, numbers of people with tertiary-level qualifications will continue to rise and will account for some 37% of the labour force in 2020. However, owing to the economic slow-down demand for highly-skilled workers is forecast to lag behind supply and may lead to people taking jobs for which they are over-qualified in the short term.
- Skill mismatch has been increasing in the EU, further augmenting the labour market difficulties as a result of the economic crisis. Today, one in three European employees is either over- or under-qualified for the job they are doing. Mismatch is especially high in Mediterranean countries. Data also show that over the past decade the rate of over-qualification in the EU has risen by about 5%, meaning that around 6.4 million Europeans have taken jobs in recent years for which they are over-qualified (4). Today, roughly 20% of people aged 25-34 with tertiary education are employed in occupations typically not requiring tertiary qualifications. Despite the growing participation rates in tertiary education this proportion has remained quite stable over the past decade, suggesting that the over-qualification rates are influenced more by labour market structures and innovation than by the increasing number of tertiary level students.

Posté par pcassuto à 01:17 - - Permalien [#]

Renewing vocational education and training to tackle skill mismatch

Cedefop - European Centre for the Development of Vocational TrainingRenewing vocational education and training to tackle skill mismatch: work-based learning and apprenticeship for all? New conference date.
This conference, originally scheduled for 26 April has been postponed until 12-13 June 2013.

But the conference’s focus remains the same. How can we reduce the costly mismatch between skills people have and those wanted by the labour market through:
- labour market information, such as Cedefop’s pan-European skill supply and demand forecasts, to help education and training to reflect more closely labour market needs to provide skills in demand;
- different forms of apprenticeship and work-based learning, particularly among young people who often lack work experience to complement their qualifications
The conference will also continue to bring together policy-makers from the European Union, Business Europe, the ETUC, UNESCO, Germany, Greece and Ireland to discuss these issues.
Join the debate see the conference link at: http://events.cedefop.europa.eu/.

Posté par pcassuto à 01:14 - - Permalien [#]

7 Principles for a Well-Structured School-Bank Partnership

University Business LogoBy Tim Goral. 1. Unbiased student choice of where to bank. The bank account students begin at school may continue with them for decades. Such an important choice shouldn’t be skewed by which bank gave the school the most money. For financial aid disbursements, campuses should provide students a diverse set of disbursement options that clearly include the ability to use their own existing bank account and ability to choose to receive a check.
2. Low fees. Campuses should negotiate away fees that students incur on their debit cards as well as make it easier for student debit card consumers to avoid fees. Fees should not be charged to financial aid funds.
3. Safe checking fees. For accounts not related to federal student aid, student checking accounts should meet the minimum requirements of the FDIC Model Safe Accounts Template, modified to address the needs of students. Fees on student accounts should be commensurate with services rendered and all fees should be disclosed prominently on the bank’s website, mailers and other materials. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:07 - - Permalien [#]

MOOCs: Game Changer or "Tech Ed Du Jour" ?

http://s.huffpost.com/images/v/logos/bpage/college.gif?31By Dr. Arthur F. Kirk, Jr. Game-changing technology innovations occur periodically in any industry. Clay Christensen demonstrated this in The Innovator's Dilemma and his follow-up book with Michael Raynor, The Innovator's Solution. Both offer examples across tens of industries ranging from steam shovels to department stores to disk drives to transportation to education. Yet for every breakthrough, game-changing, disruptive innovation, there are multiple product concepts that show promise for a time, but then stall or disappear completely.
MOOCs (massive open online courses) appeared on the scene recently: The first MOOC dates only to 2008. In fact, though generally bundled, there are at least two distinct types of MOOCs, sometimes called cMOOCs and xMOOCs. The former, first offered at the University of Manitoba, describes courses that emphasize connectivity and networking. Many see them as especially interesting and a stronger model for promoting useful learning, as they generally require one to demonstrate competence versus simply a play-back of information. However, to date, cMOOCs have not captured the public's imagination as have the huge numbers attracted to xMOOCs, most of which utilize a traditional lecture format chopped up into 10 to 15 minutes bites. Thus, for this post, I will concentrate here on the xMOOCs. (For an excellent and comprehensive discussion on MOOCs, see Making Sense of MOOCs.) Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:04 - - Permalien [#]

New Applications System for International Students Launched

University Business LogoUni-Pay – the specialist payment provider to overseas students, agents and educational institutions, has teamed up with Centurus to deliver a revolutionary new approach to help universities manage applications from overseas students.
This entrepreneurial collaboration by two businesses that focus solely on delivering services to the international education sector, enables universities to take more control of the application process from overseas students and their agents. The link up brings to the market a web-based solution for managing applications from the point of initial enquiry, right through to receipt of deposit payment and enrolment.
As more and more universities seek to grow the number of overseas students that enroll, the ability to engage effectively and positively with applicants right from the point of first contact, can be the difference between securing or losing a new overseas student enrollment. Read more...

Posté par pcassuto à 01:01 - - Permalien [#]

Table ronde sur les MOOC

pgirouxPar Patrick Giroux. Table ronde sur les MOOC à l'émission "Pas de midi sans info" de la première chaine de Radio-Canada. Je n'avais pas pensé à la date jeudi dernier quand j'ai accepté de participer à l'émission "Pas de midi sans info" de la première chaine de Radio-Canada. Pendant une seconde ce matin, j'ai eu un doute et je me suis demandé si ce n'était pas un poisson d'avril très élaboré... J'y ai pensé trois secondes et j'ai décidé qu'il valait mieux se préparer!
Je sais d'abord qu'on m'a contacté à cause de ce billet dans lequel je laisse entendre que je ne pense pas que la part la plus importante de la population soit prête pour les MOOC. J'aurais dû être plus précis, et parler des cMOOC...
Ainsi, je dois d'abord distinguer deux types de MOOC.
En premier lieu, il y a eu les cMOOC. Réellement ouverts. Réellement sociaux.
Dans un cMOOC, il y a un point de départ, c.-à-d. un sujet et des objectifs. Il y a ensuite un groupe de participants intéressés par le sujet. Ce ne sont pas nécessairement des étudiants inscrits à l'université... C'est souvent des professionnels enthousiastes qui désirent réfléchir à une problématique ou se familiariser avec de nouvelles choses potentiellement utiles dans leur travail. Il y a ensuite un initiateur du cMOOC. C'est souvent un petit groupe de spécialistes ou d'enthousiastes reconnus par la communauté intéressée par le sujet du cMOOC. Suite de l'article...
pgiroux By Patrick Giroux. Roundtable on the issue MOOC "No lunch without info" in the first string CBC. I had not thought about the date last Thursday when I agreed to participate in the show "No noon without info "in the first string CBC. For a second this morning, I had a doubt and I wondered if this was not an April Fool's sophisticated ... I thought about three seconds and I decided it was better to be prepared. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:27 - - Permalien [#]

Les MOOCs vont-ils révolutionner les universités ?

GéopolisPar Pierre Magnan. Plus de trois millions d'étudiants peuvent suivre les cours de Stanford, de Harvard ou du Massachusetts Institue of Technology (MIT). Pour cela, ces universités, extrêmement chères, n'ont pas agrandi leur campus mais ont mis leurs cours sur Internet. Grâce aux MOOCs, tout le monde peut suivre leurs enseignements. Une révolution en marche pour les universités.
Grâce à internet, suivre un cours et même obtenir un diplôme sans sortir de chez soi est désormais possible. En France, l'Ecole Centrale de Lille vient d'annoncer qu'elle mettait ses cours en ligne. Ce n’est pas une première en France (l'Essec comme Polytechnique le font aussi), même si le pays est en retard. Cette mise à disposition des enseignements s’inscrit dans un mouvement venu des Etats-Unis. Un mouvement qui porte le joli nom de MOOC (Massive Open Online Cours; cours en ligne gratuit).
Le développement d'Internet et de ses débits rend très facile la diffusion de cours en vidéo que l'on peut suivre n'importe où. Regarder des cours de professeurs de Harvard, Stanford, ou du Polytechnicum de Lausanne (en français pour cette dernière), est désormais un jeu d'enfant. Suite de l'article...
Géopolis De réir Pierre Magnan. Is féidir le níos mó ná trí mhilliún mac léinn cúrsaí a ghlacadh ó Stanford, Harvard nó an Institiúid Teicneolaíochta Massachusetts (MIT). Mar sin, nach bhfuil na hollscoileanna, an-daor, a leathnú a n-gcampas ach tá a gcuid cúrsaí ar an Idirlíon. Le MOOCs, is féidir le gach duine a leanúint a theagasc. Níos mó...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:22 - - Permalien [#]

Un MOOC… Comme si vous y étiez…

Propos recueillis par Michel Diaz. MOOC (Massive Online Open Course)… Des cours gratuits provenant des plus grandes universités… Yannick Barde-Cubasson est l'un des premiers "diplômés" de l'EDx Harvard… Il répond à nos questions…
Quel métier exercez-vous ?
Yannick Barde-Cabusson :
Je suis kinésithérapeute (physiothérapeute est le terme international) et également ostéopathe.
Pour quelles raisons avez-vous suivi cette formation proposée par Edx Harvard?
Yannick Barde-Cabusson :
Sur le plan professionnel, notre métier est en plein changement; nous avons de plus en plus besoin de connaissances statistiques pour évaluer nos pratiques. J'ai appris l'existence de cette formation au moment où j'étais en pleine lecture d'ouvrages de statistiques en sciences humaines et de méthodologie pour la lecture critique d'articles scientifiques médicaux. C'était une bonne occasion de "dépoussiérer" des concepts abordés lors de mes études universitaires en me remettant à niveau. Ayant démarré une procédure d'équivalence de diplôme avec le Canada, j'ai aussi pensé qu'une formation dispensée par un établissement de renommée internationale pouvait m'apporter un plus dans cette démarche de reconnaissance. Enfin, sur un plan personnel, étudier dans une langue étrangère constituait un challenge intéressant. Suite de l'article...
Interview by Michel Diaz. MOOC (Massive Open Online Course) ... free courses from leading universities ... Yannick Barde-Cubasson is one of the first "graduates" of EDx Harvard ... He answers our questions. More...

Posté par pcassuto à 00:18 - - Permalien [#]