02 SES 10 C, Permeability, Social Disparities and Racial Stratification
European Commission's strategy for smart, sustainable and inclusive growth Europe 2020 foresees, besides other reforms, a flagship initiative “youth on the move” aiming at “promoting student mobility and trainees' mobility, and improve the employment situation of young people” (EC 2010). This aim, worthy any support without doubts, was accompanied by a row of recommendations to improve transparency, mobility and permeability; namely on qualification frameworks, quality assurance and credit systems in higher education (HE, ECTS) and vocational education (VET, ECVET). This proposal focuses on the last recommendation (ECVET; EC 2009); main issues are:
To formulate the content of a given national qualification in terms of learning-outcome based units, consisting of a coherent set of knowledge, skills and competencies.
The hypothesis that all learning outcomes can be gained independent of the learning environment.
To estimate the relative weight of each unit as a part of the qualification by using credit points.
To develop mechanisms to assess (in the host resp. previous learning environment) and recognise (in the home resp. receiving learning environment) the units.
Our central research question was to estimate the potentials and risks of such credit approaches on permeability, mobility and VET-systems in general. For this reason we performed two European resp. transnational studies on the impact of ECVET:
* Credits & Permeability; a survey for CEDEFOP on existing permeability mechanisms and the contribution of credit systems in all EU member states. Research revealed that permeability mechanisms can by classified using a 3-dimensional matrix; descriptors are the scope (individual, institutional cooperation, general), the basis (either formal learning only or including non-formal/informal learning, too) and the degree of accreditation (access only, exemption (partial equivalence) or full equivalence.
* AEROVET: A pilot project on the potential added value of ECVET for transnational mobility programmes of apprentices (trainees) in the European aircraft industry supported by Leonardo da Vinci. We used the elements of the technical specification of the ECVET-recommendation as a toolbox; discussing the potential added-value of them with the trainers, teachers and social partners of the sector and developed the mobility passes accordingly. Main features are the description of typical professional tasks (TPT) in terms of learning outcomes, formulated as “mobility-units”, being a mandatory part of the respective unit/TPT. Assessment is formative and performance oriented; the trainer/teacher of the previous respective host learning institution estimates, whether the trainee has supported the work, has worked under instruction, has worked under surveillance, or has worked independently on a mobility unit.
AEROVET: http://www2.warwick.ac.uk/fac/soc/ier/glacier/learning/app/aerovet EC 2009: http://eur-lex.europa.eu/LexUriServ/LexUriServ.do?uri=OJ:C:2009:155:0011:0018:EN:PDF EC 2010: http://ec.europa.eu/research/era/docs/en/investing-in-research-european-commission-europe-2020-2010.pdf
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