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A final word from the EURIAC project about lessons learned

Project partners eager to continue. In front, the most important part of our project; students!

The EURIAC project is now summarizing its results and experiences for the final report. The project was ended September 30, 2013.

- Even if the EURIAC project has been finalised, we are just at the mere beginning of creating a European Class concept that provides VET students opportunities to achieve transparent and recognisable knowledge, skills, and competences gained in an international learning context, Pernilla Öhberg, project manager of the EURIAC project, explains. And the EURIAC partners are all really eager to continue the development and new partners want to join as well.

The EURIAC project team is now looking back at their work and all the challenges they have encountered along the way. Some challenges, such as assessment and referencing units to EQF levels, proved too big and complicated to solve within the limited timeframe of the EURIAC project. However, the aim is to continue this exploration and elaboration in a succeeding project.

- It seems as if European VET teachers have little experience to educate, train, and assess competences. There is still much focus on knowledge and summative assessment, even though competences such as autonomy, initiative, and responsibility are what is most appreciated and sought after on the labour market. Representatives from the industry have told me that they are not looking for people with a lot of knowledge (they can find them cheap in India). They are looking for people who can and wants to learn new things, who can lead themselves and take own initiatives, who can work in teams and solve problems by themselves, Pernilla Öhberg concludes.

Other lessons learned elaborating on the ECVET tools are that it is easy to forget about the learners when creating units, describing learning outcomes, and designing the learning agreement. However, if the learner can't understand what his/her learning experience is all about, he/she won't be in any better control of his/her competence then when not using ECVET.

It is also important to point out that ECVET is not just an educational issue. ECVET should be equally important to the labour market. But where are the companies, the employers, in the discussion? The industry partners involved in the EURIAC project, emphasized that there is a risk ECVET becomes too academic. They think focus should be on the description of learning outcomes.

Finally, a recommendation to others interested in starting up their own transnational ECVET project involving VET providers is to immediately create a an ECVET Glossary to establish mutual understanding of key ECVET terms. It is difficult to get to know each other and create mutual trust when you both literally and figuratively don't speak the same language.

If you would like to read more about the lessons learned from the EURIAC project, please follow this link to the recently published discussion paper 'Implementing ECVET: crediting, recognition and transfer of learning outcomes between European target stipulations and national System conditions' (BIBB, 2013): http://www.bibb.de/veroeffentlichungen/en/publication/show/id/7156 


All EURIAC results are now available for download at the EURIAC website: www.euriac.eu

For further information, please contact:

Andréas Mårtensson
Kungsbacka kommun, Sweden
Telephone: +46 300 834199

Pernilla Öhberg
Elof Lindälvs gymnasium, Sweden
Telephone: +46 709 921035