International work placements or internships, as they are generally known, are gaining more and more importance in the context of internationalization of higher education and globalization of our (professional) world.
Traditional international work placements, where the learner travels to the company abroad, are not always feasible for all students because of financial, geographical, social or other reasons. For those physical placements abroad that do happen, there are also a number of difficulties to overcome, mainly related to a lack of communication between the student, the foreign company and the institution for higher education. Virtual mobility, or ICT-supported interaction to realize international collaboration, offers possibilities to address these issues. The European Commission supported project EU-VIP (Enterprise-University Virtual Placements) looked at how virtual mobility can support or even enable international work placements and addressed the three stakeholders that are involved in an international work placement: the higher education institution, the student and the receiving company or organization.
As a result of the EU-VIP project, partners have recently published a new handbook entitled “Make it work! Integrating virtual mobility in international work placements.” The publication provides a framework for and a description of the conditions of success for integrating virtual mobility in international internships. Next to this it defines the context and definitions used in the project and it presents the conclusions regarding the perspectives from the different stakeholders: students, higher education institutions and companies.
The handbook is available as a free download from the project website. Furthermore, you can find on the website a quick guide, which summarizes the main findings presented in the handbook. The quick guide is available in English, Danish, Dutch, Finnish, German, Italian and Polish.
The editors of the handbook are Mariet Vriens and Wim Van Petegem.
For more information on and other outcomes/training materials of the EU-VIP project, please check the project website.
A good command of foreign languages is a key competence essential to make one's way in the modern world and labour market. Multilingualism is not only part of the European heritage but also a chance to develop a society which is open, respectful of cultural diversity and ready for cooperation.
The Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency adopted the list of selected applications for the Sub- Action 4.3 of the Youth in Action Programme 2011 related to Youth Support Systems Enhancing youth workers' learning mobility and youth work support to unemployed young people
Youth in Action is the Programme the European Union has set up for young people. It aims to inspire a sense of active European citizenship, solidarity and tolerance among young Europeans and to involve them in shaping the Union's future. It promotes mobility within and beyond the EU's borders, non-formal learning and intercultural dialogue, and encourages the inclusion of all young people, regardless of their educational, social and cultural background: Youth in Action is a Programme for all.
Every year, thousands of projects are submitted by promoters in order to get financial support from the Programme; a selection process aims at granting the best projects.
Sub-Action 4.3 - Training and networking of those active in youth work and youth organisations supports the training of those active in youth work and youth organisations, in particular the exchange of experiences, expertise and good practice as well as activities which may lead to long-lasting quality projects, partnerships and networks.
Official notification of results sent to applicants: December 2011
Contractualisation: January 2011
The Council adopted conclusions on a benchmark for learning mobility, to complement the five existing reference levels of European average performance (or "benchmarks"), agreed under the strategic framework for European cooperation in education and training ("ET 2020"). The new benchmark differentiates between three areas: mobility in higher education, mobility in vocational education and training and youth mobility in general, and will result in greater reliability and comparability when it comes to measuring the various types of learning mobility which the EU promotes.
EU Education Ministers and high-ranking civil servants in charge of school education met in Gdańsk, Poland, on 10-11 October to discuss EU policies for pre-schools, schools and language learning, in particular ways of improving young people's basic skills in reading, maths and science.
Directors General for Schools in the EU Member States held talks on 10 October focused on such issues as how to ensure universal access to high quality education and care for young children and how to improve language learning at an early age. They also had an initial exchange on the role of schools in the EU's next support programme for education and training from 2014, for which the Commission will present its proposal in November.
At their informal meeting on 11 October, Education Ministers debated the importance of language skills for lifelong learning and pupils' future job prospects. They also discussed the question how EU countries can better exploit the diversity of their different education systems to raise overall levels of competences among pupils in the basic skills of literacy, maths and science.
In May this year, Ministers backed the Commission's plans to help Member States ensure generalised access to high quality early childhood education and care.
In July 2011 the Commission published a Policy Handbook on Early Language Learning with useful orientations on how to develop language awareness and second or foreign language learning in pre-primary education.
EU countries have agreed on a set of shared education targets to be achieved by 2020. They have pledged to reduce the share of low achieving 15 year olds in literacy, maths and science to less than 15% (currently 20%) and to ensure that by 2020 at least 95% of children between 4 years old and the starting age of compulsory education should participate in early childhood education.
To know more
EDUinspirations 2011 competition: 12 projects awarded on the topic Mobility from Childhood to Seniority
During the conference in Sopot, on 18 October 2011, the EDUinspiracje 2011 competition awards gala will be held, during which laureates will obtain prizes, statuettes and diplomas. The winning projects and the ones awarded with honourable mentions have been subject of a special results dissemination programme implemented by FRSE, which includes the participation of the laureates in the conference and accompanying exhibition, as well as the dissemination of best practice examples in EDUinspiracje competition, both online and in print.ï»¿
The underlying theme of EDUinspiracje 2011 competition organised by the Foundation for the Development of the Education System, a National Agency of the Lifelong Learning Programme was Mobility from Childhood to Seniority. The competition has been designed to identify the best projects implemented under the Lifelong Learning Programme and disseminate their results as best practice examples. The 2011 competition aimed to demonstrate the importance of mobility for learning at all stages of life and present the most valuable individual and institutional mobility projects.
The EDUinspiracje 2011 competition is correlated with the conference promoting the results of mobility projects implemented under the Lifelong Learning Programme entitled Mobility as a Tool to Acquire and Develop Competences from Childhood to Seniority held on 17-19 October 2011 in Sopot. The conference is organized by the Ministry of National Education and the Foundation for the Development of the Education System as part of Polish presidency of the Council of the European Union.
The selection of the leitmotif for this yearâ€™s competition is no chance decision. It demonstrates the importance the European Union attaches to promoting mobility in education and training at all stages of life.
The European Commission has taken several steps aimed at recognition of qualifications, experiences and competences across the European Union with a view of providing easier access to learning and employment opportunities in various countries. Therefore, the EC supports and encourages enhanced mobility of individuals and these implemented by enterprises and various organisations.
Referring to educational policy and strategy of the European Union, the competition aims to present wide mobility opportunities offered by LLP, its rich and diversified educational offer, which depending on the individual sub-programme is addressed to specific target groups: the youth â€“ pupils, students, teachers; managerial staff; adults, and senior citizens.
Mobility may take various forms; courses, trainings, visits, exchanges, placements, study periods abroad, and involves individual, institutional and partnership projects. Mobility stands for activities related to raising competences acquired thanks to moving to different countries, learning from one another, exchanging experiences, or in other words; the internationalisation of the teaching and learning process. These activities should translate into measurable and durable results, which are useful, practicable and transferable. EDUinspracje competition has selected projects, in which mobility contributes to the introduction of changes aimed at improving the quality of education.
The competition is addressed to beneficiaries of Comenius, Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, and Grundtvig, which are the sub-programmes of the Lifelong Learning Programme, and Study Visits, which is a transversal programme. Laureates have been selected in two competition categories: individual mobility projects and institutional projects (implemented by host and sending institutions). Projects implemented in the years 2008-2010 were eligible for standing in the competition.
The following criteria have been taken into consideration when selecting the best projects:
- Importance and significance â€“ was the project important and did it meet beneficiaryâ€™s needs?
- Effectiveness and profitability (cost-effectiveness and satisfaction)?
- Efficiency â€“ to what extent mobility goals were met?
- Effect and impact â€“ what is the relationship between project goals and overall goals of the institution, target group, system. To what extent benefits reaped by the beneficiary impacted a larger group of recipients/institutions?
- Sustainability of the results â€“ will the projectâ€™s impact be maintained over a longer period of time, e.g.: transfer of knowledge, putting the experiences into practice? How will results be used following project completion?
In order to enter a project for the competition, you had to fill in an on-line application form and send applicable documentation to the National Agency of the Lifelong Learning Programme not later than on 29 April 2011. The documentation included a competition entry describing the project and the mobility, its results pertaining to individual competition criteria (providing answers to 10 questions based on project assessment criteria), a PowerPoint presentation illustrating the achievements of the mobility and scanned documents confirming the staging of mobility: Europass documents or other formal documents, such as a certificate confirming participation in a scholarship, training, course, or a certificate confirming the qualifications or formal recognition of a study period abroad.
In total, 189 entries were submitted for the competition. Following formal assessment at the National Agency, 134 entries were sent to external experts for further evaluation. The reasons for rejecting projects on formal grounds included lack of the required documentation and/or double entry. Top quality projects selected by external experts were recommended to the competition jury composed of representatives of FRSE, Ministry of Education, and Ministry of Science and Higher Education.
On 14 June 2011, the competition jury finally selected six laureates in two competition categories and awarded honourable mentions to 12 projects.
Competition results have been posted on FRSE website at: http://waloryzacja.llp.org.pl
The Polish Presidency of The Council of the European Union have an honor to invite you to attend a conference on „Mobility as a tool to acquire and develop competences from childhood to seniority” organized in Sopot on 17 -19 October 2011. The conference is organized by the Ministry of National Education in Poland and Foundation for the Development of the Education System (FRSE).
The main goal of the conference is to initiate the discussion on the role and potential of mobility in formal and non-formal education implemented as part of the LLP and Youth in Action programmes. The conference will constitute a great opportunity for exchange of views on better methods for using mobility results for social development and establishing institutional base, which will guarantee top quality mobility implemented under the next generation of EU programmes.
Detailed Goals: Presenting the offer and disseminating the results of education-related mobility programmes (LLP and YiA). The conference aims to present systemic and legislative solutions applied in various EU countries in order to provide conditions for mobility and recognising its results. During the meeting, diverse methods for applying mobility in the development of multicultural education programmes will be presented. Recommendations on mobility within the next generation of EU programmes in education will be drawn.
The Commission has just published the general call for proposals for 2012 for participation in the Lifelong Learning Programme. Through the programme the EU enables people of all ages to gain experience through studies, training or learning abroad and supports co-operation between schools, universities and enterprises in different European countries.
Funding under the 2012 call will follow five priorities:
- Develop strategies for lifelong learning and mobility
- Encourage cooperation between the worlds of education, training and work
- Support initial and continuous training of teachers, trainers and education and training institutions' managers
- Promote the acquisition of key competences throughout the education and training system
- Promote social inclusion and gender equality in education and training, including the integration of migrants and Roma
These overarching priorities reflect main issues at stake of the political agenda for education and training in the European Union.
All information needed to apply for participation in the Lifelong Learning Programme, in particular the priorities of the Call for Proposals 2012 and the Guide to the programme, are available online at: http://ec.europa.eu/education/llp/doc848_en.htm
Deadlines for the submission of applications
The main deadlines are as follows:
Comenius Individual Pupil Mobility
1 December 2011
Comenius, Grundtvig: in-service training
first deadline: 16 January 2012
further deadlines: 30 April 2012; 17 September 2012
31 January 2012
Comenius, Erasmus, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig: multilateral projects, networks and accompanying measures
2 February 2012
Leonardo da Vinci: multilateral projects for the Transfer of Innovation
2 February 2012
Leonardo da Vinci: Mobility (including the Leonardo da Vinci mobility certificate); Erasmus: Intensive Language Courses (EILC)
3 February 2012
Jean Monnet programme
15 February 2012
Comenius, Leonardo da Vinci, Grundtvig: partnerships; Comenius: Comenius Regio partnerships; Grundtvig: workshops
21 February 2012
Erasmus: intensive programmes (IP), students mobility for studies and placements (including the Erasmus consortium placement certificate) and staff mobility (teaching assignments and staff training)
9 March 2012
Grundtvig: Assistantships, Senior Volunteering Projects
30 March 2012
Transversal programme: Key activity 1 — Study visits
first deadline: 30 March 2012
second deadline: 12 October 2012
Transversal programme: all other activities
1 March 2012
To know more
- The Lifelong Learning Programme – an overview
Vodafone Foundation launched the Smart Accessibility Awards. This is a new competition to promote the development of IT applications designed to improve the lives of people with disabilities and older people to help them become more actively involved in society.
The programme is supported and co-organized by AGE Platform Europe, the European network of around 160 organisations of and for people aged 50+, and the European Disability Forum (EDF), the NGO that represents the interests of 80 million Europeans with disabilities.
Launched in Brussels at the EU Digital Assembly, the competition will award the best Smartphone application across four different categories as follows:
- 1. Social participation: This refers to applications which help users to participate actively in today’s society and benefit from the facilities that the new technologies can offer, whatever their age, disability and/or capacity (E.g. use the web and social media through mobile devices, contact people using mobile devices to the same extent as everyone, etc).
- 2. Independent living: This refers to applications which help users to be more autonomous and perform daily tasks independently (e.g. using domestic appliances such as washing machine or refrigerator, opening doors safely, etc).
- 3. Mobility: This refers to applications which enable users to move around more freely and safely using the whole range of transport modes. It can also refer to the use of mobile devices to be guided in unknown environment (e.g. using GPS option, etc).
- 4. Wellbeing: This refers to applications which improve the users’ health and as well as overall feeling of wellbeing.
The total prize fund of 200,000€ will be split equally between the four winners. The competition is open from 14 June 2011 to 15 October 2011. All entries should be submitted to http://developer.vodafone.com/smartaccess2011/
All qualifying entries will be evaluated in November by a jury, consisting of representatives from AGE Platform Europe, European Disability Forum and Vodafone Foundation. Twelve finalists will be selected and requested to present their application before the final jury in Brussels in early December at a live final, where the four overall winners will be chosen.
Vodafone Foundation Director, Andrew Dunnett said “The Vodafone Foundation is keen to help as many people as possible benefit from new technologies. The Smart Accessibility Awards will help developers create apps that can really make a difference to people’s lives – we are thrilled to be able to support such an important initiative.”
Anne-Sophie Parent, AGE Platform Europe Secretary General, said “We are pleased to be involved in a project that supports our efforts towards building a more inclusive society. Digital inclusion is key to ensuring as many people as possible remain actively involved in their communities and we should make sure every citizen is empowered to do so, whatever their age or capacities. We hope this competition will help reach that goal and also contribute to the ‘European Year 2012 for Active Ageing and Solidarity between Generations’ where the objective is to increase older people’s active participation in society and promote independent living in old age. ”
Rodolfo Cattani, EDF Executive Member, said; “Being part of this competition is very important for us. Communication technologies are vital to making possible the inclusion of persons with disabilities. When the mobile applications are not accessible, it can create new obstacles and can lead to new forms of discrimination. We look forward to seeing accessible apps.”
Modernisation should draw on the latest technologies to offer new tools for mobility. These technologies have the potential both to enable professionals to become more mobile and improve information to consumers and employers about professionals' qualifications for the services they offer.