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Composing Lifelong Learning Opportunity Pathways through Standards-based Services
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

In times of rising unemployment, lack of economic growth, making use of new learning opportunities outside the formal system, and of the skills acquired through prior learning, is urgent. Nowadays, more than 120 million people are living in poverty or at the threat of falling into one, approx. 25 million people are unemployed, while 77 million Europeans still have at most lower secondary education. The Europe 2020 Strategy stresses the need for more flexible learning pathways as a pre-requisite and a strong incentive for the fulfilment of the agreed social targets: 20 million fewer people in or at risk of poverty and social exclusion, 75% of the 20-64 year-olds should be employed, reduction of school drop-out rates below 10%. The lack of meaningful, well-described, easily accessible information about Lifelong Learning Opportunities and of policy frameworks and tools for linking skills and qualifications gained across different phases and contexts, into forming flexible pathways for personal development and competitiveness in the labor market, constitute hindering factors for the implementation of the aforementioned objectives. The proposed project aims to aid in Composing Lifelong Learning Opportunity Pathways through Standards-based Services (ComPaSS) and aspires to address the fundamental goal of the ET 2020 on 'making lifelong learning and mobility a reality' and its key objectives on skills for growth, competitiveness and employability, by explicitly targeting awareness-raising and institutional commitment, coordination and partnership of relevant actors and stakeholders active in the field of ET. The Compass consortium, constituting Higher Education Institutions, an association of University departments of informatics and a national standardization organization, has designed an integrated approach that addresses these issues, elaborating on both policy and technological aspects with an emhasis on the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) sector. More precisely COMPASS will: - raise awareness on the concept of flexible pathways through the use of existing European and national guidance instruments (Ploteus) for access to Learning Opportunities - produce policy suggestions for the implementation of flexible pathways, for all education and training levels - recommend a standard for enabling Learning Opportunity providers to engage in the well-structured description of their offers. These descriptions can be exploited by existing tools (e.g. Ploteus) to enrich their contents, making an impact on the quantity and quality of LO information at a European level - develop free, publicly available online services for Learning Opportunity description and pathway development - implement nation-wide pilot tests for the ICT-sector. Leveraging its rich strategic plan and the consortium's pan-European network of Higher Education Institutions, policy makers and the Industry, the project targets provision of standards-based educational opportunities to university students that will maximize impact of its innovative policy and technology solutions, boosting awareness and reforms in favor of skills growth.
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