Intercultural Work Experience in Europe
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2017
With Europe becoming more and more of a cultural and economic unity and with globalisation making high demands on the international labour market, qualifications and job requirements changed significantly. Young people do not only need to have expert knowledge but also interdisciplinary skills, as well as proficiency in foreign languages and intercultural skills to be qualified for an international labour market.
Euro Akademie Oldenburg prepares their students for a role in the global labour market and provides them with the necessary skills and competences to work in an international, multilingual and multicultural environment. This project therefore follows essential objectives of the strategy Europe 2020 and aims at:
• Reducing unemployment by developing key competences to successfully complete a vocational education or higher education programme,
• using an educational concept of multimedia learning as a framework for the development of graduate attributes and employability skills, e.g. creativity, openness, co-operation, intellectual flexibility, analysing skills, learner responsibility or coping with complexity…
to enhance the performance and reinforce the attractiveness of vocational education and training and create new opportunities through flexible learning pathways between different education and training sectors and levels.
Euro Akademie Oldenburg is a member of ESO – Euro-Schulen-Organisation and thus benefits from a network of about 100 institutes, including colleges of further and vocational education, nursery schools and universities of applied sciences and many international partners. It is a long established and officially accredited institution with more than thirty years of expertise in developing vocational education programmes meeting the demands of an international labour market. The combination of vocational and higher education degrees enables students to proceed to bachelor top-up programmes, for example in International Management, Marketing Management or Health & Well-being.
Within the project, a two-year vocational training and a joint vocational and academic education programme with New College Durham are the basis for individual development and different options to obtain further qualifications or find employment. Work placements during and after the vocational qualification programme help students to develop employability skills, search for professional opportunities, but also support the development of academic key competences and qualify for a bachelor top-up degree.
About 90 vocational education students between 16 and 25 years and 10 teachers benefit from the project through mobility and learning opportunities. Students in programmes that require a university entry qualification aim at a two- or three-semester top-up degree whereas those who left school with o-levels usually look for alternative opportunities and educational concepts that not only qualify for university but also facilitate the entry into the labour market. After a two year foundation degree these students have three options: employment, a higher diploma followed by an international bachelor’s top-up degree or higher education at a German university. The German system requires between 11 and 12 semesters including the vocational education period whereas the international track in cooperation with foreign university partners takes 8 to 9 semesters in total (depending on individual qualification levels).
This concept aims at young people who would like to qualify for university through a vocational education programme and obtain a formal qualification as well. Many school leavers do not have the necessary employability skills to qualify for a vocational training in the German dual system. Though many young people have a university entrance qualification, they do not have the necessary self-confidence and skills to cope with independent and research based learning models. They are afraid not to find a job after a conventional university education that very often does not include any work-based elements.
Many students at Euro Akademie Oldenburg have a strong and intact multicultural background. They are very interested in foreign languages and would like to use the special interpersonal skills their personal backgrounds give them professionally. This group of young Germans sees a multicultural heritage as an opportunity and has realised that this is an informal qualification many employers and industries look for. They start their careers abroad and usually find good employment in Germany after a period of professional development and orientation.
The project therefore…:
• enhances immediate employment opportunities for graduates of vocational education programmes in Germany
• creates flexible learning pathways between vocational and higher education
• uses European key competences as the basis for the establishmen
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