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Quality through Interaction: Vocational Education in Agriculture
Start date: Jun 1, 2015, End date: May 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

The background of the mobility project "Quality through Interaction: Vocational Education in Agriculture" (QIVEA) is a shared interest in international cooperation, innovation and development in the field of agriculture and land based vocational education and training, by the project partners Askham Bryan College in Yorkshire, England, and Hvam Upper Secondary School in Akershus county, Norway. The main objective of the QIVEA project is for VET-learners from Hvam to enhance their competence and vocational skills to better understand and compete in an international market, as well as acquiring knowledge about good practice and up-to-date development in the field of agriculture, groundsmanship and landscaping, equine studies, environment and conservation, for both VET-learners and accompanying staff. Other important objectives for the participants are improving linguistic competence, focusing in particular on English for specific purposes (vocational English), and raising cultural awareness through a comparison and discussion of skills requirements, curricula, methods and assessments, sharing know-how, and thus reflectin on and improving our own practice. We will also facilitate cultural activities during the mobility. Furthermore, we aim to encourage a reduction in absence and an increase in motivation by setting criteria for the selection process. Finally, we hope to recruit more students to the above mentioned vocational programmes, which is of both regional and national interest. Participants will prepare for the mobilty by committing to an introductory course focusing on expectations and individual goals, linguistic and cultural competence. The mobility itself will be a two-week work placement and vocational training at Askham Bryan College for a selected group of 15 Vg2-students each year, from our courses in agriculture, groundsmanship and landscaping, equine studies, and energy and environment studies. The participating students will have individual learning agreements specifically tailored to meet their needs, and will be closely monitored by both accompanying staff from Hvam and teachers/trainers from Askham Bryan College. The expected/desired results of the QIVEA project are for the participants to acquire knowledge of relevant and innovative methods, practices and standards used in agriculture, groundsmanship and landscaping, equine studies, or energy and environment studies in the UK, and that they develop and improve their practical skills. Other expected results are particpants' improved linguistic competence, with a focus on vocational English, an improved ability to adapt to different working environments and requirements, and to discuss and reflect on professional and cultural differences and similarities. Finally, we expect to see results in terms of reduced absence and increased motivation for each individual participant. Providing VET-learners with updated skills and knowledge to meet an increasingly international workplace, will have long term benefits for both the individual learner, the profession and society in general. We also believe that facilitating discussions and cooperation between Hvam's accompanying teachers and ABC's teachers/monitors will be of mutual benefit to both Askham Bryan College and Hvam, both in the short and long term. We also expect to see an increased interest in international cooperation projects on a local, regional and national level.

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