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Ready for the World - Competence and Confidence through Equal European Mobility
Start date: Jun 1, 2016, End date: May 31, 2018 PROJECT  FINISHED 

This project continues and broadens the international staff and student mobility activities in Kiipula Vocational College. It will enable students in four new educational fields to complete work-based learning placements in Europe: Logistics, Pre-vocational training and IT/ICT. Mobilities will also continue in the fields of Horticulture, Catering, Domestic Services and Health&Social Care. Accompanying persons support students during the placements. The project includes also expert mobilities, aimed at updating and upscaling staff competences. In total the project includes 50 student, 22 accompanying persons as well as 8 expert mobilities. Project partners are vocational/second level colleges and private enterprises in the United Kingdom, Sweden, Estonia, Austria and Hungary.The first and primary goal of the project is to broaden KVC's students' opportunities for European mobility. This target is achieved by offering more students in a wider range of educational fields opportunities to complete 2-3 week work-based learning placements in other European countries. Placements will be completed in vocational/second level colleges and/or with industry employers. Students participating in the mobilities have additional support needs which relate to, for example, learning disabilities, autism spectrum disorder or long term mental health issues. Majority of students require support in the work place, free time as well as during travel. Previous experience has shown that the 2-3 week duration is sufficient for the students internationalisation needs, as well as being suitable for organising accompanying persons placements. The following impacts are expected: Improved professional/vocational skills and competences, language skills and levels of independence. Students multicultural awareness and knowledge also increase, making them better equipped to gain&sustain employment at a time when work communities in Finland are becoming more diverse. Students ability to use social media in a work/study context improves. Prior to placements students attend preparatory training sessions. Skills and competences acquired in the project are recognised as part of their qualifications and students will be given Europass Mobility -reference documents. The second main goal of the project is to use expert European mobility to update and upscale staff competences. Staff mobilities have been proven to increase skills and motivation for continuing with international activities also in the college, which positively affects all students. The expert mobilties in this project are 1-2 week job shadowing placements. The target group is teaching and supporting staff. The goal of the placements is for staff to learn about European models for vocational education, benchmark activities, network with European colleagues and improve language&multicultural competences. These skills are required for teaching and supporting of also an increasing number of non-native students in the college. European expert mobility supports the Finnish Special Needs Vocational Education and Training sectors to continue operating at a high standard internationally. The project will be marketed both internally and externally on local, regional and national levels, for example through the various networks Kiipula operates in. International projects coordinator will oversee the management of the project, supported by college management and finance team. Vocational teachers are responsible for the content of student placements, and partners for providing work place support, for example. Preparatory visits will be made to at least four of the partners. This is a two year project. Interim and final reports will be prepared according to funders instructions. Also participants will report on their experiences through the European Mobility Tool database.Broadening student and staff mobilities is in line with KVC's international strategy and action plan. Indicators used are both quantitative (amount of mobilities) and qualitative (staff and student competences). International work is linked to KVC's quality development, and it's also a part of the Ameo -network strategy. In National context, the project meets the goals outlined in the Finnish Development Plan for Education and Research (2011-16). In the plan, internationalisations is included as an integral part of vocational education, the indicators of which are increased student mobilities/work-based learning placements abroad as well as staff and management competences gained through international projects. The goal of this project is also to increase the amount of college based international activity. Kiipula's international contacts and networks will strengthen and broaden as a result of the project. With three of the project partners reciprocal mobility plans are in the making. In the long run, the effects of the project will be seen in the development of teaching quality as well as broadened horizons for students.

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