Sustainable Student and Staff Mobility
Start date: Jun 1, 2015,
End date: May 31, 2017
International contacts of Savo Consortium for Education are very important to students, the staff and the region. Needs for internationalisation in the North Savo region and its companies are recognised. Consortium’s strategic actions for 2015-2016 comprise extended work-based learning and developing international skills needed in the working life.
The primary objective of the project Sustainable Student and Staff Mobility (SUMO) is to increase the number of students and staff mobilities, as well as assure the quality of mobilities by following the principles of ECVET. The crosscutting theme of the project is to increase competence for sustainable development among students and teachers. Furthermore, this project aims to enhance understanding of working life among educational staff and support their occupational competencies.
Savo Consortium for Education (Savo Vocational College) is one of the largest providers of vocational secondary education in Finland (approx. 5700 students, teacher and support service staff approx. 950). The beneficiaries of the project comprise 210 students in initial vocational education and 46 vocational teachers. During the project, 202 students carry out a 2-10 week on-the-job training period and 8 students participate in a 3-week study period abroad.
International coordinators, liaison teachers and vocational teachers inform students of the project and take care of the selection and preparation of students. Cross-sectoral and sectoral vocational preparation, support for sustainability assignment and cultural preparation of 1-3 competence points is provided. Students learn languages by themselves, by attending to language lessons at summer school, by taking part in online language preparation offered by Commission, by choosing courses from core subjects or studying in the target country.
Project members have had a long and successful cooperation over the years. Partners' obligations and liabilities are recorded in the Memorandum of Understanding agreements. Details concerning on-the-job-learning periods are recorded in the Learning Agreements. Workplace instructor will support, give feedback, and assess the student. Student will keep a learning diary and receive feedback on the learning process from his tutoring teacher. A feedback discussion will be held after period abroad. Coordinator will check that student has taken care of all obligations. Knowledge, skills and competencies will be recognised and recorded.
Staff mobility periods are mainly job shadowing. Staff members selected to mobility periods usually work as on-the-job learning tutors for leaving and incoming students. During mobility period they support students abroad, find new partners and negotiate on cooperation. Content of Staff training period can also be organised by of networks.
Project and its results will be disseminated internally, locally, to networks and externally using e.g. local newspapers, Internet, and Facebook. Students will tell about their experiences to their peers in social media.
The project will have remarkable results and impacts. Students learn new professional skills, communication skills, critical thinking and new things about the culture and language of the target country. They become more independent, gain self-confidence and courage. An on-the-job-learning period abroad may contribute to a workplace. An international co-operation supports also lifelong learning of teachers participating in the project, leads to new international contacts and increases collegial collaboration. The project increases teachers’ international skills, increases their enthusiasm towards the development of their own field of expertise and has a positive impact on their professional growth. In addition, the project improves the co-operation of vocational schools and companies in Europe and meets the demand of enterprises of Northern Savo, Finland for technical staff able to work in an international working environment. The project supports the integration of mobility in the qualifications and increases the attractiveness of vocational education. With the student and staff mobilities, good practices related to the provision of education, student assessment and recognition and validation of learning outcomes become more known in organizations, which improves remarkably the quality of the on-the-job-learning periods abroad, the transparency of the exams, and the quality of vocational education as a whole.
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