TCAA mobility 2014-16
Start date: Jun 1, 2014,
End date: May 31, 2016
The aim of the project was to strengthen the international dimension of VET education at TCAA by creating concrete opportunities for as many as possible of the students to do work placements in approved companies around the EU as an integrated and fully credited part of their education. Through these mobilities, the student - apart from reaching the professional competences required at the actual stage of their education - also obtained personal development (e.g. maturity) and stronger intercultual competence (ability to cooperate across national and cultural barriers). Thus the students are now better equipped to act on the global market for employment and life long learning, and TCAA now - to a higher degree - lives up to the aim of the Law on VET that calls for a clear international dimension in the education. Thereby TCAA also lives up to the pedagogical manifesto of the college itself.
A prerequisite for being able to motivate VET students to participate in international mobility is that the teachers/counsellors, who are close to the students in compulsory school and at the transition to youth education have a solid knowledge themselves about how VET and guidance is being delivered around Europe. Therefore, this project also gave the opportunity for teachers, student counsellors and youth guidance practitioners to strengthen their competences in this field through short mobility stays, so that now, they may contribute better to promotion of VET and international mobility.
The European partners have been choosen to represent professional and geographical diversity. Most partners have worked with TCAA for several years with mobility - some even for decades. Therefore TCAA could vouch for their experience and competence in implementing mobility on basis of written agreements and common understanding. TCAA has secured that every partner had a reasonable network of suitable host companies, and that proper procedures were in place for matching student and work place. Furthermore, partners took care of arrival, introduction, ongoing monitoring, evaluation and securing that the achieved competences were documented. This was all done through regular communication with partners and students - and by letting accompanying teachers (activity 3) take part in the start larger group mobilities. In addition, the preparation in Denmark included cultural understanding and handling of possible cultural chock.
On the student side (activities 1 and 2), the major part of the students was from the basic course. They were selected on basis of professional skills, English language skills and maturity. Another group of participants came from TCAA's college based main course (SKP). They achieved a more realistic learning enviroment in real companies this way. On the teacher/counsellor side (activity 4) the participants - regardless of their professional background - needed to know how VET is provided and marketed in a broad European context, so that they now will be more competent in motivating students to choose this path and to add an international angle to their education.
In the dissemination of project results TCAA has continued a series of ongoing activities that realready put in place to promote international mobility as an integral part of VET. This is for example the world map found on every sub-college homepage. Here stories of mobility (Erasmus+ as well as the Danish PIU scheme) are oploaded regularly in a Google map with search function. This has given the chance for primary school pupils, enrolled students at TCAA, teachers, councillors and other interested of finding information and inspiration.
At the same time, TCAA has continued running its "PIU" Facebook group". Despite the name, it is not only about PIU but also Erasmus+ mobility. The group currently has well over 400 members, and TCAA has noticed an increased number of inquiries from comming students through this social media.
The achievement of concrete competence aims during the mobilities has been carried out in close dialogue with the partners. The more overall evaluation was based on the project aim of increasing the international dimension in VET at TCAA. The quantitative apsects of this was entered in the annual "Mobility Barometer" that TCAA has prepared since 2008.
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