#IEW2017: The European Experience - International Cooperation in Education
Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The third week of November is International Education Week 2017. To mark the occasion, the WFCP will be sharing reports, opportunities, and highlights of the benefits of international co-operation and studying abroad during the week of November 13-17.

The European Union increases mobility for students and faculty, while increasing international cooperation in education across the continent. A comprehensive 2014 study by Erasmus Plus, the EU’s programme to support education, training, youth and sport in Europe, encouraged these programs as it found that students who participated in study abroad programs enhance their employability. The Erasmus Impact Study: Effects of mobility on the skills and employability of students and the internationalisation of higher education institutions was designed to fill the data and empirical study gap on Eurasmus mobility and its effects on students and institutions.  

The Erasmus Impact Study found that the majority of Europe’s employers consider international experience important for recruitment and an average of 92% of those same employers are seeking the transversal skills captured in the study’s identified “memo© factors” in their hires: tolerance of ambiguity, curiosity, confidence, serenity, decisiveness, and  vigour.

The study also found that Erasmus programs have a positive impact institutions and faculty, as well as teaching methods and international cooperation in research. The following are projects designed to accomplish the latter and involve WFCP members:

Beehives seeks to increase European exchange on higher professional and technical education and training (PTET) as well as employer involvement in education. The six partner countries will create a framework that benefits institutions and students while ensuring employers and labour market needs are at the centre of PTET.

EuroSTEAM is designed to enhance international education with its seven European partners involved. The project will design a training toolkit for faculty to deliver effective and innovative STEAM (science, technology, engineering, arts, and mathematics), allow students and faculty to think about STEAM activities in a creative way that will enhance their careers, and increase the quality of STEAM education in Europe.

MachinE Tool ALliance for Skills (METALS) seeks to increase the EU’s machine tool industry and increase its workforce employability through a number of outcomes. These outcomes include introducing entrepreneurship learning units and supporting EU-level education and training policies to ensure transparency and increase labour mobility in the sector.

incuVET supports and promotes an innovative role for PTET institutions as local or regional hubs for Entrepreneurship. The eight institutions in the incuVET consortium will identify the basic elements of an ideal PTET school based entrepreneurial system. This will be developed by drawing on existing initiatives and best practices from consortium partners and around the world. This will enable an information hub that will collect information and stimulate the debate and discussion to embed some of the learning into PTET institutions.

Employer-Led Vocational Education and Training in Europe (ELVETE) seeks greater employer input in the development of PTET curriculums across Europe. The project will identify best practices where employers and institutions have worked together to ensure graduates have the right skills for work. This will then inform curriculum development that will be piloted at HTL Mödling and Walsall College and allow students input on the final recommendations.

EDISON is a 2-year project that puts into place foundation mechanisms to increase the number of data scientists across Europe and the world. This is done by reducing the gap between educators and trainers and employers.

Finally, DIGI.COM/YOUTH seeks to increase the number of youth with digital competencies by supporting personalized learning approaches, collaborative learning and strategic use of information technology. The project targets youth who are in danger of social exclusion: migrant and non-migrant individuals, marginalized youth, long-term unemployed, and those not in education, employment or training.

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