See agenda of the 3rd Partnership meeting in Lahti, Finland on the 24-25 September 2014

Minutes and Presentations of the meeting: available in the repository of the meeting

Participants:

 

Host partner 1:
Lahti University of Applied Sciences (LUAS)
Mr Miika KUUSISTO
Mrs Marja-Leena SAVONEN
Mrs Leea KOUHIA
Ms Jaana LOIPPONEN

Visiting partner(s):

Budapest Business School (BBS)
Mrs Andrea MADARASI-SZIRMAI
Mrs Katalin BALÁZSI-FARKAS
Mr Péter TASI
Mr László VARGA
Ms Réka TOMASOVSZKI (student)
Ms Anett SEBESTYÉN (student)
 
Babes-Bólyai University (BBU)
Vasile CARDOȘ (excused)
Ioana CIOLOMIC
Kinga KEREKES
Melinda FULLOP
George CORDOȘ (student)
Andrei CRIȘAN (student)
Budapest Chamber of Commerce and Industry (BCCI)
Mrs Nóra SZUHAI
Mrs Gabriella BOZSÁR
Mrs Viktória ORDÓDY
 
APM Cluj-Napoca (APM)
Augustin FENESAN

Ioana COCIAN
Oprean OLARU-ZAINESCU

 
MAC-TEAM
Monique LANDY

Bernard DONNAY

 
Lean Enterprise Estonia (LEAN)
Mr Aleksandr MIINA

Mrs Ene KOLBRE


Summary of the event

Expectations: 

-       Deeper understanding of the EVCET main principls and the creditation process by all partners;

-       Be familiar with Finnish best practices in the field of vocational training and internships;

-       Detailed discussion on the harmonisation of internship practices, continuing the comparison part of the project in the participating countries in general (VOC and BA levels) and in the field of Financial Institutions specialisation;

-       Involvement of the students in the discussions and in the exchange of experience with the Finnish students;

-       Understanding

  • the Finnish apprenticeship system, its dynamics, relations with the industry;
  • the effort to harmonise internationally (Euroepan level); and
  • the ECVET issues;

-       Further discussions about ECVET practices

-       Find out more about how students develop practical skills in Finland;

-       Connections between ECVET and the higher education in Finland and Hungary

-       Summarising results, steps taken;

-       Discussion on the problems;

-       Schedule and milestones for the future;

Presentations:

ECVET implementation in Finland (Ulla Pantsar)

definition of secundary education in Finland: after 16, the basic education being from 7 to 16

the next 3 years after basic can belong to secundary general or secundary vocational (in 2 shapes: basic or specialized)

The ECVET principles: recognition of prior learning will be used across the country

The general trend in the country is an emphasis on vocational training because of industry needs

The current theme is: more flexibility, hence the importance of the possibility to navigate (see picture below) and the importance of credits, and rationalisation

vocational navigation in finland

 

ECVET is a  formal framework to get common tools and understanding between different systems

 

ECVET will be put in practice at country level at the end of 2014-10-07

 

INTERNSHIPS

steps

  • prepare
  • build partnership
  • before mobility
  • during mobility
  • after mobility

At regional level (around Lahti) 300 students per year are sent for international placements (a solid network between voc. institutions and companies has been built during 15 years). Exemple of targets: italy/japan/india for activities like jewelry/engraving, etc...

Credits = 120 (90/20/10)    o/w 10 for voluntary studies, 20 for basic (?)

N.B the language skills of  finns are impressive

funding: Leonardo grants for students mobility and/or own school funding

 

ECVET implementation in Finland (Maarit Saarenkilla)

Maarit Saarenkilla (from Omnia- Espoo) Omnia is an upper secundary school 10000 students.

ECVET is a major change, generally, but was easy to adopt in Finland; 13 experts spread the system.

Schedule: start in 2001, and will be implemented, fully in 2015

Practical actions

  • at ministry level: adapt the legislation
  • at national board level: credit points implementation
  • at schools level
      • curriculum by learning outcomes, and mocules
      • structure that enables invidual pathways
      • ensure that modules are based on real working life tasks

Why did Finland invest so much?

increase the quality of qualification

recognition of prior learning

saves time for teacher, avoid double work

increases the mobility

a must when international mobility

will shortenn study time= savings

increases the transparency between schools

a source of dialog between teachers, assistants and admin

increases the mutual trust between the world of schoola and the industry

import new skills for special demand

expose Finnish students to advanced training opportunities abroad

Critical items

  • the time spent in companies for coaching and assessing internships
  • assessment methods must be well understood and standardized in schools and in companies
  • impact on teacher salaries and working hours
  • IT support
  • impact of credit points on content
  • teachers profiles is changing: they become more coaches than actual teachers
  • impact on timetables and school planning/organization
  • the teachers must catch up permanently, follow company new practices, get practical and current skills
  • financing
  • relationship qith ECTS: a bridge will be needed

Questions

  • How are student selected to go abroad in internship
    • decision is field dependant, to get a good balance
    • the teacher makes an assessment
  • Are there popular professions where ECVET is more effective?
    • no it will be used everywhere
  • How do the schools build a network of company relationships (especially for the international)?
    • personal relations
    • school history
    • other option is a support group

Personal remark by Bernard Donnay (MAC-TEAM): do we notice that the role of the education institution is shifting radically: not anymore the temple of knowledge, then applied on the market, but shifting to an observation platform of what happens outside. The education institutions are now followers, not forerunners. It has a good side, but a bad side as well: risk for the students to skip the basics, to invest in fashionable skills, and loosing the necessary distance and reflection....

 

 

Andrea Madarasi-Szirmai – main professional issues of the project  tables and details later

  • comparison table on the banking sector
  • presentation of a mapping matrix
  • Logical scheme, given the closeness of systems: 2 groups
    • Finland and Hungary
    • Estonia and Romania
  • language issues
  • challenge: how to convert courses to units, tasks to competencies

Miika Kuusisto – about Finland, Lahti and LUAS

Finland 5,4 million

top Pisa performers Lahti 100 k inh

notion of metropolitan area

focus on clean tech, environmental issues

design schools

The universities of applied sciences are federated

 

Monique Landy – about Certitude project

presentation of a project of tutor certification (EFCOCERT)

It makes sense, given the shift of responsibilities for tutors  www.efcocert.eu

 

Last presentation/discussion

note for the final report – details later

 

ECVET will be better used in cultures where internationalisation of students is pushed

idea of a data base at European level of project involving internships

resistance in some countries (fear of exposure, budget, is it sector dependant?)

dissemination: activities instead of results

 

timetable

  • next meeting in March 2015 Estonia
  • final in Budapest
  • collect best practices from countries in November 2014: one page
  • collect background info, ideas of issues
  • national legal docs for end of October 2014
  • fill missing cells in the comparison table
  • May June 2015 bilateral agreements
  • April strategic meeting in Brussels
  • May-June Hungary
  • June full report
  • partners to submit a report one by one

Company visits:

RANTALEINEN GROUP

company

in the top ten,  with 330 persons

accounting + payroll services and audits

payroll much more I’l

 

company focus

ergonomics (company focus for employee wellness)

eager to test new tools for a better efficiency

future of accounting:

  • digitilisation, even ... games (gamification)
  • need for increased skills
  • real competitors are engineers + IT skills, not standard accountants

trainees

  • take trainees only if they are candidates to be hired, and for a long period (1 year)
  • the best ones are selected while still at school
  • welcome foreign trainees (Russia, Spain, Romania)
  • the documentation is more and more in English

 

DANSKE BANK

long historical presence in Finland

10 % market share

high investment in new techs: e.g online meetings with customers, use of mobile apps

proactive care of customers

recruitment

competences and attitude more important than degree

 

Minutes of the students:

There are a wide range of advantages of implementing PEST project at any school level.

-       It is a great opportunity for students to get to know new cultures, company structures and working method or just to improve their language skills.

-       In Hungary it is a great advantage to have experience from another country e.g. working, studying or living in a foreign country for a while because multinational companies like employing people with foreign experience as they are considered to be more flexible, tolerant and open-minded.

-       The candidate applying for a job is expected to speak that particular language at advanced level.

On the other hand, there are some difficulties in carrying out this project.

At first students could be undermotivated for the following reasons:

  1. The lack of confidence in foreign language skills.
  1. Language skills of the host company:

-       Is the documentation available at the foreign language?

-       Is there any employee speaking that specific language at a confident level to teach the students?

  1. The questions of housing:

-       Who provides housing for students moving abroad? (school, company or the student needs to arrange it)

  1. The questions of living costs / salary:

-       Are students entitled to get payment for their work? If so, is that competitive enough to cover the costs in the country where the student moved to?

  1. The type of responsibilities:

-       Would the student perform tasks related to his/her profession?

-       To what extent would the student be involved in professional projects/duties?

  1. Mentoring at the host company:

-       Could the company provide the student with a company consultant helping with the thesis written by the student in the final semester of the tuition?

-       Could the company provide internal (perhaps confidential) materials (which may be necessary to write the thesis) to get an insight into?

  1. Flexibility required from school:

-       Is the school flexible enough to handle the assignments required from students? e.g.: thesis draft and consultations. How could it be solved to perform all the requirements while living abroad?

  1. Length of the internship:

The students are more willing to work at companies as a trainee if there is any chance to extend the length of their stay beyond the required internship period. Therefore the question is:

-       Is there any possibility to extend the internship period?

There are difficulties in applying this project in all fields of studies but we think the following fields are worth including in the internship program:

      • IT
      • accounting programmes
      • marketing
      • management
      • controlling
      • sales
      • logistics
      • research and development


These fields are similar as the communication language is English. Students get comprehensive knowledge about these fields at school and this knowledge is easily convertible to English. These fields also have the same structures in all languages and that’s why students do not have to struggle with the national differences.

The next step could be to survey the students’ opinion about ECVET regarding:

-       Would they be interested in moving abroad for internship?

-       If not, what is the reason for that?

-       What could be the driving force to get them to participate in the project?

-       If they would like to participate, where would they travel to?
- Why would they choose a particular country? – professional reasons or personal motivations?

The companies could be interviewed as well regarding the following points:

-       Why would they choose a foreign student for a certain trainee position and not a student from their own country?

-       What would be the method of choosing the candidate/apprentice? (Would there be an integrated method applied by all companies?)

-       Why would the companies be motivated to employ a foreign student? How could we get them to be interested?

-       Who would fund the project? (EU, the company, the student, an independent organisation?)

During the conference these questions emerged relating to the project and we hope in the next stages all these questions could be answered to get a clearer picture of the whole process.


 

PEST - Country comparison table on ECVET – frame

Prepared by: Madarasiné Szirmai Andrea, BBS

Country

National legal regulations

BA or

VOC

Duration

(weeks)

Mandatory?

Credits (ECTS)

Learning agreement

Competence based?

Transit form VOC to BA

Finland

 

BA

20

Yes

30

 

No

 
 

VOC

20

Yes

800 hours

 

Yes

 

Estonia

 

BA

5, (130 hours)

Yes

5

Yes

No

 
 

VOC (2)

No

No

No

No

No

-

Hungary

 

BA

20, (800 hours)

Yes

30

Yes

No

 
 

VOC

14, (560 hours)

Yes

30

Yes

Yes

 

Romania

 

BA

3, (90 hours)

Yes

3

Yes

Yes

 
 

VOC

No

No

No

No

No

-

Belgium

 

BA

variable

Not everywhere

variable

 

No

 
 

VOC

1 to 6

Yes

unclear

 

Starting

 
 

VOC (1)

>40

Yes

?

 

Yes

 

(1) Belgium: So called apprenticeship: is a system of training a new generation of practitioners of a trade or profession with on-the-job training and often some accompanying study (classroom work and reading). Apprenticeship also enables practitioners to gain a license to practice in a regulated profession.
(2) Estonia: System of Recognition of prior learning (RPL).

 

PEST - Country comparison table on ECVET – concrete: Financial Institutions specialisation

Country

BA or VOC

Working programme

Number of the levels

Pre-requisites

Competition list

Assessment

Evaluation form

Interim assessment

Defended by the student

Finland

BA

     

Yes with 7 identified  competencies

Pass/Fail

Yes

   

VOC

     

Yes

Pass/Fail

Yes

   

Estonia

BA

Not for Financial Institutions, but general Business Admin

   

learning outcome

Pass/Fail

Yes

 

No, only the report

VOC

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

Hungary

BA

Yes

Different structure

Yes

Yes

Grades 1-5

 

No

Yes

VOC

Yes

6 main topics + general issues

Yes

Yes

Grades 1-5

Yes

No

Yes

Romania

BA

Yes

3

No

Yes: 2 categories: professional and transversal, with 8 identified competencies

Grades 1-10

Yes

Yes

Yes

VOC

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

No

Belgium*

BA

       

variable

     

VOC

       

unclear

     

VOC

       

?

     

 *if we have detailed information from Belgium we try to involve them into the comparison.

 

PEST - Country comparison table on ECVET – concrete: Financial Institutions specialisation - COMPETENCIES

FINLAND

ROMANIA

HUNGARY

Can take care of financial services

1. Knowledge, understanding of concepts, theories and methods for the banking sector; use appropriate professional communication

Managing cash flow

Can take care of payment services

2. Use of basic knowledge for the application and interpretation of various types of concepts, situations, processes, projects in financial institutions

Acquiring the skills related to banking operations

Can take care of investment services and savings services

3. Apply basic principles and methods for problem solving / defined situations typical for financial institutions with qualified assistance

Analysing securities

Can serve the customers according to the organizations operating policies and procedures

4. Appropriate use of standard assessment criteria and methods to assess the quality of processes, programs, projects, concepts, methods and theories

Learning the place and role of financial institutions

Can sustain and keep the knowledge of financial markets up to date

5. Develop professional projects using principles and methods specific financial institutions

Managing deposit accounts

Demonstrates personal skills

6. Carrying out responsible professional duties in conditions of restricted autonomy and a qualified assistance

Acquiring the skills related to alternative financing

Demonstrates general working life skills

7. Be familiar with specific roles and activities of teamwork and distributing tasks to subordinate levels

Managing credits

 

8. Awareness of the need for training; efficient use of resources and learning techniques for personal and professional development

Characteristics of financing SMEs


UNIFIED version

Competencies/ Tasks

Know the financial institutions and their services

Information of the clients

Cash management and deposits accounts

Loans and credit accounts

Securities

Other issues: corporate financial services, taxation, etc.

General -  Independence and responsibility in tasks

  • general working and life skills communication
  • behaviour
  • performance responsibility
  • IT
           

Professional - Cognitive professional competencies

  • knowledge the particular organisation: goals, structure, processes
  • Knowledge and use of laws, act and legal regulations
  • Understand the professional tasks and recognize the essentials
  • Capability of systematizing, organizing, overview and of drawing conclusion and thinking in systems
           

Professional – Financial Institution Specialisation

  1. Able to perform the tasks related to bank deposits
  2. Able to prepare banking contracts (savings, current accounts, cards)
  3. Knowledge about cash savings, deposits and retail and corporate banking
  4. Provide security- trading front office tasks
  5. Accept credit applications (public, retail, corporate)
           

 


To do list concerning the synthesis report and the above tables:

Before end of October 2014

-        Sending the availability (links) of the National legislation documents and the short summary of the most important elements connecting to the project

-       Completion of the empty cells in the above tables prepared by Andrea

 

Before end of November 2014

-       Introduction of the best practices or the company visits focusing on the internships (1-2 cases in maximum 1,5 page/case)

 

From November 2014

-       Beginning the completion of the synthesis study based on the structure of the following tables led by BBS.

  • The comparison will focus on the two follwong ways based on the similarities of the countries’ practices; possibilities for the future development
  • Finnish and Hungarian comparison
  • Romanian and Estonian comparison
  • if we have detailed information from Belgium we try to involve them into the comparison

-       Questions to the partners if anything is not clear in the documents/information sent by the partners

 

Before the end of January 2015

-       After institutional ’brainstorming’ sending ideas, suggestions concerning

  • the harmonisation of the different national internship structures;
  • the help of the ECVET based international internships

Before end of March (to the Estonian meeting)

-       Draft version of the synthesis study – finalisation at and after the Estonian meeting

 

Between the last two meetings

-       Finalisation of the synthesis study led by BBS

 

Before end of May (to the Hungarian meeting)

-       Finalised version of the synthesis study

-       Letter of intents for bilateral agreements about working out the details of foreign internships.

 

Before end of July

-       Submission of the Final report of the partners to the national agencies with the results of the project (synthesis study, etc.)

-       Completion of publication(s), article(s) on the basis of the synthesis study

 

Interim reporting – comments, suggestions of the national agencies about the submitted the report

-       The organization of the workshops/partner meetings were in high quality according to the proposed activities (involvement of the local ECVET professionals, company visits, best practices, etc.)

-       The redistribution of the tasks were good after the withdrawal (not granted applications) of the French and Estonian higher educational partner

-       Deeper involvement of the students to the project and the activities – more information about it in the final report is needed

-       More efforts are needed in the field of dissemination – about the activities, topics of the projects before concrete results

-       Despite of the difficulties and the differences in the national ECVET and vocational educational systems, those projects (as PEST) can help the development and circulation/dissemination of ECVET in the EU countries through experience exchanges, common thinking, events, etc.

 

Follow-up possibilities

Possible ways can be:

-       ERASMUS+ KA2 Strategic partnership – further development in education based on the results of the PEST project – curriculum development for common internships, etc.

-       Horizon2020 – deeper research activities based on the PEST results focusing the harmonization of the different systems, detailed suggestions for development, etc.

Ideas, suggestions are welcome – detailed discussions on the follow-up possibilities will be at the Estonian meeting

 

Remaining activities:

-       4th partner meeting and workshop in Estonia - March 2015

Main topics: recognition of prior learning in the context of internships, beginning the finalisation of the synthesis study, discussion on the follow-up possibilities

-       Strategic meeting with the participation only of the project coordinators of the partners in Brussels - April 2015 (if concrete follow-up activities will be foreseen after the Estonian meeting)

 

-       Final partner meeting and workshop in Hungary - May-June 2015

Main topics: finalisation of the project’s results, evaluation of the project realisation (activities, results), concrete dissemination activities, press conference

Submission of the final reports to the national agencies – with the results and the supporting documentation – before end of July 2015

 

Next workshop / partner meeting

Proposed date: 26-27 Mach 2015 in Estonia, but further suggestions for the date of the workshop is needed, because the first option is not good for the Finnish partner (Miika Kuusisto and Marja-Leena Savonen).

Suggestions by the Estonian partner before end of October.

 

PEST 3rd full meeting Lahti minutes v01