Study visit to Finland

On 24-30 October 2010, a delegation of 23 representatives of Croatian institutions which are dealing with VET in specific branches and sectors of the economy, headed by Agency for Vocational Education and Training and Adult Education, visited Finland in the framework of the EU-funded project “Implementation of new curricula” which is being carried out by an international consortium led by EPRD.

The aim of the study tour was to get familiar with the Finnish VET system, its approaches and best-practice related to continuous innovation. More specifically, the study visit participants examined and shared the experiences of the hosts related to the following issues:

  • Roles and responsibilities of a modern and innovative VET school.
  • Forms of curricula used in VET,  processes adopted for developing, implementation and modernization those curricula.
  • Barriers inhibiting and factors facilitating innovation.
  • Promotion of the innovation and integration in school development plans / strategies.
  • Results in relation to innovation in VET schools during recent years.
  • Distribution of roles at the schools in relation to innovation projects.
  • Cooperation between schools and other partners to innovate.
  • Experiences of the hosts in relation to the introduction of grant based funding opportunities for innovation like the European Social Fund, the Leonardo programme.

The study tour participants visited Helsinki and Jyväskylä. The agenda contained among others the following institutions:

  1. Finnish National Board of Education (FNBE) the national agency subordinate to the Ministry of Education with a wide range of tasks related to the development of education all through pre-primary and basic education, general upper secondary education, vocational education and training, formal adult education and training, liberal adult education and basic education in the arts.
  2. Omnia, The Joint Authority of Education in Espoo Region, a multisector joint authority of education offering vocational training at 10 locations around Espoo area to young people and adults who have completed comprehensive school or have passed the matriculation examination. The range includes twenty vocational qualifications, dozens of vocational and special vocational qualifications, extension and career training, apprenticeship training and youth workshops.
  3. Jyväskylä  Education Consortium, one of the largest institutions of vocational education in Finland. It provides instruction to 6000 youth and to 12000 adult students every year.
  4. Centre for Economic Development, Transport and the Environment of Centre Finland, fosters regional development by implementing and developing government activities in the regions.The Centres promote entrepreneurship, functioning of labour market, competence and cultural activities and ensures safe and smooth transport operations, healthy environment and sustainable use of natural resources in the regions and are in charge of functions related to immigration of labour force.
  5. University of Applied Sciences, internationally oriented higher education institution with a strong role among the developers of the Jyväskylä region and Central Finland. Offers first- and second-cycle degree education, open studies, continuing education, and vocational teacher education. The same time maintains close contacts with regional enterprises and organisations.
  6. Finnish Institute for Educational Research, Secretariat of Education Evaluation, the national task includes investigating, assessing, and developing the Finnish educational system and school culture. Its research covers the entire educational system, from pre-school to higher education, and the links between vocational and academic education and working life. Co-operation with schools, educational administrators, workplaces, policy-makers, and the media is a key element in its operational strategy, which aims at increasing the effectiveness of research findings.
  7. Northern Central Finland VET Consortium,the study programmes of the Northern Central Finland Consortium, Department of Agriculture, Forestry and Environment
  8. Finnish Federation of Technology Industries, ensures the availability of world-class expertise and skills in competence areas that are important for Finland and Europe.
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