Aihearkisto: kotikansainvälisyys

MusicXchain – the project is ending but the network keeps going – join the celebration on 5 November!

The MusicXchain is a network of six (6) education providers from five (5) member states (Finland, Latvia, Germany, Netherlands and Slovenia) all offering upper secondary VET education in music.

The Erasmus+ KA2 project with the same name has focused on key competences of learners in the music sector by creating new and innovative ways for cooperating and learning and thus enhancing their networking and digital skills as well as fostering an entrepreneurial mindset necessary for a successful career in the creative industries.

The MusicXchain project main aims have been to yield a number of tangible results on completion of the project such as

• a structured platform for managing and coordinating the network activities including a calendar of mobility modules and other events offered within the network;
• a structured model for organizing learning mobility in the music sector taking into consideration the strengths and expertise of each participating college;
• a facility (within the platform) for virtual music lab activities where masterclasses, validated technique videos and e.g. career stories of alumni can be shared or music productions can be planned.

On the participating VET providers level the results have been

  • an exchange of knowledge, skills and experience between organizations;
  • a significant increase in the number of learners in the music sector gaining an international experience through virtual communication initiatives and physical learning mobility;
  • a stronger focus on fostering an entrepreneurial mindset within the staff and the learners;
  • embedment – project activities and results have helped to create an awareness that internationalization provides an attractive, modern and functional context for VET curricula;
  • upskilled teachers – the project has also induced the need for modernisation of teaching and need for professionalisation of staff e.g. in the area of using digital tools for music lab activities at home.

On both European and national level the intangible results have been the following:

A sustainable network of VET providers in the music sector – the project has involved international cooperation between VET colleges in five (5) EU member states whilst creating learning mobility opportunities, (virtual and physical) the projects core goal has been to create a strong and sustainable EU partnership for learning mobility;
More efficient use of European tools such as Europass and ECVET. The latter has been used to describe the knowledge, skills and competences learners can attain whilst doing a module abroad or virtual music lab activities at home, thus developing recognition, transparency and certification and to realise the latter, it has been important to have the developed products embedded in the partners’ curricula;

Join the celebration and learn more about the network and the project by coming to the MusicXchain webinar on Thursday 5 November 2020 13-17:30 CET/ 14-18:30 EET.

Register for the event HERE

Questions re. the webinar: Ineke Saade i.sadee(at) rijnijssel.nl

Information about the network and project https://blogit.gradia.fi/musicxchain/

Vaihtokokemukset jakoon!

Yli 30 gradialaista kokoontui tiistaina 19.5. Teamsin välityksellä jakamaan ajatuksiaan ja kokemuksiaan henkilöstövaihtoihin liittyen. Tilaisuudessa oli mukana myös Aarhus TECH -oppilaitoksen koordinaattori Flemming Olesen, joka on aiemmin tänä keväänä jakanut kokemuksiaan Gradian kv-blogin koronajuttusarjassa. Tilaisuuden pääteemat olivat kansainvälinen osaaminen ja vaihtojaksolle valmentautuminen.

Suvi Hirvijärvi, Stephen Clark., Flemming Olesen ja Pirkko Lahti
keskustelemassa kansainvälisestä osaamisesta ja keinoista, joilla sitä ovat hankkineet.

Sanomattakin lienee selvää, että Kiinassa vuoden alussa puhjennut COVID-19-tartuntatautiepidemialla on ollut suuri vaikutus erityisesti kansainväliseen toimintaan ja Erasmus+ ohjelman rahoittamiin kansainvälisiin liikkuvuuksiin ja hankkeisiin. Gradian osalta pandemia siirsi yhteensä noin 50 henkilöstövaihdon ja useamman hankkeen kokousten toteutusta eteenpäin tai verkkoympäristöön.

Vaikka matkat on peruttu, kansainvälinen yhteistyö jatkuu. Samalla kansainvälisyyden perinteiset mittarit, lähtevät ja saapuvat opiskelijat ja henkilöstö, painuvat nolliin. Nyt onkin hyvä pysähtyä ja pohtia ovatko mittarit riittäviä? Mitä muuta kansanvälisyys on kuin liikkuvuutta? Miten sitä osaamista, jota perinteisesti on haettu liikkuvuuden kautta, voidaan vahvistaa ja tukea myös ilman fyysistä matkustamista maasta toiseen ja millä mittareilla vaikutusta tulisi mitata? 19.5. tilaisuuden osallistujat pohtivat myös omalta osaltaan mitä kansainvälinen osaaminen on? Perinteisen kielitadon kehittämisen lisäksi tärkeiksi nousivat vuorovaikutus- ja verkostoitumistaidot. Myös kasvun ja kehittymisen “moottorit” – rohkeus ja uteliaisuus – mainittiin useaan kertaan.

Mitä omasta mielestäsi kansainvälisellä osaamisella tarkoitetaan?

Liikkuvuus, matkustaminen toiseen maahan, pysyy jatkossakin tärkeänä osana osaamisen kehittämistä maailmassa, jossa keskinäiset riippuvuussuhteet ovat yhä selvemmin ja konkreettisemmin näkyvissä elämämme kaikilla osa-alueilla. Koulutuksen yksi tarkoitus on valmistaa elämään kulttuurisesti moninaisessa maailmanyhteisössä ja toimimaan rakentavasti ja vastuullisesti yhteisen maapallon hyväksi ja tämä kevät on osoittanut sen, että aivan kaikkia kokemuksia ei kuitenkaan voida kokonaan siirtää Teamsiin tai Zoomiin. Akuutin koronatilanteen jälkeen meidän on kuitenkin syytä jatkaa sen pohtimista mikä rooli matkustamisella on ja milloin se tuottaa juuri sitä lisäarvoa, jota tavoittelemme.

EU-komissio linjasi toukokuun lopussa, miten rahoitusohjelmien ulkomaanjaksoja voidaan toteuttaa loppuvuoden 2020 aikana, jos koronaepidemiasta johtuvat poikkeusolot jatkuvat. Linjauksen mukaan ulkomaanjaksot on mahdollista aloittaa virtuaalisesti verkkototeutuksina ja niitä voidaan jatkaa kohdemaassa sitten, kun tilanne sen sallii. Henkilöstövaihtoja voidaan toteuttaa jopa kokonaan virtuaalisesti, mikäli poikkeusolot jatkuvat. Tarkempia ohjeita virtuaalivaihtojen säännöistä ja rahoitusehdoista ei vielä ole. Seuraamme Gradiassa komission tiedotusta ja viestimme niistä heti, kun rahoitusohjelman ohjeet ja Gradian linjaukset tältä osin valmistuvat.

Huhtikuussa päättyneen henkilöstövaihtohaun valinnat ja ohjeet myös koronan alta siirtyvien vaihtojen osalta on julkaistu intrassa 29.5.2020. Kevään 2021 vaihtojen suunnittelu ja valmennus onkin syytä käynnistää pian kesälomakauden päätyttyä. Syksyn aikana pyritään useimpien kohdalla käynnistämään vaihtovalmennus mm. tutustumisella kohteeseen verkon välityksellä sekä tavoitteiden tarkemmalla määrittelyllä.

Vaihtokokemukset jakoon! -tilaisuudessa pohdittiin miten vaihtoon kannattaa valmistua ja missä asioissa osallistujat kaipaavat oman organisaation tukea. Apua kaivattiin mm. kielivalmennuksessa ja kohteeseen perehtymisessä.

Millä vaihtoon valmentautumisen osa-aluella kaipaat eniten Gradian tukea?

Tilaisuudesta kerätyn palautteen mukaan tämän tyyppiset tilaisuudet koettiin tärkeinä (yleisarvosana 4, maksimi 5). Kokemukset ja vinkit sekä rennot haastattelut olivat vastaajien mielestä parasta antia. Osa vastaajista toivoi, että jatkossa tilaisuudet päästäisiin pitämään lähikontaktissa ja että vuorovaikutteisuutta olisi enemmän. Ensimmäistä ei voida luvata. Jälkimmäinen sen sijaan kyllä jatkossa onnistuu paremmin. Seuraava vastaava tilaisuus järjestettäneen lokakuussa 2020. Seuraa siis intraa niin tiedät milloin ja mihin tulla!

Rea Tuominen, kv-suunnittelija, p. 6159

Greetings from the Netherlands

In this series of blog posts checking how our partners are doing, we have landed in the Netherlands. Marit den Ouden is a relatively new coordinator working in the International Office of Deltion College located in Zwolle. Deltion College is a member of the Dutch Alliance and through the TDA also a member of the Network of Networks like Gradia.

Marit with the view from her home office.

“We fully switched to distance learning on the 16 March when our government announced that the schools had to be closed.” Deltion had started with the introduction of distance learning on a small scale already 5 years ago so they managed to do the switch relatively quickly. Some of the experts in distance learning had anticipated the situation already before 16 March and had captured their thoughts and vision in a memo. Immediately after the government announcement the distance learning task force started their work. “Already in the first week after 16 March they provided training for our staff and all kinds of materials for our use,” says Marit from her home office. The materials were put on the Deltion College intranet and they were used by quite many people. Two weeks ago all Deltion teachers got a paper magazine delivered at their homes with all kinds of tools and information about distance learning. At the moment of this interview, the Deltion task force is already preparing for the next school year.

There were of course some challenges as well. “Some teams did their own “thing”, a bit outside the general frames which were set by the college 😉 In such a big college as ours – around 19.000 students and 1.400 staff this is hard to prevent.” This resulted in some extra ‘follow-up’ work for the task force. “Our experience is that teachers don’t easily ask questions even though we try to facilitate direct, easy contacts with our experts.”   

Marit reflects back to the beginning of remote learning; “I think that we were relatively well prepared. We already had experts and experience on distance learning at Deltion. And we already had blended coaches in the teams. There was a lot of energy and positive spirit to act and go for it together.” She also believes that this experience will lead to permanent changes. “Distance learning will get a more permanent place in our vision on education. We expect that we might keep providing distance learning to our students in the future on a structural basis, for example one day a week. And we might do more appointments and visits – like apprenticeship visits – ‘at distance’. “

At the moment of the Corona outbreak Deltion College had more than 150 students abroad for an internship. So the first task was to get all these students home safely. Also there were many international study projects (both for students and staff) planned which had to be cancelled. And the students who were in Zwolle at that moment for their internship had to go back home.

Deltion College is expecting the crisis to have an impact on the international activities both in the mid and long term. “It will give an extra boost to activities within the spectrum of ‘internationalisation at home’ and our vision to deal more consciously with travel in the perspective of climate change.” Marit says that they expect that in the mid term the number of mobilities will drop because the impact on travel possibilities, the safety issues and because the impact of Corona on certain sectors will probably last quite long. “But it is good to put things in perspective. Also internship opportunities within our country will be affected for a while. The importance of internationalisation will increase even more, but the activities to achieve internationalisation might undergo some shifts.

“On personal-level, I think I’m basically a quite flexible person, when it comes to adapting to different circumstances. It is my passion to be open towards other cultures, national contexts and perspectives and discovering the underlying reason behind differences and similarities. And stimulating others in this ‘compassion’.”

However, Marit does confess that she misses the personal contacts a lot. She has also noticed, like so many of us, that digital meetings are more energy draining than physical meetings. “So at the end of a day full of Teams meetings I usually feel a bit in a daze. It is good to see that colleagues stay in good contact and we often use our camera which feels much more personal than only hearing each other’s voice. It is heart warming to see how much we support each other, both national and international partners.” Marit is holding regular video meetings with her international partners and is expecting this method of cooperating to stay permanently.

On a final note, Marit recommends starting your work day – if possible in your country/region – with a walk for about an hour. “This will give you a lot of positive energy for the rest of the day. ”

More information about The Dutch Alliance https://www.dutchalliance.nl/

Gradia at Swiss Conference of Directors of Vocational Schools (SCD)

Gradia’s internationalisation strategy, EMEU network and EfVET, both of which Gradia is a member, provided the topics for the key note speeches at this years Swiss VET directors conference in Olten, Switzerland on 16 January 2020.

The forum of the Swiss directors focused on the promotion of exchange and mobility and the role that vocational schools can play. Statistics showed the actual situation regarding activities around exchange and mobility at vocational schools to be less than desired. This allowed for a provisional appraisal of implementation of the vision of the federal government and cantons: that vision is for all young people to have a mobility experience during their initial and continuing education and training. From 2014-2019, vocational schools belonging to the SCD submitted between 30 and 50 % of all applications per call. Movetia, the Swiss NA, constructed an outlook for the future with regard to national, European and international mobility and cooperation. The Swiss perspectives were broadened, additionally, by the inputs regarding mobility and cooperation activities of the international guests from Finland, the Netherlands and Italy.

Gradia’s intervention dealt mainly with indicators for successful internationalisation strategies such as linking all activities to the general strategy and building strong, sustainable networks locally, regionally as well as on European and international level. In addition, a simple three-step process was suggested for all participating colleges for creating their own strategies for their own needs.

In addition to lively discussions and group work, Daniel Kehl, Director of GBS St. Gallen, one of the oldest partners of the predecessor to Gradia Jyväskylä, presented the ABC of internationalisation now available on the Movetia website:

https://www.sdk-csd.ch/de/abc-der-internationalisierung_0-244.html

Afrodite and Mate at SkyCafe

With my fellow-student, Máté Varga we had a chance to spend a 32-day work placement as cook trainees at Sky Cafe at Jyvaskyla, Finland. Here we had the opportunity to take an insight into the everyday working of a Finnish catering outlet, where we could learn something new each and every day.

We learnt how to make different types of salads, cakes and bread, how to fill up the buffet table and serve the guests in the bistro. All of our colleagues -students, teachers, mentors and the staff at the airport alike – were extremely helpful and kind with us. This was a huge possibility for us to improve our professional and language skills and we are very grateful for being able a part of the Erasmus+ experience.

Thank you all, kiitos!

Afrodité Vigh, Szeged,  Hungary