A new funding system for vocational education and training (VET) at secondary level was included in a 2018 reform; it will be fully in force in 2022, after gradual implementation. Funding is divided into several core parts: performance-based and effectiveness-based, as well as strategic.
Core funding, based on the number of students, is 50 per cent of the total. Performance-based funding accounts for 35 per cent of the total and uses the number of completed qualifications and competence points completed in vocational qualification units. Effectiveness-based funding accounts for 15 per cent and depends on student access to employment, number of students continuing to further studies, and feedback from students and the labour market.
Starting from 2020, one sixth of effectiveness-based funding – or 2.5 per cent of the total – will be granted to VET providers according to feedback from students. The feedback is collected via a questionnaire which students answer twice: at the beginning of the studies and in the final stage, once the student has demonstrated the skills and competences needed for the qualification. The process is regulated in the legislation. Student feedback collection begins from 1 July 2018. Feedback from labour market will also be one sixth of effectiveness-based funding and will be allocated to VET providers in 2022 for the first time.
In the questionnaire the students rate statements on a five-point scale from one (strongly disagree) to five (strongly agree). The exact formulation of the statements is stipulated in the relevant degree. At the beginning of their studies students are required to rate the following: flexibility of starting time of studies and content of the individual programme; accreditation of prior learning; and support and guidance needed. At the end they will provide feedback on the following: flexibility in studies; the ways teaching facilities and learning environment supported studies; receiving support and guidance during studies; equity between students and workers at the workplace; opportunities to study and learn in the workplace; gaining entrepreneurial competence; and assessment of their individual competence and readiness for working life and further studies.
In Spring 2018 the education ministry granted strategy funding of EUR 34 million to 68 out of 117 VET providers based for the first time on applications has. In 2018 a majority of the strategy funding was allocated to renewal of the operational culture of VET institutions in accordance with the objectives of the VET reform and to respond to the challenges brought by the digital breakage. Funding was also allocated to support the mergers of VET providers and organisations of skills competitions.
Figure: Funding of vocational education and training in 2022