You are here

Mobility scoreboard database

Country fiches provide detailed country-specific information and policy suggestions relating to IVET mobility for each of the 30 countries (EU Member States, Iceland, Norway) covered. The topics addressed in the fiches are as follows:

  • IVET level(s) covered in the fiche
  • Main schemes for international IVET mobility
  • Overview on the general governance of the IVET mobility policy
  • Overall targets in IVET mobility policy
  • Overall coordination of IVET mobility policy
  • Overall evaluation of the IVET mobility policy

Part 1. Information and guidance on international learning mobility for IVET

  • 1.1. Description of country structures and policy interventions
  • 1.1.1. Mechanism(s) to provide IVET learners with information and guidance on international learning mobility
  • 1.1.2. Countrywide coordination of information and guidance provision
  • 1.1.3. Policy targets in the thematic area of information and guidance
  • 1.1.4. Do legal provisions specifically include the objective of promoting international learning mobility in IVET?
  • 1.1.5. Actions for improving the provision of information and guidance on international learning mobility for IVET learners
  • 1.1.6. Evaluation of the actions for improving the provision of information and guidance
  • 1.1.7. Provision of information and assistance on IVET international mobility to companies and IVET institutions
  • 1.2. Analysis of country situation with respect to the criteria of the indicator for the “Information and guidance” area

Part 2. Administrative and institutional issues

  • 2.1. Description of country structures and policy interventions
  • 2.1.1. Existence of a policy orientation to encourage and support international learning mobility of IVET learners
  • 2.1.1.1. Integration of international learning mobility experiences in the curricula of IVET programmes
  • 2.1.1.2. Policy targets in the thematic area of removing administrative and institutional obstacles
  • 2.1.2. Measures to facilitate learning mobility in IVET
  • 2.1.2.1. Measures to smooth the delivery of visas and residency permits to IVET learners from third countries
  • 2.1.2.2. Measures to reduce administrative burdens that may hinder the international mobility of learners
  • 2.1.2.3. Measures to remove the legal obstacles to the international mobility of minor IVET learners
  • 2.1.2.4. Social and labour protection of apprentices and IVET students involved in international learning mobility
  • 2.1.3. Coordination and evaluation
  • 2.1.3.1. Coordination of the measures targeted at removing the administrative and institutional obstacles
  • 2.1.3.2. Evaluation of the measures targeted at removing the administrative and institutional obstacles
  • 2.2. Analysis of country situation with respect to the criteria of the indicator for the “Adm. and institutional issues” area

Part 3. Recognition of learning outcomes

  • 3.1. Description of country structures and policy interventions
  • 3.1.1. General approach to the recognition of learning acquired abroad by IVET learners
  • 3.1.1.1. Regulation by law or case by case treatment?
  • 3.1.1.2. Ease of access to recognition of learning acquired abroad by IVET learners
  • 3.1.2. Policy targets in thematic area of recognition
  • 3.1.3. Scope of recognition
  • 3.1.4. Countrywide coordination of the recognition approach
  • 3.1.5. Time limit for the recognition process
  • 3.1.6. Visibility of contact points for information on recognition
  • 3.1.6.1. Actions to establish, or make more visible, contact points for information on recognition
  • 3.1.6.2. Evaluation of the visibility policy
  • 3.1.7. Use of EU tools for visibility, transfer and recognition of learning outcomes
  • 3.1.8. Evaluation of the recognition policy, mechanisms and practices
  • 3.2. Analysis of country situation with respect to the criteria of the indicator for the “Recognition” area

Part 4. Partnerships and funding

  • 4.1. Description of country structures and policy interventions
  • 4.1.1. Policy targets in the thematic area of partnerships and funding
  • 4.1.2. Countrywide coordination of policy actions
  • 4.1.3. Partnerships
  • 4.1.3.1 Actions to support companies and IVET providers in the creation of mobility partnerships and networks
  • 4.1.3.2. Evaluation of the actions to support the creation of partnerships and networks
  • 4.1.4. Funding and other support
  • 4.1.4.1. Support to learners
  • 4.1.4.1.1. Actions to fund the international mobility of IVET learners
  • 4.1.4.1.2. Evaluation of the actions to provide IVET learners with financial support
  • 4.1.4.2. Support to stakeholders and staff
  • 4.1.4.2.1. Actions to provide companies, institutions and staff with support for organising mobility projects
  • 4.1.4.2.2. Evaluation of the support to organising mobility projects
  • 4.2. Analysis of country situation with respect to the criteria of the indicator for the “Partnerships and funding” area

Part 5. Motivation to participate in transnational learning mobility activities

  • 5.1. Description of country structures and policy interventions
  • 5.1.1. Actions for raising awareness of the added value of mobility and/or fostering a mobility culture
  • 5.1.2. Countrywide coordination of the awareness raising and mobility culture actions
  • 5.1.3. Evaluation of the awareness raising and mobility culture actions
  • 5.1.4. Policy targets in the thematic area of motivation
  • 5.2. Analysis of country situation with respect to the criteria of the indicator for the “Motivation” thematic area

Part 6. Preparation of opportunities for learning mobility

  • 6.1. Description of country structures and policy interventions
  • 6.1.1. Mobility preparation from the early stages of education
  • 6.1.2. Countrywide coordination of the preparation actions
  • 6.1.3. Evaluation of the preparation actions
  • 6.1.4. Policy targets in the thematic area of preparation
  • 6.1.5. How are learners (and stakeholders) involved in making the preparation policy effective?
  • 6.1.5.1. Visibility and access policy
  • 6.1.5.1.1. Making the preparation mechanisms visible and accessible: case of the linguistic and intercultural preparation
  • 6.1.5.1.2. Making the preparation mechanisms visible and accessible: case of the digital preparation mechanisms
  • 6.1.5.1.3. Making the preparation mechanisms visible and accessible: case of the internationalisation actions
  • 6.1.5.2. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys
  • 6.1.5.2.1. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the linguistic and intercultural preparation mechanisms
  • 6.1.5.2.2. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the digital preparation
  • 6.1.5.2.3. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the internationalisation actions
  • 6.1.5.3. Assessment of the extent of use
  • 6.1.5.3.1. Assessment of the extent of use of the mechanisms for linguistic and intercultural preparation
  • 6.1.5.3.2. Assessment of the extent of use of the digital preparation mechanisms
  • 6.1.5.3.3. Assessment of the extent of use of the internationalisation actions
  • 6.1.5.4. Other
  • 6.2. Analysis of country situation with respect to the criteria of the indicator for the “Preparation” thematic area

Part 7. Quality of learning mobility

  • 7.1. Description of country structures and policy interventions
  • 7.1.1. Ensuring the quality of mobility experiences
  • 7.1.2. Countrywide coordination of the quality-related actions
  • 7.1.3. Evaluation of the quality-related actions
  • 7.1.4. Policy targets in the thematic area of quality
  • 7.1.5. How are learners (and stakeholders) involved in making the quality policy effective?
  • 7.1.5.1. Visibility and access policy
  • 7.1.5.1.1. Making the quality mechanisms visible and accessible: case of the linguistic and intercultural preparation
  • 7.1.5.1.2. Making the quality mechanisms visible and accessible: case of the stay monitoring mechanisms
  • 7.1.5.1.3. Making the quality mechanisms visible and accessible: feedback collection and reintegration mechanisms
  • 7.1.5.1.4. Making the quality mechanisms visible and accessible: mechanisms for housing, catering and transport
  • 7.1.5.2. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys
  • 7.1.5.2.1. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the linguistic and intercultural preparation mechanisms
  • 7.1.5.2.2. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the stay monitoring mechanisms
  • 7.1.5.2.3. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the feedback and reintegration mechanisms
  • 7.1.5.2.4. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the mechanisms for housing, catering and transport
  • 7.1.5.3. Assessment of the extent of use
  • 7.1.5.3.1. Assessment of the extent of use of the mechanisms for linguistic and intercultural preparation
  • 7.1.5.3.2. Assessment of the extent of use of the stay monitoring mechanisms
  • 7.1.5.3.3. Assessment of the extent of use of the feedback and reintegration mechanisms
  • 7.1.5.3.4. Assessment of the extent of use of the mechanisms for housing, catering and transport
  • 7.1.5.4. Other
  • 7.2. Analysis of country situation with respect to the criteria of the indicator for the “Quality” thematic area

Part 7. Quality of learning mobility

  • 8.1. Description of country structures and policy interventions
  • 8.1.1. Grants and loans available to IVET learners for use within their country
  • 8.1.1.1. Types
  • 8.1.1.2. Purposes
  • 8.1.1.3. Funding bodies
  • 8.1.1.4. Access conditions and allocation principles
  • 8.1.1.5. Portability
  • 8.1.2. Portability policy
  • 8.1.3. Countrywide coordination of the portability mechanisms
  • 8.1.4. Evaluation of the portability mechanisms
  • 8.1.5. Policy targets in the thematic area of portability
  • 8.1.6. How are learners (and stakeholders) involved in making the portability policy effective?
  • 8.1.6.1. Making the portability mechanisms visible and accessible
  • 8.1.6.2. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the portability mechanisms
  • 8.1.6.3. Assessment of the extent of use of the portability mechanisms
  • 8.1.6.4. Other
  • 8.2. Analysis of country situation with respect to the criteria of the indicator for the “Portability” thematic area

Part 9. Taking on board disadvantaged learners

  • 9.1. Description of country structures and policy interventions
  • 9.1.1. Differentiated actions to provide disadvantaged learners with support tailored to their specific needs
  • 9.1.2. Countrywide coordination of the support measures for disadvantaged learners
  • 9.1.3. Evaluation of the support measures for disadvantaged learners
  • 9.1.4. Policy targets in the thematic area of support to disadvantaged learners
  • 9.1.5. How are learners (and stakeholders) involved in making effective the support policy for disadvantaged learners?
  • 9.1.5.1. Visibility and access policy
  • 9.1.5.1.1. Making the mechanisms for disadvantaged learners visible and accessible: case of information and guidance
  • 9.1.5.1.2. Making the mechanisms for disadvantaged learners visible and accessible: case of the funding actions
  • 9.1.5.1.3. Making the mechanisms for disadvantaged learners visible and accessible: actions in terms of motivation
  • 9.1.5.1.4. Making the mechanisms for disadvantaged learners visible and accessible: actions in terms of preparation
  • 9.1.5.1.5. Making the mechanisms for disadvantaged learners visible and accessible: actions in terms of multipliers
  • 9.1.5.2. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys
  • 9.1.5.2.1. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the actions in terms of information and guidance
  • 9.1.5.2.2. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the funding actions
  • 9.1.5.2.3. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the actions in terms of motivation
  • 9.1.5.2.4. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the actions in terms of preparation
  • 9.1.5.2.5. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the actions in terms of using multipliers
  • 9.1.5.3. Assessment of the extent of use
  • 9.1.5.3.1. Assessment of the extent of use of the mechanisms for information and guidance
  • 9.1.5.3.2. Assessment of the extent of use of the funding mechanisms
  • 9.1.5.3.3. Assessment of the extent of use of the motivation-related mechanisms
  • 9.1.5.3.4. Assessment of the extent of use of the preparation mechanisms
  • 9.1.5.3.5. Assessment of the extent of use of the actions in terms of using multipliers
  • 9.1.5.4. Other
  • 9.2. Analysis of country situation with respect to the criteria of the indicator for the “Disadvantaged learners” area

Part 10. Making use of multipliers

  • 10.1. Description of country structures and policy interventions
  • 10.1.1. Actions in terms of encouraging the use of multipliers and staff commitment to learning mobility
  • 10.1.2. Countrywide coordination of the multiplier policy
  • 10.1.3. Evaluation of the multiplier policy
  • 10.1.4. Policy targets in the thematic area of using multipliers
  • 10.1.5. How are learners (and stakeholders) involved in making effective the multiplier policy?
  • 10.1.5.1. Visibility and access policy
  • 10.1.5.1.1. Making the multiplier policy visible and accessible: case of the actions in terms of using multipliers
  • 10.1.5.1.2. Making the multiplier policy visible and accessible: actions recognising and valuing staff commitment
  • 10.1.5.1.3. Making the multiplier policy visible and accessible: case of the actions in terms of mainstreaming mobility
  • 10.1.5.2. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys
  • 10.1.5.2.1. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the actions in terms of using multipliers
  • 10.1.5.2.2. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the actions in terms of recognising and valuing staff commitment
  • 10.1.5.2.3. Learners (and stakeholders) surveys on the actions in terms of mainstreaming mobility in the training
  • 10.1.5.3. Assessment of the extent of use
  • 10.1.5.3.1. Assessment of the extent of use of the mechanisms for using multipliers
  • 10.1.5.3.2. Assessment of the extent of use of the mechanisms for recognising and valuing staff commitment
  • 10.1.5.3.3. Assessment of the extent of use of the mechanisms for mainstreaming mobility in the training
  • 10.1.5.4. Other
  • 10.2. Analysis of country situation with respect to the criteria of the indicator for the “Multipliers” thematic area

Part 11. Synthesis - Policy suggestions

HR Croatia (2019)

9.1.1. DIFFERENTIATED ACTIONS TO PROVIDE DISADVANTAGED LEARNERS WITH SUPPORT TAILORED TO THEIR SPECIFIC NEEDS

The country has taken actions in the following dimensions.

Information and guidance, including targeted information on available programmes
AMEUP informs possible applicants about the possibilities available in the Erasmus+ programme for the participation of students with disabilities and disadvantaged learners. In the context of the Erasmus+ programme, disadvantaged learners are defined as students with fewer opportunities, which refers to students with social, economic or geographical obstacles, cultural differences and health problems. Such information is provided at every Erasmus+ presentation, during informative days, meetings, webinars or counselling activities.

Funding, including portability
Erasmus+ programme offers special budget categories for students with disabilities and disadvantaged learners as to stimulate the inclusion of those learners in projects. AMEUP regularly presents these opportunities in information events. AMEUP also published a leaflet with the information on possibilities for involvement and participation of participants with fewer opportunities.

Motivation
Through its work with VET providers and promotional activities, the Agency for Mobility and EU Programmes emphasizes the need to include disadvantaged learners into mobility projects, and tries to stimulate their inclusion by highlighting the benefits both for students and for the organisation.

Preparation
Depending on the category of the disadvantaged learners, the beneficiary organisations are using the referred budget categories to provide those learners with all the necessary arrangements for the mobility period, e.g. additional arrangements (if needed) for their travel, additional equipment, additional accompanying person etc.

EE Estonia (2019)

9.1.1. DIFFERENTIATED ACTIONS TO PROVIDE DISADVANTAGED LEARNERS WITH SUPPORT TAILORED TO THEIR SPECIFIC NEEDS

Actions have been taken in the areas of information, funding and preparation.
Information
At national level (at Foundation Innove), a special position has been created – SEN coordinator, who is responsible for counseling VET schools, parents and students concerning forthcoming questions. As SEN coordinator is in tight contact and cooperates with Foundation Archimedes, sharing the information about mobility programmes is a result. Also, SEN coordinator gathers together teachers and support personnel from VET schools at least twice a year to share best practice which is another way of allocating knowledge about mobility programmes.
Funding
In the context of the Erasmus+ mobility programme, students with special educational needs are a specific target group. In the case of mobility for special education pupils, it is possible to apply for additional support, including support for an accompanying person. According to the rules of the programme, the costs of the accompanying person are covered.
Preparation
According to the specifics of their disability, pupils with special educational needs have a specific preparation for the mobility period. Schools describe their preparation plans for the learner in their application materials. Psychological and professional preparation are the most important aspects of the general preparation process. Practical aid is given by the accompanying person during the whole mobility process.

FI Finland (2019)

9.1.1. DIFFERENTIATED ACTIONS TO PROVIDE DISADVANTAGED LEARNERS WITH SUPPORT TAILORED TO THEIR SPECIFIC NEEDS

Actions were taken in four directions.

1. Information and guidance
Within the framework of the “Internationalisation for all” project of EDUFI, information on best practices for increasing the participation of disadvantaged groups in mobility was collected and disseminated countrywide and is still used. These groups are e.g. students with learning difficulties, with different kinds of mental/physical handicaps, with weak socioeconomic background and also boys as they are underrepresented in mobility. Recipients of this information were the VET providers, which are also the main organisers of VET mobility in Finland and key players in encouraging disadvantaged learners to take part in mobility actions (1). In the Erasmus+ information and training seminars disadvantaged learners in mobility is a regular theme and VET providers are invited also to share good practices with each others.

2. Funding
The Erasmus+ National Agency in EDUFI covers the exceptional costs induced by special needs as an additional part of the Erasmus+ programme financing.

3. Motivation
Within the “Internationalisation for all” project, emphasis was put on highlighting the added value of mobility and increasing the social recognition of mobility, especially for disadvantaged groups. The goal was to increase the awareness of disadvantaged learners of the advantages of going on mobility periods abroad, especially as regards employment and work life skills.

4. Use of multipliers
Young people in Finland today, including disadvantaged groups, follow to a large extent social media such as YouTube and Instagram. Famous YouTube vloggers (video blog) can have as many as 300 000 followers. In 2016 a selected group of vloggers were used as a role model for disadvantaged learners, as they are very well followed by disadvantaged VET students, young boys and the target group in general.
____________
(1) http://www.cimo.fi/palvelut/tutkimus-_ja_selvitystoiminta/valmistuneet_s...

DE Germany (2019)

9.1.1. DIFFERENTIATED ACTIONS TO PROVIDE DISADVANTAGED LEARNERS WITH SUPPORT TAILORED TO THEIR SPECIFIC NEEDS

1. Information and guidance
The Federal Ministry for Labour and Social Affairs (BMAS), the NA at BIBB (National Agency Education for Europe at the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training) and the IBS (Information and Guidance Service for International Mobility in VET) provide disadvantaged learners with support tailored to their specific needs in the context of different European funding programmes. The national benchmark for mobility in VET (1) also includes the participation of disadvantaged learners who have the possibility to undergo a training in the Dual System with different supporting possibilities (2). NA at BIBB as well as IBS also provide services to educational institutions working with disadvantaged people. The objective is to boost the numbers of disadvantaged learners participating in Erasmus+ mobility. For this purpose, the NA gives information and guidance to educational institutions and stakeholders on how they can organize and implement mobility projects for disadvantaged learners. (3) For example, the NA at BIBB organized in 2014 and 2017, two information and networking events for vocational schools. During this event, the NA at BIBB informed about the added value of learning mobility for disadvantaged learners and gave advice about professional implementation of stays abroad for disadvantaged learners (4 ). For the future, it is planned to initiate some cooperation initiatives with welfare organizations which provide Vocational Education and Training for disadvantaged learners. The NA at BIBB and the IBS also spread information for disadvantaged learners via the Internet, publication of best practices, and networks (5).
Also, the NA at BIBB commissioned a study about the impact of learning mobility abroad for disadvantaged learners (6). One objective of this empirical study was to research the best conditions for a successful implementation of mobility project for disadvantaged learners.
With regard to supporting disadvantaged learners in participating in international mobility, an important step in 2018 was that NA at BIBB became member of the Committee for people with disabilities (Ausschuss für Fragen behinderten Menschen, AFbM). This raises the topic to a broader level and allows NA to network more widely. In accordance with § 95 of the Vocational Education and Training Act (Berufsbildungsgesetz), this committee provides advice to the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) concerning all aspects of vocational education and training for people with disabilities.

2.Funding
Possibilities for funding learning mobility of disadvantaged learners are given by the IDA initiative ("Integration through Exchange"), coordinated by the Federal Ministry for Family, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ). It started in October 2008 and was funded by the ESF-programme (European Social Fund) plus 6.3 million euro from the budget of the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. In addition, the project received 3 million Euro from the National Rehabilitation Fund attached to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs. It was the objective of IdA to give 4,000 participants, including 800 persons with a recognized severe disability, an opportunity to improve their occupational prospects. IdA funded projects to increase employment opportunities for disadvantaged young persons and unemployed young adults by promoting transnational exchange and mobility.
IdA ended as an autonomous scheme in 2014 and is now integrated in the new “Integration Directive” (7). Measures under the integration policy are implemented by cooperative networks with the active involvement of enterprises and public administration in tandem with regional public employment services (job centres/employment agencies). This brings about sustainable structural improvements to facilitate access to the labour market for the target groups.
The national service point in Germany “Jugend für Europa” (Youth for Europe), which is responsible for implementing the EU Youth Strategy, published in October 2016 an expert report concerning the results of different programmes, projects and initiatives for funding international mobility experiences for disadvantaged young people. This report has its focus on the youth sector but it also includes employment-related mobility in VET and gives an overview about different funding programmes in the youth sector. This report was published on behalf of the “Bund-Länder AG”, a working group of representatives of the national government and Lander and an important multiplier. This expert report formulates important measures for the future. It makes clear that cross-border offers have to be an integral part of the youth social work in Germany, which also concerns the field of VET.

3. Motivation
NA at BIBB as well as the IBS want to motivate educational organizations to give disadvantaged learners the possibility to learn abroad. For this purpose, they use testimonial stories in order to show the added value of learning mobility for disadvantaged people (8, 9, 10). Individual success stories of disadvantaged learners who stayed abroad are an important part of it. Also, a disadvantaged learner is part of the network “EuroApprentices”. This is a network for apprentices funded by Erasmus+, which motivates other leaners in IVET to participate in international mobility. In this sense, this young apprentice with hearing impairment tries to motivate other disadvantaged learners to live and learn abroad even with disabilities. (11)

4. Use of multipliers
NA at BIBB and IBS use their website to disseminate individual success stories of disadvantaged learners. In these stories, the learners have the opportunity to tell their experience from their point of view. As already mentioned above, a disadvantaged learner with hearing impairment is part of the network “EuroApprentices”.
__________
(1). http://dip21.bundestag.de/dip21/btd/17/109/1710986.pdf
(2). https://www.arbeitsagentur.de/web/content/DE/BuergerinnenUndBuerger/Ausb...
(3). For example, the IBS participate in the network “Jugenti” https://www.dija.de/themen/jugenti/, a network in the field of youth mobility
(4). https://www.na-bibb.de/service/veranstaltungsdokumentationen/erasmus-oef...
(5) https://www.machmehrausdeinerausbildung.de/deine-vorteile/erfahrungsberi...
(6). “Grenzüberschreitende Mobilität bei sozial benachteiligen Jugendlichen in der Berufsbildung - Kompetenzerwerb und besonderer Nutzen der Auslandserfahrung“, 2011. https://www.na-bibb.de/service/publikationen/publikationsdetails/wk/anze...
(7). http://www.esf.de/portal/EN/Funding-period-2014-2020/ESF-Programmes/bmas...
(8). https://www.na-bibb.de/stories/erasmus-berufsbildung/ein-besonderes-aben...
(9). https://www.na-bibb.de/stories/erasmus-berufsbildung/das-hat-mein-leben-...
(10). https://www.na-bibb.de/stories/erasmus-berufsbildung/auch-du-kannst-es-s...
(11). https://www.machmehrausdeinerausbildung.de/deine-vorteile/erfahrungsberi...

LT Lithuania (2019)

9.1.1. DIFFERENTIATED ACTIONS TO PROVIDE DISADVANTAGED LEARNERS WITH SUPPORT TAILORED TO THEIR SPECIFIC NEEDS

Actions have been taken in five dimensions.
Information and guidance
The Erasmus+ National Agency provides information and guidance, including targeted information on Erasmus+ programme for disadvantaged learners, such as, availability of additional funding and good practices from past mobility activities. Information about the possibility for disadvantaged learners to participate in Erasmus+ programme mobility activities is spread out by various means of communication: in the national Erasmus+ programme Facebook account; during information seminars and webinars; and in response to applicants’ inquiries. In 2016 an interactive on-line “Mobility guide” (1) was published which provides information on 4 areas: decision on mobility; preparation for mobility; arrival/accommodation abroad; returning home. The guide’s target audience is all young people who intend to / are currently in / have returned from mobility abroad and it will be promoted also for disadvantaged learners.
The Erasmus+ National Agency prioritises fostering of international mobility of disadvantaged learners and has organised in 2015 a special round table for representatives of VET and HE institutions - among others - to discuss the situation of mobility and the barriers to mobility of disadvantaged learners. In 2016 a deeper analysis of the mobility of disadvantaged learners has been carried out during the on-the-spot monitoring visits and system checks. The main question was about whether VET institutions have strategies for a more active inclusion of such groups of learners in the mobility activities. The purpose was also to give recommendations for information and guidance of such target group. The Erasmus+ National Agency has carried out a mini research in VET institutions in the middle of September 2016 in order to foster involvement of participants with special needs. General recommendations about the possibilities to participate in Erasmus+ programme mobility activities for learners with special needs were prepared and disseminated to VET institutions in 2017. In addition, a deeper analysis of situation about the mobilities of the learners with special needs was carried out during monitoring visits and system cheeks of VET beneficiaries. Additional questions were integrated into report forms. Moreover, information about the possibilities to participate in Erasmus+ programme mobility activities for participants with special needs or fewer opportunities was disseminated in various means of communication. The Erasmus+ National Agency took measures to improve the information and guidance for participation of learners with special needs in awarded KA1 mobility projects. After the research, the promotional postcards in Braille were produced and presented during various events organised by the NA, such as education fairs, information events, etc. Several stories of learners with special needs who have already participated in the mobility activities were posted on the Facebook account of the NA – ErasmusPlius Lietuva. Some stories were highly visible and have reached more than 6K Facebook visitors. Due to these efforts, the percentage of learners with special needs participating in mobility actions increased from 7% in 2014, to 9% in 2017.
The main responsibility for information and guidance regarding learning mobility within Erasmus+ lies with VET institutions. According to the survey of VET and HE institutions about disadvantaged learners’ mobility, VET institutions do provide targeted information for disadvantaged learners on their websites, message boards, during events with target group learners, and through individual meetings. 23 of 26 VET institutions surveyed have designated a person responsible for counselling disadvantaged learners on their mobility issues (provision of information, assistance in organising training process, in solving arising problems, etc.). In some VET institutions learners with special needs are one of the priorities during selection procedure for mobilities.
Funding
In most cases, VET institutions request and receive a support for the accompanying persons for disadvantaged learners. Support to cover exceptional costs related with organisation of Erasmus+ mobility of disadvantaged learners (e.g. working clothes, materials, etc.) is also available to VET institutions.
Motivation
According to the 2016 survey of VET and HE institutions, VET providers have a number of measures to motivate disadvantaged learners to participate in mobility projects. These include counselling and informing the target group and parents about the benefits of international mobility. The most successful measure is the best practice stories told by participants of mobility projects. Successfully employed graduates of VET institutions are encouraged to share their success stories, in which they emphasise the way the mobility experience helped them to successfully establish themselves in the labour market. Several stories of learners with special needs who have already participated in the mobility activities were posted on the Facebook account of the NA – ErasmusPlius Lietuva.
Preparation
The main role in preparing disadvantaged learners for mobility rests on VET institutions. Within the Erasmus+ programme, VET institutions are obligated to prepare learners for the practical, professional and cultural life of the host country. This requirement is established in the documents regulating the Erasmus+ programme procedure, the Erasmus+ programme guide, the Erasmus+ VET mobility quality commitment and grant agreements. Disadvantaged learners receive information about host country and host institution, logistical and linguistic support (foreign language courses, glossaries of professional terms or daily conversation phrases in a host country language), they attend targeted events where persons who already participated in mobility share their experiences and provide advice.
Involving multipliers
VET institutions use the best practice stories of previous participants and accompanying persons to motivate and to prepare disadvantage participants for mobilities. It became a tradition that after the mobility visits abroad, the learners present the seen or acquired experiences (learning methods, organisation of learning, practical training facilities, etc.) to the schools’ communities and stakeholders via open lessons, targeted events, etc. Multipliers not only present their good experience but also answer questions and address concerns from potential mobility participants. Testimonies of mobility participants are published on websites of VET institutions, social media, message boards, schools’ and regional newsletters. Several stories of learners with special needs who have already participated in the mobility activities were posted on the Facebook account of the NA – ErasmusPlius Lietuva..
Seeking to assure the quality of a mobility visit, exceptional attention during the stage of the preparation for a mobility visit is paid to the improvement of social skills of disadvantaged learners, and development of their competences, for example, such as independence and self-confidence. This process also involves psychologists, social workers, special needs teachers.
Testimonies of participants are also published on the Erasmus+ National Agency portal (2) so as to motivate not-yet mobile learners to participate in mobility abroad.
____________
(1) http://www.mobilumogidas.lt.
(2) http://www.erasmus-plius.lt