AULA is the most important annual global appointment, held in Spain, related to education and training, and the only one promoted by the Ministry of Education and Culture and Sport. In 2013, it was held in February in Madrid. It coincided with the vocational training olympics, WORLDSKILLS SPAIN 2013, the tertiary education studies fair, foro de Postgrado, the international educational equipment show, INTERDIDAC, and the international congress of educational marketing, EDUKETING. Together, these events shaped the first education week in Spain.

AULA brought together a wide diversity of learners as well as parents, grandparents and teachers accompanying their students, trainers and school counsellors looking for or providing information. The official institutional stands, universities and VET providers were filled to the brim. Higher education institutions, language studies and vocational training centres were brought together along with services dedicated to volunteering, and mobility within and outside Europe such as EURES.

Leading universities and business schools presented 1 422 master and doctorate degrees in the postgraduate forum. ICT and new technologies used in schools were presented at INTERDIDAC, along with other equipment for schools and facilities services centres, school activities and educational resources. EDUKETING was organised by the General Council of Educator Associations and Psychologists and the Institute for Educational Quality, ICP. This year the meeting revolved around implementation of a marketing plan by education providers.

The National Institute of Qualifications, INCUAL, as part of the team of the Directorate General for VET at the stand of the Ministry of Education and Culture and Sport, answered questions mainly related to work-experience and skills recognition procedures. In terms of occupations and professional profiles, people were interested in circus, automotive, personal image and renewable energies. The public was from different nationalities, but most were Spanish from Madrid and the nearest cities.

The fair had important social media coverage (@Aula, @Worldskills and Graduate Forum on Facebook and Twitter). Countries whose institutions were present this year, were Australia, Belgium, Canada, France, Germany, Portugal, Switzerland and the United States. China and Russia doubled the number of participants interested in their studying and employment opportunities.

The national Worldskills competition took place for the 34th time. It is an initiative implemented by the Ministry of Education and Culture and Sports. This constitutes a strong commitment to the promotion of VET in Spain. A total of 272 learners, from the 17 autonomous communities and autonomous cities of Ceuta and Melilla, tested their skills in 32 professional disciplines. ‘It shows the variety and richness of disciplines, but it is just a taste of all the VET programmes we have in the country and it clearly shows the orientation of this training to workplace and jobs’, said the Director General of Vocational Training, D. Miguel Angel Casas.

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