The Lifelong Learning Programme is drawing to a close; over the last 7 years it has funded countless organisations and individuals. Throughout the year, we are still funding opportunities through Grundtvig and Transversal: In-Service Training, Visits & Exchanges and Study Visits.
Breaking the ice
These three opportunities have their similarities: they all fund individuals to develop skills and exchange expertise with their peers. If you have recently been successful with your application, or are due to go on your Mobility shortly, there are things that you can do to ensure you are prepared and make the most out of your experience. For example, Alison Walton-Robson of Headway Arts, before attending her In-Service Training course in Italy, not only read the required reading provided by the host organisation but also:
On my own initiative I looked at travel guides of the Bologna region. I also used iPad apps and other online language preparation/research such as ‘Easy Italian’, I wanted to be able to speak basic sentences.
Our opportunities are not only about enhancing your CV they are also the chance to add a European element to your training. Basic cultural preparation can make the difference in those first few minutes of meeting your host and fellow participants. At our Transversal Briefing Seminars one of our top tips is to find out about the group: Read the rest of this entry »
Our funding opportunities cover a range of sectors; at the heart of all of them is learning. Learning, improving and developing skills are important not just to us as individuals but to our local, national, and transnational communities.
Whichever opportunity you are involved in, whether it is a Transfer of Innovation project, a Senior Volunteering project, or a Study Visit, you are either developing your own skills or working to improve those of learners and staff involved. Skills development is a key priority across Europe. The hope is that improving skills will help to increase employability and remove barriers to the labour market while stimulating economic growth. Co-operation has been highlighted by the European Commission in their Rethinking Education strategy as a path to address the skills gap while providing the innovation needed to boost the labour market.
Co-operation to enhance education
Many of our projects have already forged strong partnerships between academia and business as well as across regions and countries. As part of our Changing Lives series we spoke to one such organisation, Embrace Cooperation, about how they work to enhance education and training: Read the rest of this entry »
Recently Ecorys and the British Council celebrated the impact and success of the organisations and individuals that we fund through two events: our Valorisation Conference and the award ceremony for our Your Story competition. These events are our chance to meet you in person and to hear your stories. The entries we received for our Your Story competition, and the presentations at our Valorisation Conference, were all inspiring, motivating and engaging and highlight how our funding helps to broaden horizons. Spending time with our projects and hearing, in detail, the work that you have done really makes us proud to be part of the Lifelong Learning Programme.
At our Valorisation Conference we had the chance to speak to the Doncaster Deaf Trust who have been involved in several Leonardo projects that support deaf and hearing impaired learners in vocational education and training. Together, with their partners, they have worked on a Transfer of Innovation project called ‘Spread the Sign‘ which has developed a website with over 70,000 signs in 14 different sign languages, making it an ideal tool for vocational learners preparing to study or work abroad.
The Trust have used this tool to help as part of one of their other Leonardo Mobility projects, helping to prepare young deaf learners for their work placements in specialist deaf schools and colleges in Sweden, Germany and the Czech Republic. This experience has helped the students involved to secure employment and successfully transfer their skills into the labour market. Read the rest of this entry »
Throughout the years, the Transversal Study Visits programme has offered participants the opportunity to gain expertise, share best practice and increase their professional networks in another European country. Alternatively, it has allowed organisations to apply for funding to host a Study Visit in their home country.
The programme is open to participants who are a national of, or employed in, one of the countries participating in the Lifelong Learning Programme (27 EU Member States + the EFTA countries and candidate countries).
From busy cities such as Rome and Barcelona to more remote places such as Ordu on the Turkish coast and Leirvik an island municipality in Norway; our UK participants have been exploring different skills and practices in a range of different countries. Whereas some UK participants find it pretty straight forward to plan their direct flights to their Study Visit destination, one learner, Chris Williams chose to travel further afield…
Last month we launched the Lifelong Learning Programme and Youth in Action competition.
This is your chance to tell us and others ‘Your Story’ and share what involvement in these programmes has meant to you, your participants or your organisation.
It’s easy to enter . You can submit a story, portfolio of photos or a film through the competition website at www.competition.lifelonglearningprogramme.org.uk
With prizes of up to £250 in Amazon vouchers and the chance to see your stories in print and online, it’s a great opportunity to share your experience with others.
Get involved today and start thinking of how you can create a winning entry. The competition is open until 28 September 2012.
At the last Thematic Networking Event in Belfast, Thematic Networking Group (TNG) 2 discussed the findings of the Briefing Paper exploring how the LLP supports Continuous Professional Development (CPD) in the Further Education (FE) sector. TNG 2 members, including the chair of the group, Faye Hindle-Lewis, and myself did not expect to learn that every year the Leonardo, Grundtvig and Transversal programmes fund around three years of CPD time for FE staff across the UK! Read the rest of this entry »
Have you recently been on a Transversal Study Visit? We’d love to hear about your experience and also find out what hints and tips you’d share with future participants.
Leave us a comment below or tweet @llpUKecorys using the hash tag #studyvisit
We’ll embed your tweets here too…
16 February 2012: Sharon Thompson, Cohesive Consultancy (Study Visit to the Netherlands)
@llpUKecorys Netherlands study visit was brilliant! Fantastic group we all got on famously, great host and projects!
— Sharon Thompson (@SThompson_JP) February 16, 2012
As Project Manager for the Transversal programme, Ieva Mais speaks to hundreds of Study Visits applicants every year. However, with workloads being what they are, she’s never actually been on a visit herself… until now.
Ieva spent a week on a Study Visit in Nottingham on the theme of improving continuous professional development within vocational education and training. The event was hosted by EMFEC (East Midlands Further Education Council), a membership body which provides advice and support to the further education sector. Helpfully she wrote everything down to give you a full account of her experience. I hope this gives you an idea of what to expect, should you decide to attend or host a Study Visit yourself!
Transversal Study Visits are aimed at senior education and training professionals (so anyone involved in senior management positions or in the design or planning of learning provision).
Mark Slade, from the Cayman Islands Further Education Centre, has written a guest blog post about his experience of his 2011 Transversal Study Visit. The visit made such an impact on Mark that he is now looking to host a Study Visit to benefit future participants as well as the Further Education Centre.
European and global dimensions in education
In April 2011 I was part of Group 161 and travelled to Slovenia to attend a course called “European and global dimensions in education”. The event was professionally organised and included many activities such as lesson observations, visits to a schools and colleges and the Ministry of Education. There were delegates from across Europe; Romania, Turkey, Germany, Italy, Latvia, Bulgaria and Lithuania. Read the rest of this entry »
Education and vocational training organisations in the UK can host visitors from Europe and run a programme of activities around a shared interest or topic as part of the Transversal programme. It is an opportunity for UK hosts to present their work and best practice for European visitors to take back and implement in their own local area.
Lincoln Christ’s Hospital School is one of the UK organisations who hosted a Transversal Study Visit in 2010. The Study Visit centred on the theme of ‘Every Child Matters’ which is at the centre of planning and delivery for schools and institutions in Lincoln, and the UK as a whole. The School is a comprehensive with a commitment to helping all of its pupils regardless of their background. Read the rest of this entry »