Aims of the project
The main aim of the VINCE project, which will start in December 2016, is to train professionals to make the necessary adaptations to existing practice of validation of non-formal and informal learning, so that they will effectively meet the needs of refugees and newly arrived migrants. There are 3 particular features which need to be reviewed and adapted:
The first of these relates to documentation: practice to date has been able to use documentation of formal qualifications, of relevant work experience and various forms of informal learning as a tool for constructing some form of portfolio of evidence of learning for the assessment process; and such documentation even if not immediately available, has always been relatively easy to obtain. However, it is unlikely that refugees and newly arrived immigrants will have such documentation and even more unlikely, especially if they come from war and conflict zones, that they will be able to obtain it, so alternative strategies will have to be developed.
The second feature is that VNIL current practice has focussed on non-traditional learners of the country in which the HEI is located, therefore although the candidates often need additional support to familiarise themselves with the procedures and expectations of HE they usually have an understanding of the national culture. In this respect newcomers will be additionally disadvantaged by a lack of familiarity with Europe in general, with the host country, and with the procedures, expectations and language/terminology of HE. Additional advice, guidance, access/induction and language support will therefore be needed.
Thirdly, the overall approach, including bureaucratic, linguist and psychological support, may need further adaptation to meet the specific needs of refugees and new migrants, often from conflict zones and difficult personal and family circumstances.
The project will develop four major outcomes:
- A set of Guidelines, comprising introductions to EU higher education, participating higher education institutions as well as validation schemes and procedures in place.
- A training course and tools for the validation professionals working with newly arrived migrants and refugees, following the 4 stages of validation set out in the CEDEFOP guidelines.
- A set of policy recommendations targeting at EU/national decision makers and higher education institutions to bring about an efficient validation system which takes into account newly arrived migrants and refugees’ situation and needs, improving their chances to enter the labour force
or continue their studies in their host country.
- An interactive platform, which will encourage validation professionals to share knowledge and experience and, exchange with other professionals.
The VINCE project partnership is composed of 13 partners, comprising different types of organisations from various sectors: Higher education institutions, VET providers, NGOs, Associations/European-wide networks and an independent Quality Assurance Agency under a Ministry of Education and Research. The project is coordinated by EUCEN, the European Network of Higher Education Institutions.
VINCE has been awarded for funding in the framework of the Erasmus+ programme of the European Union (KA3 | Initiatives for policy innovation - Social inclusion through education, training and youth).