Development of the Lifelong Learning Concept at the University of Montenegro

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1 Development of the Lifelong Learning Concept at the Background and Aim of the Project Recognition of formal education degrees for the continuation of studies or employment purposes in Montenegro so far, has been performed by the and the Ministry of Education and Sport respectively, with no mechanisms available for addressing recognition of prior learning in order to enable returning adult students to follow additional courses and trainings suitable to their needs and aspirations. Therefore, neither qualifications obtained out of the formal system of education, nor acquired knowledge, skills and competences could have been recognised. On the other hand, growing demands of the constantly changing labour market requires more flexible learning paths and greater adaptability of higher education providers in Montenegro. Moreover, during the past two decades, once strong links between education and industry deteriorated and the project will enable renewing and strengthening those links, through including all stakeholders and strengthening their partnership, and, more concretely, through developing a comprehensive database on graduates, their employment rate, as well as identifying profiles lacking at the labour market. Development of the Lifelong Learning Concept at the project will be implemented in the period from October 2010 to October Its broad aim is to improve learning opportunities in Montenegrin society at large and achieving higher employability. This will be achieved through the development of LLL university strategy with the aim to enable wider access to higher education, incorporate non-formal and informal education into the overarching national qualification framework and enhance partnerships with relevant social partners. Some of the main project activities will be: Title Development of the Lifelong Learning Concept at the Project Type Structural Measures Higher Education and Society Coordinator Partner World University Service AT Katholieke Universiteit Leuven (K.U. Leuven) BE University of Aarhus DK University of Alicante ES Center for Vocational Education Chamber of Economy of Montenegro Employment Agency of Montenegro Ministry of Education and Science Project Number TEMPUS XM-TEMPUS-SMHES EU Grant ,72 Euro Contact Mladenka Tesic World University Service Austria Cetinjska br. 2, Podgorica 1

2 development of legislative framework for the introduction of LLL concept cooperation with enterprises in view of LLL concept and improvement of universityenterprise cooperation improvement of learning opportunities and introduction o flexible learning paths for adults improvement of connections between stakeholders in order to enable vertical and horizontal access to education establishment of the basis for introducing procedures for validation of non-formal and informal learning implementation of comprehensive dissemination and awareness raising campaign on LLL concept in Montenegrin society at large The project is coordinated by the University of Montenegro with the University of Leuven, University of Alicante, University of Aarhus and WUS Austria as EU partners, and the Ministry of Education and Sport, Chamber of Economy of Montenegro, the Employment Agency of Montenegro and Centre for Vocational Education as its local partners. The Coordinating Institution and the Partners is the only one public university in the country founded in 1974 with the average number of students about It enroles more than two third of the Montenegrin high school students on the 76 study programmes at the 17 faculties. The educational process at the university is designed according to the Bologna principles in all three cycles according to the scheme. The Bologna process has been fully operational at the University from All of the aspects dealing with the ECTS, diploma supplement, academic recognition, computerised follow up of students progress etc have been already implemented. Two first cycles are also fully operational on all the 17 faculties, while third cycle is operational at the half of the faculties. with its staff has been active in most of the EU funded programmes recently, with more than 30 TEMPUS projects, about 10 FP7 projects dominantly dealing with the CSA funding scheme under the umbrella of REGPOTs, mobility schemes within FP7 like Marie Curie scheme, as well as CEEPUS scheme and ERASMUS MUNDUS and ERASMUS MUNDUS External Cooperation Window programmes. With its experience in educational process as well as scientific and research activities it can provide great support in the project. One of the strategic objectives of the University of Montenegro is also creating a strong and fruitful environment for academia-industry cooperation, especially by fostering entrepreneurship in the areas which are earmarked as strategically important in the country s development. The University of Leuven is a modern university that offers a rich research and learning environment, rooted in a solid tradition, with its sights set on the future. Research is conducted in various scientific disciplines, based on fundamental, applied, clinical, and policy-oriented research. K.U.Leuven is a richly varied community of people, with diverse interests, missions, nationalities, and expertise,with idea of its students becoming independent and critical thinkers. Within a total student population of 36,000, it counts about 4,500 international students, on all levels of study. Most international students participate in international master programmes (70 programmes available in English) or in doctoral studies. The University obtained the ECTS label in All exchanges that take place, (650 outgoing and 750 incoming Erasmus students on a yearly basis, plus some 150 exchange students from university based programmes and projects) are supported by learning agreements and ECTS. Taking into consideration all the activities and experience in the field of education, LLL, international cooperation, as well as its tradition and reputation, the contribution of 2

3 the Katholieke Universiteit Leuven to the project will be significant in the respects of provision of expertise, exchange of knowledge and good practice in more than one aspects of the project. The University of Alicante offers over fifty degree courses and is home to more than 30,000 students with departments and research units in Social and Legal Sciences, Experimental Sciences, Technological Sciences, Human Sciences, Education and Health Sciences. The university is also host to five Research Centres in the fields of Water, Environment, Geographical Analysis, International Economy and has an annual budget of around 140 million euros. Moreover, it is considered a point of reference for a large number of firms to which the University of Alicante provides technical assistance, technology transfer, student training programmes, post-graduate studies and continuous training. It is also an appreciated reference point for international relations. The University owns an Industrial experimentation Area and provides a range of research services such as Pilots Plants, Laboratories, Data Process Centre, Advanced Information and Documentation Systems, European Data Centre, Science Park, Employment Advisory Office, Business Training Area, Transfer of Research Results Office, and a Mediterranean European Link Centre. The UA Centre for Continuing Education was established in 1998 and its initial focus was on Continuing Professional Development Programmes. In the early 2000s an Adult Education Unit was established and the Centre has subsequently developed as a significant educational provider in Alicante region. The Centre is now in the process of consolidating its position as a local education provider whilst also re-organising and re-positioning itself in order to become the leader in development of Lifelong Learning regionally, nationally and internationally. In addition, the University of Alicante has broad experience in the conception and implementation of EU-funded projects. The University of Aarhus will be in charge of transferring their knowledge, expertise and experience in developing of LLL framework in Montenegro. Since the academic representatives from The Danish School of Education in Copenhagen have had a large experience in this field, their role and their experience in developing LLL modules and courses would be of crucial importance. The University of Aarhus has about 34,000 students and 9,000 staff. The University of Aarhus offers continuing education programmes aimed at developing qualifications that meet the needs of the science community as well as public and private companies. The Danish School of Education was established on 1 June 2007 by the merger of the Danish University of Education and the University of Aarhus. The school employs approximately 200 researchers in permanent positions and a total of 400 permanent staff. Approximately 4,000 students are enrolled in programmes, making the Danish School of Education the largest university school in Europe within its field. The school established an education and research network on Lifelong Learning. The network consists of nine European and nine Asian universities and has been named the ASIA-EUROPE Education and Research Hub for Lifelong Learning. WUS Austria is an association committed to the promotion of the human right to education on the basis of academic freedom and university autonomy, organized as a loose federation of more than forty independent country committees presently chaired by WUS Canada. Since its establishment, it has been working on the promotion of higher education in various countries all over the world. Since 1994, following the conflict in former Yugoslavia, WUS Austria has developed a regional focus on South Eastern Europe (SEE). WUS Austria implements its activities mainly in Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, Montenegro and Serbia. Through its continuing efforts in the field of higher education in SEE, WUS Austria 3

4 has been playing an integral part in the reconstruction and advancement process of higher education in the region, focusing on four core areas: Higher Education Development, Linking Higher Education & Economy, Arts & Culture and Higher Education & Human Rights. WUS Austria - office in Podgorica, has significant experience in the field of higher education in Montenegro, thanks to its activities and projects that have been carried out so far. Apart from having the in-depth knowledge and experience with the academic community in Montenegro in general, which will add to their role in the project in general, their specific expertise will be especially emphasized in the process of improvement of learning opportunities, since their experience from the `Labour Market Oriented Curriculum Program` - LMOCP will be utilized and of great importance for adaptation and creation of market oriented modules, aimed at adult learners. Ministry of Education and Sport is responsible for the creation of overall education policy, mainly dealing with implementation. Ministry coordinated all laws and by-laws in the field of education, law on national vocational qualifications which introduces the recognition of prior learning in the law. Ministry is coordinating working group on NQF and will be the main actor in the creation of related law. Ministry plays coordinating role in implementing the legislation. It is also in charge of the recognition of foreign education diplomas for the purposes of employment, as well as for development of the related legislation. Ministry will be pro active partner in the promotion of LLL concept at university level, thus giving example to other segments of society, striving to broader the impact of university strategy to all other education levels. Ministry will actively participate in the working group that will work on the legislative framework for the LLL concept at university level, and also to the establishment of procedure for recognition of non-formal and informal education, enabling access to higher education. Chamber of Economy of Montenegro - CEM is an independent association that gathers business organisations, financial institutions, insurance companies, entrepreneurs and other groups performing economic activities in Montenegro. CEM works together with the Government on implementing reform processes in economy, encouraging entrepreneurship and providing education to staff in industry sector. It plays a significant role in the reform of overall education in Montenegro. CEM is one of the founders of the Centre for Vocational Education. CEM delegates representatives in Managing Board of VET Centre, Council for Vocational Education, Council for Adults Education, Council for Higher Education, Managing Board of Employment Agency, VET School Boards, various state working groups in the process of accession to EU. CEM would have proactive role establishing stronger connections with the labour market, facilitating communication with enterprises and making analysis of labour market needs. Given the fact they have experience in implementing education and training activities for business sector, they would give significant contribution to further promotion of LLL concept, which, up to now, has been mostly promoted up to the university level. Due to their strong connections with relevant stakeholders, they will play a role in collecting data on training needs for specific enterprises. In accordance with that, the University will be able to make its offer and design courses, involving those enterprises and CEM. Centre for Vocational Education is dealing with issues in the field of vocational education and adults training (consulting, research surveys, professional areas of work). The Center is established based on principle of social partnership, and its founders are: Government, Chamber of Commerce, Trade Union and Employment Agency. Its specific tasks are to deal with the research and 4

5 development of system of adults education, work on education programmes of adults education, preparation of the most important documents in the field of adults education, promotion of life long learning concept etc. The experience of the Center for Vocational Education, Department of Adults Education would be very important in the creation of university strategy for life long learning, since they are already experienced in LLL concept at the level of secondary education. This institution took active part in the creation of the law of national vocational qualifications, and is also active member in the working group on national qualifications framework. The Employment Agency of Montenegro while also dealing with the prevention of longterm unemploment. The EAM also monitors and analyses current trends in labour demand. The EAM will have a significant role in the project, as a direct provider of the insight into the current situation at the Montenegrin labour market. It will provide necessary links between the university, employers and work force. Implemented Activities so far 9-10 December 2010, Kick-off meeting at the Februuary 2011, study visit to K.U. Leuven is, among its main functions, in charge of organising the preparation for employment, which is taking place particularly through participation in development and delivery of education/training programmes, for the purpose of matching demand and supply in the labour market. In addition to that, the EAM takes part in the development of special programmmes to combat the increase of unemployment or to reduce registered or potential unemployment, 5

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