The Acquisition of Integrated Qualifications for Professional Work and Study -
An Assessment of Innovative Approaches in Seven  European Countries

 LEONARDO Survey and Analysis (S&A) project (strand III.2.a)

Partnership  CEREQ Marseilles + HIAK Oslo + ibw Vienna + ISB Munich + ITB Bremen + SCO-KI Amsterdam + Stockholm Institute of Education + University of Surrey/Warwick + WIFO Berlin
Project Coordinator: WIFO/ Sabine Manning
Duration: December 1995 to November 1997  
Support: European Commission (Contract No: D/95/1/217/S/III.2.a/FPI) 
Cooperation: LEONARDO S&A project POST-16 STRATEGIES
Aim One of the basic issues in vocational education and training in EU countries is how to increase the attractiveness and status of initial vocational education and training. 
One approach initiated in a number of countries is to provide the  option for train-ees or students of vocational courses to acquire qualifications for university access alongside their vocational qualifications. The resulting qualification has a dual orientation towards both skilled work/employment and studies/higher edu-cation (DUAL QUALIFICATION). 
The aim of the project is to analyse the potential impact of SCHEMES of DUAL QUALIFICATIONS offered in seven European countries. These schemes include 
  • vocational programmes or streams within the comprehensive school systems of Norway and Sweden;
  • individual qualifications, e.g. the Vocational Baccalauréat (Bac Pro) in France, the General National Vocational Qualification (GNVQ) in England, the long courses in senior secondary vocational education (MBO) in the Netherlands and the WIFI Academy courses in Austria;

  • pilot projects within the established sys-tems of vocational education and training in Germany (Bavaria and Brandenburg).
Research Design In a FIRST PHASE, a comparative analysis of the schemes is carried out based on national case studies. This is achieved on the basis of detailed research ques-tions: 
    Þ the national framework of economic, social and educational change; 
    Þ the major features of the scheme; 
    Þ the educational concepts underlying the scheme; 
    Þ the organisational implications of the scheme; 
    Þ the impact of the scheme.
In order to identify the degree of integration of general and vocational education within the schemes, two dimensions are distinguished: the relationship of education and training to skilled work, and the relationship of general education to vocational training. A comparative analysis using indicators allows for tentative conclusions to be drawn on the character of the schemes. 

In a SECOND PHASE, TOPICS are selected for carrying out collaborative investigations of the schemes across groups of countries. These TOPICS centre on 

  • integrative learning processes (Germany/Brandenburg, Norway, Sweden)
This study focuses on the question: What methods generate conditions for students to develop integrated qualifications? 
At the classroom or workshop level the partners look into how teachers organise the learning conditions, both between and within subjects. One important learning approach expected to generate integrated competencies centres on task-, problem- and project-based methods. 
Research methods applied include observation, interviews, questionnaires and matching different models of organisation and tuition. 
  • synoptic assessment  (England; France, Norway)
Synoptic assessment is devoted to testing candidates' accumulated understanding of a subject (the vocational area) as a whole. This study is related mainly to GNVQ in England, although experience and views from the other two countries are also offered for discussion. The issue is of active policy interest, since the intention is to introduce an element of synoptic assessment into GNVQ in the future. 
  • skills for higher education (England, the Netherlands)
The researchers draw their findings from their own investigations together with sec-ondary analysis of research on the knowledge, skills and personal qualities required for success in higher education. The concern is how to increase prospects of progression to higher education while also maintaining an orientation towards the labour market as a fun-damental aspect of a qualification with a dual orientation. 
  • tracing career developments (Austria, France, Germany/Bavaria)
One focal point of this investigation will be to assess the percentage of graduates entering industry-related jobs as against those choosing to pursue university studies. 
The evaluation will draw on results stemming from research data compiled in the states in question, including Individual personal data and evaluations following completion of dual-qualifying education, and data on the educational measures involved.
Interim Findings The evidence implies that the various ways of combining general and vocational education are fairly independent of categories of courses or easily adaptable to the different options. This would suggest that there is consider-able opportunity for the exchange and transfer of experience across schemes and national systems. 
It is also apparent that the schemes of dual qualification apply to and indeed create both innovative course structures or curricula and the varying didactic approaches, all of which are of significance for the qualitative advance of vocational education and training.
Dissemination  A transfer of ideas between researchers, politicians and practitioners is achieved by carrying out interviews with experts/politicians in preparing the national case studies, by focusing questionnaires on students/ graduates of the schemes, by presenting interim findings at workshops with politicians and practitioners, by setting out conclusions for each partner country and by publishing the results in a variety of media.
Publications Manning, Sabine (Ed.): Qualifications with a dual orientation towards employment and higher education: a comparative investigation of innovative schemes in seven European countries. INTEQUAL Report I . Berlin: Wissenschaftsforum Bildung und Gesellschaft e.V. (WIFO). November 1996 (99 pp) 
ISBN 3-929869-08-X
Price DM 15.- (plus postage)

Manning, Sabine (Ed.): Qualifications with a dual orientation towards employment and higher education: a collaborative investigation of selected issues in seven European countries. INTEQUAL Report II . Berlin: Wissenschaftsforum Bildung und Gesellschaft e.V. (WIFO). November 1997 (238 pp) 
ISBN 3-929869-09-8
Price DM 25.- (plus postage)

Brown, Alan & Manning, Sabine (Eds.) (1998). Qualifications for employment and higher education: a collaborative investigation across Europe. Hämeenlinna: University of Tampere (Ammattikasvatussarja; 18).
ISBN 951-44-4354-3

You are welcome to ask for more Information   

Participants Göran Arman, Tor Bergli, Rainer Bremer, Alan Brown, Henri Eckert, Egil Froyland, Robert Höghielm, Edith Jonke-Hauptmann, Gerald Heidegger, Jean-Louis Kirsch, Werner Kusch, Lillian Larsen, Owe Liljefelt, Sabine Manning, Trudy Moerkamp, Monika Thum-Kraft, Eva Voncken
 Latest update: 19/07/1998
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