1995, the European Union has executed European level training policy in
the form of the Leonardo da Vinci programme. The first stage of the
programme was carried out from 1995 through to 1999. The second stage commenced
on 2000 and will continue until the end of the year 2006. The objective
of the programme is to develop vocational training in cooperation
between training organisations and working life. Tools used to reach this
goal are development projects and mobility measures. In Finland, the
programme runs under the administration of the Leonardo Centre situated
under the National Board of Education, and the Leonardo Unit of the CIMO
(Center for International Mobility).
Finnish Ministry for Education ordered two evaluations of the programme:
a retrospective evaluation of the development projects during the first
stage, and an interim evaluation of the second stage of the programme.
These evaluations were carried out by the senior researcher Seija Mahlamäki-Kultanen
of the University of Tampere's Research Centre for Vocational Education.
The results of the retrospective evaluation supported the interim evaluation
of the second stage of the programme, and they both add to the overall
picture of what effects the Leonardo da Vinci programme has had in
objective of the retrospective evaluation of the development projects during
the first stage was to answer the following questions: What kind of long
term effects have the projects and their products had, and how have these
results been utilised after the projects have ended? What kind of impact
has the projects had on new skills and employability? Does the programme
have an impact on educational practices or policies? How has the level
of international cooperation of the target group changed, and what is its
status at the moment? How well does the programme suit the needs
of the target group? How can an international programme, especially
within the European Union, affect the development of vocational education
and training? What are the additional values brought along by the European
Union? Could it be possible to manage these operations on a national level,
total finances directed towards the development projects in Finland during
1995 to 1999 were 11,070,119€. Both the contents, the coordinators
and the objectives of the 65 different LdV development projects contracted
by Finnish organisations during the first programme period varied
greatly. Thus, the material for the evaluation was collected using open,
qualitative methods through questionnaires, interviews and data research,
aiming to find different forms and degrees of impact. Replies were received
from 56 projects, representing 86 % of the projects. The report presents
short summaries of the projects, their updated contact information, description
of what kind of impact they had during their implementation period as well
as today, and an estimate of the scale of the project's impact.
results indicate that the impact of a typical development project during
its running phase was either very big or big, and continues to remain so.
The most essential factor influencing the long-term impact of the project
seems to be the simple fact that the objective of the project has to be
both meaningful and important to the target group. This is far more important
than the apparently innovative character of the project.