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Model on Network building to support international activities in VETPartnership project call 2008The Dutch Alliance, The N...
Index1.    Introduction .....................................................................................................
1. IntroductionThe partnership between The Dutch Alliance from the Netherlands, HETEL from the Basque Country in Spain and...
2. National Network for international cooperation / activities             2a    Value of participation in a national Netw...
5. Strategy   An experienced network can support each other to develop and improve policy plans for internationalisation. ...
Starting Network 6 5 4 3 2 1 0     European policy   Partner database   Mobility students Staff Development   Cooperation ...
Average Network 6 5 4 3 2 1 0     European policy   Partner database   Mobility students Staff Development   Cooperation I...
Well Experienced Network 6 5 4 3 2 1 0     European policy   Partner database   Mobility students Staff Development   Coop...
“The             Possible activities for a              Possible activities for an average   Possible activities for a wel...
each others organisation ( beyond the basic                                                                               ...
Be a partner in a project            successful student mobilityStaff            Showing the way to others,           Desc...
Disseminatio     Raise awareness concerning             Produce magazines, website issues     Develop a dissemination stra...
2c    Recommendations for conditions and structureAll 3 networks in this partnership have a variety of experience in worki...
2. CommunicationRegular meetings should be held in person and telephonically every 6 weeks to 2 months. Also e-communicati...
3. International Network of NetworksThe partners reflected on their experience within this partnership and concluded on th...
•   an international network provides a platform to exchange ideas, policies, activities   •   it makes it easy to find pr...
3b    Recommended activities for an international Network of Networks   •   long term cooperation in mobility for staff an...
3c   SuggestionsSuggestions for the way of working together and the communication between the networks   •   building up t...
4. Final remarksDuring our two years of cooperation we have grown as an international network. The partners have proven th...
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En model on network building to support international actiivities in vet

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En model on network building to support international actiivities in vet

  1. 1. Model on Network building to support international activities in VETPartnership project call 2008The Dutch Alliance, The NetherlandsHETEL, Basque Country, SpainSalpaus for Finnet, Finland
  2. 2. Index1. Introduction ................................................................................................................................................................................. 32. National Network for international cooperation / activities ..................................................................................................... 4 2a Value of participation in a national Network .................................................................................................................................... 4 2b Key issues, relevance and possible activities................................................................................................................................. 5 2c Recommendations for conditions and structure .......................................................................................................................... 13 2d Recommendations for communication ........................................................................................................................................... 133. International Network of Networks .......................................................................................................................................... 15 3a Benefits of an international Network of Networks ....................................................................................................................... 15 3b Recommended activities for an international Network of Networks ....................................................................................... 17 3c Suggestions ............................................................................................................................................................................................ 184. Final remarks ............................................................................................................................................................................. 19Product of partnership project: 2Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  3. 3. 1. IntroductionThe partnership between The Dutch Alliance from the Netherlands, HETEL from the Basque Country in Spain and FINN NET from Finland wasbased on three Networks with broad experience in international activities, but functioning in different ways in their own country. Together weformed an international Network of Networks to investigate the best way to build a national network to support international activitiesThe objective of the partnership was to improve the quality of the international activities of VET schools by means of: • establishing a strategic cooperation between the three national / regional Networks • focusing on 8 fields of strategic cooperation that are key-issues when promoting international activities • presenting best practices, test them and select the best • describing the results in a model: “Model on Network building to support international activities in VET schools”This Network of Networks has had the opportunity to explore during two years the advantages and the disadvantages of national networks andsuch a complex network as an international Network of Networks. Now we can present to you our “Model on Network building to supportinternational activities in VET” and we hope that others can benefit from our experiences.Furthermore we developed ideas on the cooperation of national Networks within an international Network.We can now draw conclusions out of our experiences. Based on them we will describe in this Model key-issues that are relevant andmeaningful for a successful national / regional network that aims to promote international activities in VET schools. We also will giverecommendations for the conditions and structure for a successful national or regional network and for the communication within such anetwork.Furthermore the partners reflected on their experience within this partnership and concluded on the added value of a national networkparticipating in an international Network of Networks.Product of partnership project: 3Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  4. 4. 2. National Network for international cooperation / activities 2a Value of participation in a national NetworkRegarding the value of participating in a national network the following has been concluded: 1. It facilitates the international operational work Network members can share information and ideas. Partners can help each other to find: partners, work placements and funding possibilities for international activities. Expertise in individual schools can be transmitted to the other partners. In a network programmes for incoming visits can be a shared responsibility and conferences can be attended, on behalf of the network, by representatives of the group. A national Network increases the prospect of further and future cooperation and helps to strengthen bonds. 2. Higher efficiency As information can be gathered by some members there is no need for everybody to do the same work. Roles and tasks and responsibilities can be shared which will lead to synergy and efficiency. 3. Growth of the individual schools The network can take care of training of the people involved in international work by inviting experts to discuss themes and organizing workshops. Promotion activities within the colleges can be copied and further elaborated. Together increased tolerance of difference and acceptance can be promoted. The strength and ideas of the network can influence partner institutions. 4. Good Public Relations The network as promoter of internationalisation presents itself as a reliable and strong international partner to the National Agency. As a consequence the individual schools will be considered professional partners in internationalisation. Reputation and appreciation among national colleges generate prestige and good publicity for the network and the member schools.Product of partnership project: 4Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  5. 5. 5. Strategy An experienced network can support each other to develop and improve policy plans for internationalisation. An experienced network has more power and added value considering national decision making. Awareness of each partner’s strengths and abilities can be used for common goals. Networks can fill the gap between policy making level and the practical implementation level. 6. Quality In a network schools can stimulate each other to benchmark towards improvement. 7. Strength and influence As a member of a network you are much stronger than alone 2b Key issues, relevance and possible activitiesAt the start of the partnership we stated that 8 Key issues were success-factors when promoting international activities in VET.Looking back after presenting best practices and testing examples we can draw conclusions which of these Key issues are meaningful for aNetwork. We distinguish 3 types/ stages of development in a network: Starting / Average / Well-experienced.The following scores show our view on the relevance of the Key issue, on a scale of 1-5Product of partnership project: 5Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  6. 6. Starting Network 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 European policy Partner database Mobility students Staff Development Cooperation In Dissemination Of Preferred Country based innovation projects partnership PolicyProduct of partnership project: 6Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  7. 7. Average Network 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 European policy Partner database Mobility students Staff Development Cooperation In Dissemination Of Preferred Country based innovation projects partnership PolicyProduct of partnership project: 7Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  8. 8. Well Experienced Network 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 European policy Partner database Mobility students Staff Development Cooperation In Dissemination Of Preferred Country based innovation projects partnership PolicyWe made an inventory of suggestions on possible activities a network could undertake regarding each Key issue. In the examples it is shown,reading from left to right, how activities develop when the networks develops from “starting” to “well-experienced”.Product of partnership project: 8Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  9. 9. “The Possible activities for a Possible activities for an average Possible activities for a well-experiencedfollowing starting Network Network NetworkKey issuesaresuccess-factorswhenpromotinginternationalactivities inVET”European Follow a training by experts of Attend general meetings with Attend European meetingspolicy National Agency (NA) National Agency (NA) Read information package of NA Follow the developments of Contribute to discussions and make and info from other partners European policies improvement suggestions Information on European Follow and read the European Discuss European development as EQF, programmes for measures and programmes ECVET and the influence on colleges internationalisation will be a basis for discussionPartner Attend general presentations and Develop and collect fact sheets Maintain and update fact sheetsdatabase face to face meetings Build up a network of partners Working method of partner data The maintaining of the database is part of and collect basic data base should work effectively and secretarial work can be improved by mutual visits Share also information on deeper level ofProduct of partnership project: 9Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  10. 10. each others organisation ( beyond the basic data) Exchange description for applications ready and up to date Collect new information on new Test and develop Arrange updating partners Start with a few partners; ask your Choose strategic partners for your Focus on trustworthy partners network partners for help international activitiesMobility Follow a training on European Organise exchange of students in Widen group of host organisationsstudents programme / projects to get the bigger numbers Establish frequent follow contacts via email finance Make follow up visits / phone Pay visits to host organisation; Arrange a systematic meeting Arrange a systematic meeting dynamics start slowly, small numbers dynamics (meet on a regular basis) (meet on a regular basis) Arrange a systematic meeting dynamics (meet on a regular basis) Share partners in the network and Increase amount of mobility’s Find new partners and improve the quality share know how in managing of mobility: tools, materials projects Stage of comparing and Stage of common procedures and Stage of improving common procedures benchmarking sharing and projects The easiest way to start Look for enthusiastic staff Then increase the mobility numbers and international activities is to apply Make an implementation plan for look for additional funding; establish for funding and learn to know your teacher mobility too. Teacher procedures NA mobility can be the key forProduct of partnership project: 10Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  11. 11. Be a partner in a project successful student mobilityStaff Showing the way to others, Describe clear competences for Make staff development a part of HRMdevelopment incorporate new members in the staff programme network Organise joint training, VET pro’s Organise expertise training on study visit and internationalization general regional trainings Arrange a training course in an international environment Staff development is relevant for Involve teachers in staff Make a broad based common strategy for international affairs employees development staff development in international affairs and directors It is the coordinator who The coordinator learns in the The network organises staff development introduces internationalisation in national network from advanced together with partners of the network the college colleaguesCooperation Organise face to face meetings Organise face to face working Organise face to face working groups andin innovation for awareness raising how groups on specific topics regarding virtual meetings. Notify and invite your international cooperation can innovation partners to join you contribute to innovation Share information on innovation Test if good practices from others Be critical , select the “right partners and projects / good practices are applicable promoter ” for a project The starting network informs Undertake activities within the The network seeks improvement of the partners on innovative activities network network activities by joint efforts to develop innovationProduct of partnership project: 11Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  12. 12. Disseminatio Raise awareness concerning Produce magazines, website issues Develop a dissemination strategyn of projects dissemination etc Learn dissemination skills Exchange good practices and learn Profit from valorisation and exploitation of from each other results Define the possible end-users Define the stake-holders Involve the end-users and stake holdersPreferred Get to know different partners Check common interests and aims Select preferred partnerspartnership Share letters of intent for mobility Share mutual trust and build a Formalise commitment in Memorandum of partnership Understanding Define joint needs Focus on joint goals Improve the qualityCountry based Share information on country Explore the impact of country based Implement elements of the policy in yourpolicies based policies policies on the institute level organisation Collect information via experts in Collect information via experts and Collect information and share it in the meetings coordinator in a network network and peer to peer groups Get aware of frames set and Undertake coherent action Deliver active input concerning the policy ongoing trendsProduct of partnership project: 12Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  13. 13. 2c Recommendations for conditions and structureAll 3 networks in this partnership have a variety of experience in working within a national network. Reflecting on the experience of participatingin this partnership project we collected the following recommendations for the conditions / structure of a successful network: 1. Commitment and a positive attitude from the management in every college is crucial for the success of the network 2. From every school there should be a long-lasting representative in the network, supported by others in the institution, and each representative should have allocated time to carry out tasks. Besides time there are also facilities and financial resources needed. One of the representatives should act as the coordinator of the network. 3. An executive board representing the boards of the member schools will give support and strength to the plans of the network. Between the network coordinator and this board there need to be direct structural communication. It is essential to have trust from the board to bring autonomy to the network. As flexibility is needed the board has to trust their representatives in the network and give space for the network to act. 4. Within the network it is necessary to establish clear roles and regular meetings should be held to increase trust between members. The network should define mid- and long-term objectives and strategies. 5. Being a registered network is an advantage e.g. to apply for projects and funding. 2d Recommendations for communicationReflecting on the experience of participating in this partnership project we collected the following recommendations for the communicationwithin a successful network: 1. TrustFor a successful communication it is important to build up trust. Regular meetings with long-lasting partners and team building can help toachieve this. Knowing each others organisation is also a way of understanding communication.Product of partnership project: 13Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  14. 14. 2. CommunicationRegular meetings should be held in person and telephonically every 6 weeks to 2 months. Also e-communication can be used, in order to stayin touch when necessary in between meetings. It is recommendable to organize once a year a two day meeting to evaluate the passed yearand to discuss strategies and themes for the year to come.E-mail, e-platforms, telephone and even a digital platform as “Second life” can serve to communicate, but face to face meetings it will also benecessary. Moodle has proved to be useful as a free accessible database for the partnership.It is advisable to make one person responsible for the communication.Put tasks, agreements, plans, evaluations and minutes on paper for everyone to read and re-read. A secretary to the network can help to watchover deadlines.Let communication evolve from communication by accident to long term meeting schemes and develop and implement a good communicationplan based upon common understanding of terminology.Differences and personal relationships can influence the communication. This should be taken into considerationCommunication to the home-institutions to disseminate information to managers and policy makers provides an optimal benefit of the network.Product of partnership project: 14Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  15. 15. 3. International Network of NetworksThe partners reflected on their experience within this partnership and concluded on the added value of a national network participating in aninternational Network of Networks as follows: 3a Benefits of an international Network of NetworksIt is concluded that the benefits for a national network to link to an international Network can be,on strategic European policy level: • an international network of networks supports strategic planning on national level by providing an established basis for cooperation • a good “bridge” for broadening the European issues and objectives with other international partners • it enhances the good image of the national network for national agents, such as the government and the National Agency (NA) • existing international networks lower the threshold for the national networks of the newly acceded EU countries to participate in international projects • participation in an international network strengthens inter-dependency and cooperation between national network partners • promotion of issues that have arisen through both national and international networking • to promote VET institutions and their unique selling points • more insight in and understanding of inter-cultural differences can be gained • it provides an introduction to the national developments, views and instruments of other countries • it delivers a contribution to innovationon organisation level: • it provides a good platform for benchmarking, e.g., sharing common processes such as how to attract students to VET, enhancing multicultural competences of students, teachers and staff in general • it promotes trust and commonly agreed mobility procedures among international network • it leads to sharing of know-how and good practices (expertise in obtaining funding, writing and management of projects, exchange and use of tools for day-to-day management of projects) • the availability of a wide network offers more possibilities for mobility (both students and staff) with quality assuranceProduct of partnership project: 15Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  16. 16. • an international network provides a platform to exchange ideas, policies, activities • it makes it easy to find preferred, reliable partners and companies in their local network with whom one could work on the basis of mutual trust • it gives the possibility to build a strong consortium for international projects • it offers feed back on national innovations and developments • it helps to professionalise international activities of VET schools • it increases the chance on approval of larger scale projects (Transfer of Innovation - TOI) because of a strong partnership op partners • it gives shorter lines / close connections and therefore faster decisions amongst partnersProduct of partnership project: 16Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  17. 17. 3b Recommended activities for an international Network of Networks • long term cooperation in mobility for staff and student mobility, possibly with a guaranteed minimum of students • establish annual objectives and their systematic follow-up • development and recognition of pan-European study modules in connection with testing and promotion of ECVET (common documents, transparent assessment, recognition and accreditation of learning outcomes) • development of a common quality approach for mobility arrangements • systematic thematic benchmarking and document sharing • shared project planning – long-term continuity • active anticipation of development trends and funding opportunities through sharing of information • start with VET projects, and after that student exchange. Followed by other types of cooperation such as pilot and TOI projects • once a year a consortium meeting and once a year a conference on strategic and more practical topics • communication activities like plenary meetings / annual meetings and virtual communication • feed back sessions to assess each others project proposals and reflect on Success factors in order to improve the quality • promote VET • organise sessions with stakeholders • a stable international network of networks is well-equipped to establish larger-scale innovation projects. A size of 4 – 5 partners would be crucial • establish visits for employees of various levels of the partner schools as introduction to innovations, technology, instruments in order to learn from each other. This will improve the quality of the education. It could be possible to jointly develop new procedures and instruments for the involved partners • bi-lateral cooperation between 2 partner schools is possible • organise staff exchange, job shadowing programs • extending the network on both European and possibly national levels • use of social media in network management • increase readiness to fund networking through basic funding • strengthen organisation level tiesProduct of partnership project: 17Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  18. 18. 3c SuggestionsSuggestions for the way of working together and the communication between the networks • building up trust between partners by meeting agreed deadlines, objectives and commitments • meetings are the basis for good relationship among partners; commitment is very important • annual meetings of the network • meetings during projects, meetings at conferences of EFVET, Leonardo da Vinci in Brussels etc. • keep a joint digital platform for communication active with a clear manual, and a digital newsletter; use of social media for communication and participation • working together sharing costs in a fair way and divide the workload equally among partners • reaching agreements through consensus and complying with them • appointing clear responsibilities in each network, e.g., for contact with the networks • for each national network 1 / 2 persons could be the contact person for the international network. They provide continuity in the communication between partners and the link between national network and international network. They monitor / guarantee the sharing of the information on national level and can be the mediator for the national partners to be connected to the right partner of other networks • make people responsible in pairs from different countries for one subject or theme • rotation and clear division of network responsibilities • equality and sense of respect among partners • open discussion on both negative and positive aspects of cooperation • in the future the communication can be more direct between partners because we learned to know each other in an informal way • awareness of and respect for cultural differencesProduct of partnership project: 18Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools
  19. 19. 4. Final remarksDuring our two years of cooperation we have grown as an international network. The partners have proven throughout the project to be able towork together with their members of the national Network in an international Network and to achieve input from the national partners whereneeded. We are happy that Leonardo da Vinci funding enabled us to establish this Model.In general the model can be regarded as a very suitable instrument for the improvement of networking regarding international cooperation.How could the network model be used? It could be used to discuss at management level the participation in a network It could help to define your position in a network and set goals for further development It could help to define your role in any network You could use the model to disseminate it to your partnersWe can say that our “Model on Network building to support international activities in VET” has been tested in many different ways. Wepresent it as a support to improve internationalisation in VET and we hope that many students will benefit of our results!The Dutch Alliance, The NetherlandsHETEL, Basque Country, SpainSalpaus for Finnet, FinlandDate: September 2010Place: Zwolle, The NetherlandsProduct of partnership project: 19Networking to promote international cooperation in VET Schools

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