Istanbul, Turkey 10-11 March 2015

Event geathered more than 150 participants from different organisations/institutions andcountries: E+ Higher Education Reform Experts (HEREs) from EU neighbouring partnercountries from the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, Southern Mediterranean, Russia and Central Asia, National Erasmus+ Offices' (NEOs) representatives, European and Partnercountries experts, representatives from the host institution (University of Istanbul),representatives from the Ministry of Education in Turkey, representatives from the EuropeanCommission, representatives of the European Training Foundation and the Executive Agency.

As such it served as a huge platform for discussion on link between Higher Education andVocational Education and training both in EU and EU neighbouring partner countries from the Western Balkans, Eastern Europe, Southern Mediterranean, Russia and Central Asia.BiH  HERE experts actively participated and contributed to overall conclusions and reccomendations both at international and national level.  

Four parallel Workshops treated this partnership from different point of views mainly focused on searching for the responses from the following prospective:

1. HE and VET, partnering for training of VET school teachers and managersIn particular it was discussed which strategies and measures are to be taken to improvequalifications and skills of VET professionals as well as the ways and methods to modernize /adapt teaching and pedagogical methods to be implemented within secondary and postsecondaryVET programs in view of improving their relevance and adequacy to the needs of societies and economies.

2. HE and VET, partnering for developing post-secondary intermediate levels ofqualifications for the labor marketOne of the challenges is to ensure a balanced distribution of skills on the labor market and allow proper mechanisms of technology transfer among the sectors concerned and in particular between research, industry and business. Most countries are currently lacking post-secondaryintermediate level qualifications/skills whereas the number of students enrolled in highereducation is increasing significantly.

3. HE and VET, partnering for ensuring portability of qualifications and permeability among education and training systems

  • to develop flexible and innovative pathways and bridges between secondary VET, postsecondary education and higher education (vocational, but mainly academic education).
  • to improve mechanisms for the validation of prior learning (formal and non-formal) including the development of modular approaches in curriculum design and the use of credits transfer mechanisms.
  • to define, adapt or make compatible existing qualification frameworks so that they can fulfil their role in support of the transparency, comparability and portability of
  • to identify how a more flexible HE provision can facilitate participation of a growing group of potential adult learners with a VET background and work experience.

4. HE and VET, partnering for fostering local development

Higher education institutions and VET providers are invited to revise their mission statements and contribute more actively to the development of communities, regions and territories. Policy makers also insist on their social role.


Conclusions and Recommendations of Experts for BiH's context:

  • Considering all discussions and trends both in the EU countries and EU partnering countries concerning link between HE and VET as well as a response to high unemployment rate and labor market needs in BiH, BiH HERE Team strongly recommends implementation of Level 5 of the Baseline Qualifications Framework in BiH through further development of QF for LLL in BiH.
  • There is no professional path in tertiary education of Bosnia and Herzegovina. As to become competitive and comparable with the EQF and qualification frameworks of other countries, there is a need for development and enhancement of binary higher education system with an emphasis on professional qualifications linked directly to the labor market needs to be achieved in strong synergy with different stakeholders: competent authorities, academic community, associations of employers, student associations, labor market and others by adopting/amending legislation in this field to be harmonized with EU standards.
  • Regarding the partnering for training of VET school teachers and managers we recommend inclusion of VET schools in the Regional Program for Continuous TeacherDevelopment in Primary and Secondary Schools, designed to raise the quality ofeducation and competences of students, thus assisting to reach the objectives of the SEE2020 Dimension D – Education and Competences (as to reduce early leavers fromeducation and training and increase in tertiary educational attainment). Enhancing theskills of teachers and influencing the professional development of teachers will lead toincreased chances to raise students' competence (EU key competences for LLL), qualityeducational achievement of students (measured by national and international systems ofevaluation (PISA, TIMSS) and their preparation for the dynamic changes in the worldthat is rapidly changing, enabling the new labor markets, entrepreneurship andparticipatory role in society.



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