Starting from the survey “Short Cycle Higher Education in Europe. Level 5: the Missing Link” and in line with the actions put forward in the 2012 Country Specific Recommendations, this KA2 strategic partnership project intends to develop methodologies and tools for internationalizing short cycle tertiary qualifications (2 years) and apply the methodology to a pilot SCHE focused on ICT, area where the partner countries present skills shortage and growth potential as well as the need to improve exchange of information between the world of education and the labor market at international level.
The provision of international curricula at Level 5 would be the best way to remove the obstacles in connecting the three worlds: universities, VET and labor market, that are often related to the lack of a common language (on knowledge, skills and competences) and of a clear strategy on how to use information on skills supply and needs.
The partnership is composed by universities and decision-making authorities. The universities are very active in the internationalization of curricula and play a key role in the development policies and education reform of their regions/countries but are facing problems due to huge variety of educational offers at VET level that are not clearly inserted in the EQF/NQF and need a proper evaluation. The authorities which have the task to define and recognize the qualifications developed locally as well as identify the criteria for the recognition of skills and competences, need to start up a clear and fruitful cooperation with the universities and other actors in the education area for the enhancement and warranty of quality and portability of qualifications.
In the 5 countries the Level 5 has different characteristics: In Italy and Greece it has been identified only recently and is delivered by a consortium made of University, VET institution and businesses, in Romania, Spain and Belgium is well established and delivered by the universities, but the connection with the Level 6 is not clear, sometime impossible.
The design of the proposed curriculum for a Short Cycle Degree in ICT will contain a strong international component not only because envisages a targeted mobility between the partners but also because a consistent part of the project will concern the identification and recognition of Diplomas at VET level (as provided by the involved countries) able to allow the enrolment to the Level 5. In this way the project will contribute to strengthen cooperation between the world of education and training and the world of work, to foster quality, to enhance the international dimension of education and training, and to establish transnational cooperation between HE and regional/local authorities in charge of accreditation, development of LLL and recognition of qualifications, which are specific objectives and priorities of KA2 in line with the annual Work Programme adopted by the Commission.