VERN

VERN’ University of Applied Sciences started operating as a higher-educational institution in 2000. and it is the oldest and the biggest private higher institution in Croatia.

Today VERN’ has: more than 2.100 students and 4.000 alumni; around 200 lecturers and 13 study programs.

As the first Croatian private business school of higher education, VERN’ is pioneer in professional study programs and has started its academic existence with the professional studies of Entrepreneurship Economics. This is a study program that to this day represents the backbone of VERN’s undergraduate study programs and business culture promoted by the VERN’s educational programs as entrepreneurship is integrated as interdisciplinary part of every study program. It is our goal to develop transversal and entrepreneurial skills in all students.

VERN’s target product is the transferred knowledge; knowledge that can be highly applied in business practice. Skills that students obtain while studying are applicable multi-disciplinary business skills based on economic, legal, communications and other theories of essential significance for business practice, which are acquired through interactive study in one of the undergraduate and graduate studies through problem-solving concept of teaching in small study groups.

Our general and particular as well as educational, business and institutional goals are inspired and harmonized with the declared vision, mission and values. VERN’ is strategically focused on education that gives values and competences needed for students and teachers in the accomplishments of their personal life aspirations and career potentials, as well as the social community’s well-being. It is our institutional goal to enable good-quality, efficient and international higher education which contributes to competitiveness of the Croatia society.

CELJE SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, HIGHER VOCATIONAL COLLEGE (ES CELJE)

Celje School of Economics, Higher Vocational College was established as an organizational unit of the business-comercial school in Celje in 2000. Today, it implements three study programmes: Economics, Social Network Organizer and Security. It offers two-year courses which are modulary designed and credited with 120 ECTS. Graduates obtain educational level 6/1.

All higher vocational programmes are designed with an emphasis on close association with practical work, which means 800 hours of practial training in two study years. Therefore the School has to collaborate with employers in implementing the practical training of students and preparation of their work places. Celje School of Economics, Higher Vocational College has been participating in the Erasmus mobility programs for students and staff for many years. Because the study programm includes 40 % of practical traning, students focus on mobility – traineeship.

APPRENTICETRACK

EURASHE is a leading partner in the ApprenticeTrack (Smart Electronic System for Tracking Apprenticeships) project.

Underneath are further information on:


The project ApprenticeTrack is addressing the Improvement of The Work Based Learning Quality. The high-quality apprenticeships are essential for Professional Higher Education (PHE) which are defined as a distinct form of Higher Education that offers a particularly intense integration with the world of work in all its aspects (including teaching, learning, research and governance) and at all levels of the overarching Qualifications Framework of the European Higher Education Area (i.e. EQF 5-8). Its function is to diversify learning opportunities, enhance employability, offer qualifications and stimulate innovation, for the benefit of learners and society.

The EC Communication on “Rethinking Education: Investing in Skills for Better socio-economic outcomes” highlights significant discrepancies between countries across Europe in their development of VET and PHE. It specifically points out that while some European countries have world-class VET and PHE systems (Germany, Austria, Denmark and the Netherlands), many others, typically in souther Europe, lag behind in terms of participation, quality outcomes and attractiveness. In countries with developed PHE systems, professional education is characterised by dual systems which have a high proportion of work-based learning, apprenticeships and other models which facilitate transition from learning to work. The communication further points out that excellence in PHE comes from systematically renewed curricula, constantly modernised delivery, and, crucially active involvement of businesses, especially small and medium enterprises (SMEs).

The differences in development of PHE across Europe is due to differences in socio-cultural traditions and perceptions, diverse structures of education and training systems and of the economy and labour market, reforms undertaken, the extent of involvement of social partners as well as the employment prospects of PHE graduates, and the preferences of individuals. Council conclusions on developing media literacy and critical thinking through education and training adopted on 30 May highlight digital competence, which encompasses the confident, creative and critical use of ICT as a crucial component of media literacy. A low level of digital competence can leave a person at a disadvantage, not just on the labour market where almost all jobs require some level of digital competence, but also in society at large. As such, there is a clear link between enhancing digital competence and efforts to create more inclusive and cohesive societies.

The project ApprenticeTrack takes particular note of these regional influencers, and attempts to tackle some of the problems present by grouping together institutions from the same region – South-Eastern Europe, to tackle commonly felt weaknesses in the organisation of their PHE systems, in particular, the cooperation with the business sector in the field of apprenticeships. Effective partnerships and strategic alliances between employers and institutions are key elements of successful apprenticeship schemes. The SAT will develop a toolkit on premises of collaborating with PHEIs, on-boarding apprentices and employers to enhance digital competence of all three stakeholders groups involved and to improve efficiency and transparency of apprenticeships.  The project aims to:

  • increase the capacity (competences) of staff (in particular supervisors) in universities and enterprises to provide high quality work experience
    (placements/internships, traineeships) and entrepreneurship,
  • support the accreditation of all kinds of work experience through ECTS and effective quality assurance,
  • ensure that the skills needs of employers are understood.

The project will review existing policy development and support further policy development in this field.

Horizontal Priorities

  • Open and innovative practices, in a digital era: priority will be given to actions that promote innovative methods and pedagogies, participatory governance where appropriate, develop learning materials and tools as well as actions that support the effective use of Information and Communication Technologies (ICTs) in education, training and youth. This includes supporting synergies with research and innovation activities and promoting new technologies as drivers of improvements in education, training and youth policies.

Field specific priorities

In the field of higher education, priority will be given to the following actions in line with the challenges identified in the public consultation on the review of the EU Modernisation Agenda for Higher Education:

  • enhancing the quality and relevance of students’ knowledge and skills, promoting more student-centred learning approaches, better use of ICT, better links between higher education institutions and employers or social enterprises;
  • improving institutional and system-level governance, transparency and feedback mechanisms.
Following are the partners of the project:

  • Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges (Association HVC) - Skupnost višjih strokovnih šol Republike Slovenije (SKUPNOST VSŠ) The Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges (Association HVC) was founded as a public institution in 2005, when its Establishing Act was... Read more
  • CELJE SCHOOL OF ECONOMICS, HIGHER VOCATIONAL COLLEGE (ES CELJE) - Celje School of Economics, Higher Vocational College was established as an organizational unit of the business-comercial school in Celje in 2000. Today, it implements three study programmes: Economics, Social Network... Read more
  • Czech Association of Schools of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE) - Sdružení profesního terciárního vzdělávání (SSVS) The Czech Association of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE) is an independent organisation of colleges and institutes of professional higher education in the Czech Republic. It... Read more
  • Knowledge Innovation Centre (Malta) (KIC-Malta) - The Knowledge Innovation Centre is a dynamic consultancy focusing on knowledge brokerage and innovation of knowledge transfer processes. The Centre brings together a variety of local and European experts from... Read more
  • VERN - VERN’ University of Applied Sciences started operating as a higher-educational institution in 2000. and it is the oldest and the biggest private higher institution in Croatia. Today VERN’ has: more... Read more
  • Following are the outputs of the project:

    ApprenticeTrack – Indicators & Measurement Criteria

    Czech Association of Schools of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE)

    Sdružení profesního terciárního vzdělávání (SSVS)

    The Czech Association of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE) is an independent organisation of colleges and institutes of professional higher education in the Czech Republic. It was founded in 1991. CASPHE represents interests of the particular type of schools and education, contributes to their development. It plays a role in policy discussions as regards the formulation of problems relevant to the development of professionally-oriented higher (tertiary) education sector faces and proposals of their solution. CASPHE facilitates mutual cooperation of member schools and exchange their experiences, facilitates contact individual for members seeking to create conditions for qualitative growth, creates a sense of belonging and mutual interest.

    CASPHE activities include:
    • conceptual and policy work on the development and structuring of professionally oriented tertiary education;
    • development of colleges and institutes of professional higher education including information on challenges, trends and developments at international level and promotion of experience from abroad;
    • promotion of the idea of professional higher (tertiary) education including communication with professional bodies and representation of employers;
    • preparation and coordination of international and Czech-based projects, seminars and conferences;
    • activities in the field of quality management and improvement.

    In 2019 CASPHE has 16 members and affiliated schools while the range of collaborating institutions was substantially wider. CASPHE has many signed cooperation agreements with many other schools and institutions including Universities and Employers organizations such as different kind of Chambers of commerce etc. In the year 2017 CASPHE has signed a cooperation agreement with West Bohemia University and receive together from The Technology Agency of the Czech Republic large innovative project concerning Study programs innovations in the times of 4.0 phenomenon. CASPHE remains open to any institution of tertiary education whose overall objectives are consistent with the mission of the association.
    Due to its focus on internationalisation, CASPHE became soon after its establishment (since 1993) an active member of EURASHE (European Association of Institutions in Higher Education). Since 2007 the executive officer of CASPHE, Michal Karpisek, has served as a vice-president of EURASHE and now he is serving as Secretary General of EURASHE. Today executive officer of CASPHE Iva Voldanova is very experienced person in the field of PHE and had served in the EURASHE office for 5 years and is active in many projects concerning PHE and VET.

    Specific fields of expertise within CASPHE cover:
    • policy and strategic issues related to educational policy, in particular with a focus on professional higher (tertiary) education;
    • qualifications frameworks, learning outcomes and their implementation;
    • quality assurance and quality enhancement issues;
    • methodology of teaching/learning with a focus on practically-oriented elements including students’ placements;
    • facilitation of discussion with stakeholders, in particular partners from the world of work, regional bodies and higher education institutions.

    The Czech Association of Professional Higher Education (CASPHE) was set up in 1991 by schools in order to contribute to their development and coordinate their activities. The key mission was the promotion of professional higher education concept in the Czech Republic, but also coordination of projects and activities leading to enhanced knowledge and practical experience of member schools regarding international experience and good practice.

    Since then CASPHE has been engaged in all key policy and legislative steps relevant to professional higher education development, communicated with key stakeholders including the representatives of the world of work. CASPHE coordinated a number of projects and seminars in the field of curriculum development, methodology of teaching in tertiary education, teacher training, school management and marketing, most of them in close cooperation with similar institutions from many countries.

    As regards the overall concept and policy of professional higher education development, CASPHE representatives were engaged in most of the recent reform projects of the Ministry of Education within higher education.

    In 2001-2004 CASPHE or its key staff were engaged in the development of criteria and methodology of quality assessment of non-university higher education sector. In 2007 CASPHE was commissioned by the Ministry of education to develop criteria and methodology of accreditation of professional tertiary education (college sector).

    Besides this expertise, CASPHE followed also discussions on employability issues, life-long-learning concept, methods of teaching and learning and student-centred learning. Its members are dealing with issues of research, development and innovation activities relevant to professionally oriented higher education.

    Key qualification and skills of key staff regard:
    • Policy and strategy development
    • Specific mission, role and characteristics of professional tertiary education, its embedding within higher education policy including short-cycle
    • Life-long learning concept at institutions of tertiary education
    • Qualification frameworks, learning outcomes
    • Quality assurance and enhancement
    • Curriculum development in interaction with labour market
    • Supporting apprenticeships between PHEi and VET Institutions and World of Work,

    …and other relevant issues within a complex picture of professional higher education developments

    Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges (Association HVC)

    Skupnost višjih strokovnih šol Republike Slovenije (SKUPNOST VSŠ)

    The Association of Slovene Higher Vocational Colleges (Association HVC) was founded as a public institution in 2005, when its Establishing Act was confirmed and adopted by the Slovene government. It is a professional association of higher vocational colleges on the national level. It includes 48 members (96% of all Slovene HVC institutions) all providing EQF level 5 as public or private providers. They offer their programs (31) on 25 locations across Slovenia to 99% of the national EQF level 5 students population (120 ECTS). The Association HVC main mission is to promote the interests of higher vocational education in Slovenia and beyond its borders and to contribute to the progressive development of professional higher education and professional research area. Our members do not only provide higher vocational education programmes, but also contribute to the field of applied research and professional studies as well as directly to the development of local communities and regions. The Association HVC and its members have 20 years of experience in coordination of national and international projects. Our specifics are 40% of curricula that are provided as in company work-based learning and the teaching staff requirements that demand up to date professional experience and knowledge from the field of work as well as pedagogical and andragogical competencies of our teaching staff. In doing so we ensure up to date theoretical training at the institution facility and then monitored and guided in company placements with certified and qualified mentors. The result is that our graduates are 97% employed and cherished by the employers as ready to work and act graduates in comparison to their peer graduates from higher education that are experiencing a growing number of unemployment with the bachelor, master and even doctoral degrees. Our values are QUALITY – INNOVATION and ENTREPRENEURSHIP – RESPONSIBILITY – RESPECT.

    Knowledge Innovation Centre (Malta) (KIC-Malta)

    The Knowledge Innovation Centre is a dynamic consultancy focusing on knowledge brokerage and innovation of knowledge transfer processes. The Centre brings together a variety of local and European experts from a variety of fields, and has worked extensively within Quality Assurance of Higher Education, Technology Enhanced Learning, Student Services and knowledge economy (as it relates to the Lisbon Agenda and Barcelona Process). The Centre has forged close relationships with a number of stakeholders in the regional innovation and Higher Education fields, and is active in leveraging such relationships to build multi-disciplinary, multi-country networks for knowledge transfer and capitalisation. The Centre also offers a variety of online solutions geared at maximising quality assurance mechanisms, public relations and services.