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Working & Learning – What for?

November 23rd, 2009 by Pekka Kamarainen

I started my blogging with the heading “I-Europe”. I wanted to cover discussions on European innovations in Vocational Education and Training (VET). However, I soon realised that I was trying to make an analysis on a creative period in European VET research (1995-2000) and confronting it with a less creative period after 2000.

My questions in my early blogs were of the type:

“What has happened to the European dimension/ interdisciplinarity/ innovations?” or

“What has happened to trans-national cooperation/ networks/ knowledge sharing?”

Now, looking back, I see that those were questions that are put forward by an observer or a historian. They do not bring you forward with the questions:

“How can we influence the European cooperation climate in the field of VET and of VET research?” or

“How can we make better use of knowledge sharing and knowledge development in European networks?”

These are questions that do not necessarily lead to a big picture or to an overarching change agenda. Yet, they are questions that give a role for the working and learning processes that we are going through in European cooperation. With the new heading of my blog I want to discuss this type of questions.

The new heading has also another meaning: This kind of questions have to reach the ground – the reality of vocational teaching/learning processes and the reality of working and learning contexts.

In this spirit I will try to discuss the projects with which I have been working and what challenges they raise for the new year 2010. I will also try to make some remarks on issues that are hot in the educational debate (such as the implementation of the Bologna process in German universities and Higher Education policies. And – alongside these contributions I will try to make some remarks on the European cooperation climate and how we (different actors in the field can respond to the ongoing climate change (I do believe that something like this is going on).

OK, This was my opening statement. I will come back soon with one of the above mentioned issues.

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    Gap between rich and poor university students widest for 12 years

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    The gap between poor students and their more affluent peers attending university has widened to its largest point for 12 years, according to data published by the Department for Education (DfE).

    Better-off pupils are significantly more likely to go to university than their more disadvantaged peers. And the gap between the two groups – 18.8 percentage points – is the widest it’s been since 2006/07.

    The latest statistics show that 26.3% of pupils eligible for FSMs went on to university in 2018/19, compared with 45.1% of those who did not receive free meals. Only 12.7% of white British males who were eligible for FSMs went to university by the age of 19. The progression rate has fallen slightly for the first time since 2011/12, according to the DfE analysis.

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    From Raconteur. A recent report by global learning consultancy Kineo examined the learning intentions of 8,000 employees across 13 different industries. It found a huge gap between the quality of training offered and the needs of employees. Of those surveyed, 85 per cent said they , with only 16 per cent of employees finding the learning programmes offered by their employers effective.

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    This is from a Tweet. In 1994 Stephen Heppell wrote in something called SCET” “Teachers are fundamental to this. They are professionals of considerable calibre. They are skilled at observing their students’ capability and progressing it. They are creative and imaginative but the curriculum must give them space and opportunity to explore the new potential for learning that technology offers.” Nothing changes!

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    As reported by WONKHE, a survey of 1,200 final year students conducted by Prospects in the UK found that 29 per cent have lost their jobs, and 26 per cent have lost internships, while 28 per cent have had their graduate job offer deferred or rescinded. 47 per cent of finalists are considering postgraduate study, and 29 per cent are considering making a career change. Not surprisingly, the majority feel negative about their future careers, with 83 per cent reporting a loss of motivation and 82 per cent saying they feel disconnected from employers

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