The first study visit to Lithuania on 9th– 14th May under the Component 1 Activity 1.1.5 “A Study visit for QA related staff to share practical experience on the QA of qualifications and curricula in MS partner country” was organized with the focus on the exchange of ideas, policies and policy instruments among different national qualifications systems.
The Beneficiary (BC) delegation consisted of the representatives from the Higher Education Department, the NQF Unit and the Unit for implementation and coordination of IPA of the Ministry of Education and Science of the Republic of North Macedonia, and a representative of the Board of Accreditation from the Agency for Quality Assurance in Higher Education.
During the study visit, the participants visited the Centre for Quality Assessment in Higher Education (SKVC); the Creativity and Innovation Centre “LinkMenų fabrikas” at the VILNIUS TECH University; the Qualifications and VET Development Centre (KPMPC); the Lithuanian Science Council (LMT); the Vytautas Magnus University (VDU); the MODUS sectoral practical training centre of Karalius Mindaugas Vocational Training Centre; the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport; the Government Strategic Analysis Center (STRATA); and, the Vilnius Jeruzale Labour Market Training Centre.
The participants familiarized themselves with the work and responsibilities of institutions responsible for QA of National Qualification Framework; the functioning of external quality assurance of higher education institutions and VE; the practices of internal quality assurance at universities and VET schools. BC delegation and Lithuanian experts discussed how knowledge about policies and practices in Lithuanian national system may be used for the benefit of developing policies and practices in North Macedonia.
After the study visit, Mission 2 of Activity 1.1.3 was carried out in the period from 16th till 20th of May, 2022. The mission was aimed to propose guidelines and recommendations on the development of QA framework for VET system and institutional arrangements, instruments and procedures of the QA in VET according to the EQAVET and ECVET. Experts from Lithuania, as well as the Vice Minister of the Ministry of Education, Science and Sport of Lithiania, Ms. Agne Kudarauskiene acting as a short-term expert, visited two VET schools in Skopje to discuss internal quality assurance issues.
On 17th of May, the Project team together with the experts Lina Vaitkutė, Vidmantas Tutlys, Odeta Kupetienė and Agne Kudarauskiene were welcomed by the Principal of the Secondary school for hospitality and tourism Lazar Tanev in Skopje. They discussed about the possibilities of strengthening the cooperation between both countries and the benefit of the project offering the possibility to share the know-how and experience in VET.
The meeting and the lively discussion regarding quality of VET education at Secondary school for hospitality and tourism Lazar Tanev in Skopje, were followed by an on-site visit of the premises of the school where the students conduct practical classes and take practical exam. The teachers presented the facilities and equipment used and discussed what needs to be improved.
All the events of this mission were organized within the European Vocational Skills Week which is an annual event during which local, regional or national organisations showcase the very best of Vocational Education and Training (VET) – a sector capable of empowering all people with the skills they need for a fulfilling personal and professional life. Moving forward from the initial concept, the event has become an exchange platform for VET stakeholders all around Europe and beyond.
On the 18th of May, a round table aimed at sharing experience with Lithuania regarding the modernisation of the VET sector, including the employers in the preparation of the occupational and qualification standards as well as training programmes was organized in the VET school Vlado Tasevski in Skopje. Representatives form other VET schools from North Macedonia, VET Center, Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of North Macedonia, Employers organization, Economic Chamber of commerce, Sectoral Councils, NQF Board as well as employers themselves, attended the event.
The event was opened by a welcoming speech by Mr. Luca Citarella from the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of North Macedonia, followed by a short presentation by the Vice Minister of the Ministry of education, science and sport from Lithuania, Ms. Agne Kudarauskiene and the other MS experts. Different aspects of the possibilities for improvement and modernisation of the VET sector were discussed by sharing good practices of Lithuania focusing on the benefits from the skills forecasting, participation of the employers in the qualifications’ development and updating processes.
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