Internationalization strategy: workshops and guidebook for European VET providers 

Internationalisation of VET providers is now considered of great importance, since it allows to increase the reputation of the centre and gives students and staff the opportunity to get in touch with their peers from other countries to exchange ideas and practices with the result of improving the overall quality of the training offer. Nevertheless, it is not an easy task and it requires a specific strategy and competencies of people working on its implementation. Moreover, it is clear how it is important to link the internationalisation strategy to the overall strategy of the VET provider, that is also a goal of TOVET project. 

In order to reach this objective, the partnership had organised an international strategy workshop in March 2020. Due to COVID pandemic, this was cancelled and finally scheduled again in three separate online meetings, starting on November 24th and ending on the 14th of January. Around 45 people attended the workshop. 

During the first meeting the participants had the occasion to have an overview of the European and global dimension of VET as well as of the megatrends to take into account when working in this field. After this first presentation, Mika Saarinen, Counsellor of Education in Finland, continued exposing the reasons why we all need a strategy for the internationalisation and presenting some models. The first day ended with an example of the strategy implemented at Vamia, a VET centre in Finland, by Katarina Sandbacka, Manager of International affairs. 

The second workshop was conducted in national networks with the aim of developing existing – or creating new – international strategies. After a short introduction of the agenda, the Finnish, Italian, and Spanish groups worked to define – or refresh – the framework for the strategy work. Participants had the occasion to concentrate on the mission, values, vision and core skills as well as on the operating environment and the action plan. 

Third and last meeting was dedicated to the presentation of each national network. After this first part, the participants worked again in groups to share good practices and to highlight the lessons learnt that should be included in the guidebook on internationalisation strategy the partnership will prepare. 

After this first international workshop, each of the partner will organise a national workshop (the two Italian partners will do it together) and then altogether will organise three workshops more in European countries where other partners are less experienced and want to know more about internationalization. 

On the 15th of April the Finnish partners will start their national workshop and then Spanish and Italians will follow. On the 11th of May the first session of the European workshop will start too and it will involve partners from Estonia, Serbia, and Slovakia. 

More info on the workshop and project on www.tovet.eu