Launch of Leonardo da Vinci Partnership: Recognition of prior learning in vocational education and training (RIPLVET) 19 and 20 January 2012
The inaugural meeting for a European project on the recognition of prior learning (RPL) in vocational education and training (VET) was recently co-hosted by Mary Immaculate College and Limerick City Adult Education Service. The project which is being co-ordinated by Mary Immaculate College aims to compare VET systems in partner countries, share knowledge on the use of RPL and prepare documentation on a range of issues, including the potential of ECVET (European Credit System for Vocational Education and Training) for supporting RPL.
In his welcome address, College President, Prof. Michael Hayes commented that the college was honoured to be the co-ordinating institution: ‘Significant progress on the use of RPL has already been made in Ireland and in Europe, so I hope this Partnership can provide the basis for sharing and developing this knowledge. We look forward to playing our role in that work.’
Members attended from the following institutions: Mary Immaculate College, City of Limerick Vocational Education Committee, University of Stirling, Oslo and Akershus University College of Applied Sciences, FLORIFORM-Formation Fleuriste, and Gazi University, Turkey. Over forty staff members representing various partners attended activities over the two-day event as part of the business and social programme. In her welcome to participants, Prof. Teresa O’Doherty, Dean of the Faculty referred to the college’s work in vocational education through its Graduate Diploma in Adult and Further Education: ‘The learning from the project will be valuable to both Faculty staff and students on the programme and we look forward to following the progress of the project over the two year period.’
The first part of the two-day meeting was chaired by Cathal de Paor, RIPLVET project co-ordinator and included discussions on vocational education teacher education systems in each of the partner countries. This included a video conference with Lithuanian University of Agriculture. An afternoon session on project planning was facilitated by Maud Baritaud and Tara Robinson from Limerick City Adult Education Service. On Friday, the meeting was hosted in the offices of Limerick City Adult Education Service where the group met teachers and learners from the Vocational Training Opportunities Scheme (VTOS), Youthreach and other programmes. Speaking at the concluding session, Mary Hamilton, Adult Education Officer, Limerick City Adult Education Service noted that as an employer and manager of VET service provision, staff development was of special interest and relevance for their work: ‘We look forward to learning more about staff development policies in vocational education among the various countries in the consortium. There are many developments underway in the sector in Ireland which makes this project very timely for us.’
At the end of the visit, the group was treated to freshly baked produce from the Youthreach Food Technology and Catering class before departing for home. Work is now underway on planning for the next phase in the project, which will be hosted by the Oslo and Akershus University of Applied Sciences later in the year. The project is funded as part of the European Commission’s Lifelong Learning Programme.
Some scenes from the meetings in Mary Immaculate College