About this paper

Appears in:
Pages: 5165-5173
Publication year: 2014
ISBN: 978-84-617-2484-0
ISSN: 2340-1095

Conference name: 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
Dates: 17-19 November, 2014
Location: Seville, Spain

RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LABOUR MARKET AND UNIVERSITY. WORK-BASED LEARNING EXPERIENCES IN EUROPE

R. Ferrández-Berrueco1, T. Kekäle2

1Universitat Jaume I (SPAIN)
2Vaasa University of Applied Sciences (FINLAND)
The development of partnerships between HEIs and employers is seen as a critical factor in identifying learning requirements (Bruges Communiqué, 2010; Bucharest Communiqué, 2012), improving the relevance of education and facilitating access to education and learning. Curricula should involve employers and labour institutions and must respond quicker to the changing needs of the economy. The problem is that HE systems have been slow to adapt curricula to these changes (EC, 2011), and there is, in some cases, hard resistance to change the traditional university curricula based on massification and “pure contents” into more flexible and individual curricula based on labour experience.

This implies that Work Based Learning (WBL) has become an important issue in the development of approaches to ensuring that higher education provides work/practice relevant learning. It figures strongly in discussion of employability, work relevant skills, ‘graduateness’ and lifelong learning. In general, it encompasses a wide range of experience from short term work experience, through placements/practicum to long periods of pre-qualification professional practice.

In some cases the form, duration or the specific curriculum requirements are determined by the state or by a designated national professional body. This is common in areas such as medicine. In such cases, competence to practice is assessed based upon successful completion of a curriculum produced and delivered jointly by practitioners and academics (who in fact often wear both hats) and significant periods of work based learning are an integral requirement.

This fully integrated approach to work relevant curriculum development is not as apparent in many other areas where academic curriculum in Higher Education is largely determined by university staff, and practice experience, where it exists, is taken to have general experiential value, and is often not assessed/accredited against formal qualification requirements.

This paper focuses upon the results of an Erasmus funded project in those relatively few cases where the fully integrated approach to curriculum development and delivery is used in an area where no professional or statutory constraint to do so exists; and where, largely as a consequence, Work Based Learning is an essential and central feature of the learning experience.

Looking at the examples of such partnerships in different European countries, we have identified some common principles and best practices through which to facilitate and promote such partnerships elsewhere in Europe.

Some of them include understanding the market (employer) need; a balance between the participating organizations’ and employers’ views and needs; correct understanding of the work-based learning “doctrine”; a balance between the theory and real-life practice, and especially the authenticity of the practice provided; and respect towards the different cultures of the participating organizations, the employers, and people (students, workplace tutors, and academics) involved.
@InProceedings{FERRANDEZBERRUECO2014REL,
author = {Ferr{\'{a}}ndez-Berrueco, R. and Kek{\"{a}}le, T.},
title = {RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LABOUR MARKET AND UNIVERSITY. WORK-BASED LEARNING EXPERIENCES IN EUROPE},
series = {7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation},
booktitle = {ICERI2014 Proceedings},
isbn = {978-84-617-2484-0},
issn = {2340-1095},
publisher = {IATED},
location = {Seville, Spain},
month = {17-19 November, 2014},
year = {2014},
pages = {5165-5173}}
TY - CONF
AU - R. Ferrández-Berrueco AU - T. Kekäle
TI - RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LABOUR MARKET AND UNIVERSITY. WORK-BASED LEARNING EXPERIENCES IN EUROPE
SN - 978-84-617-2484-0/2340-1095
PY - 2014
Y1 - 17-19 November, 2014
CI - Seville, Spain
JO - 7th International Conference of Education, Research and Innovation
JA - ICERI2014 Proceedings
SP - 5165
EP - 5173
ER -
R. Ferrández-Berrueco, T. Kekäle (2014) RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN LABOUR MARKET AND UNIVERSITY. WORK-BASED LEARNING EXPERIENCES IN EUROPE, ICERI2014 Proceedings, pp. 5165-5173.
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