EXPERIENCES WITH DEVELOPMENT OF A NETWORK OF INTERREGIONAL TRAINING CENTERS IN EASTERN EUROPE THAT UTILIZE MODERN AV-TECHNOLOGY IN VOCATIONAL EDUCATION AND TRAINING

J.B. Stav, R. Støckert

Sør-Trøndelag University College (NORWAY)
The innovative Move-IT project (2009-11) has developed and established a regional network a vocational education and training centers in Central and Western parts of Romania, by transferring knowledge, good practices and state of the art advanced video communication solutions from Norway. The results improve the inter-institutional partnership between existing vocational training centers and a regional university in Tirgu-Mures, by stimulating and improving the quality, accessibility and supply of vocational education and training services for further development of human resources. The objective has been to renovate the teaching infrastructure used by specialists in vocational education, and improve vocational training quality and making it more adaptable to the Romanian labor market. The later includes dissemination of a new model for organizing and delivering professional vocational training comprising of competence transfer, competence export, network building, and schools association development within a regional development perspective. The training delivery utilizes state of the art ICT solutions and video services.

The paper gives an overview of the ongoing research and development work, done in partnership with Sør-Trøndelag University College in Trondheim, Norway. It addresses experiences that may be transferred to other (Eastern) European countries. This includes design of digital classroom infrastructure, the required knowledge transfer, the practical organization of training delivery, design and establishment of a state of the art vocational training ICT and video infrastructure based up on good practices from Scandinavia, and effective development and deployment of large scale instructor training.

A high definition video network is constructed in the Central and Western parts of Romania, and organizations in 4 different towns may utilize the infrastructure to provide vocational education and training from the year 2011. The European EEA Program has funded the project. University Petrus Maior (UPM) in Tirgu Mures acts as the hub in the video network. The vocational schools are located in the towns Oradea (University Agora), Alba Iulia (Universitatea 1 Decembrie 1918) and Sighisoara (Colegiul National Mircea Eliade). The distances from the hub (University Petrus Maior) and to the sites are from 60 – 250 km. More than1200 students and 70 instructors have been trained during the 2 year project.

The article will present and transfer experiences from selection of technical solutions and instructor training methods. It will also discuss how to establish vocational training solutions that identify good practices that underpin the capacity for innovation, as well as expansion of capacity, in vocational training. Evaluation results obtained during the project, will be reported.

Regional organizations in Romania may in the forthcoming years utilize the new training environment to offer and receive a broad range of specialized courses, including transnational exchange of competence transfer. Our experiences indicate that the network is enhancing attractiveness of, access to, and participation in vocational education and training.