The colourful words encapsulate Warnborough and IVETA's vision of collaboration

The colourful words encapsulate Warnborough and IVETA’s vision of collaboration

The European chapter of the International Vocational, Education and Training Association (IVETA) had their second meeting this year in  Sofia, Bulgaria. The event was hosted by Know and Can Association at the Central Park Hotel, facing the majestic Palace of Culture on the 20th and 21st October.

28 organisations participated including Warnborough College (Ireland and UK), the Academy for Distance learning (UK) and Innovative Knowledge Institute (France). Dr Matina Chronopoulou, the IVETA member from Greece attended also.

Universities and other institutions from Bulgaria presented at this event, and time was set aside on the second day to brainstorm ways of networking and cooperation.

Dr Brenden Tempest-Mogg is also Vice-President of IVETA Europe. He spoke about the association’s goals to develop vocational education and training (VET) in Europe, and the rise of competency-based assessments throw the European Quality Framework. Dr Julian Ng did a workshop on Objectives-Based Education (OBE), a paradigm that is fast gaining traction around the world which has been proposed by the European Union as the way forward for VET.

Dr Souha Akiki from IKI spoke about various options available to Bulgarian schools in France and how the French educational system works. Amanda White from ADL described how distance learning was now viable alternative for learning outside of a school-based environment.

Know and Can Chairperson, Dr Rumyana Shalamanova, gave an in-depth look at how partners could avail of European public funds to create projects that were of benefit to citizens and tackle social and educational issues such as unemployment, literacy and conflict.

To lighten the mood and get everyone interacting, Dr Matina Chronopoulou introduced the concept of natural medicine by giving real case studies and actual exercises which made everyone sit up and take notice.

Meetings were held during the breaks, including lunch and dinner. Plans are now underfoot for new ERASMUS+ projects focusing on youth actions and strategic partnerships.  All in all, it was a great meeting of minds, and it set the scene for the next IVETA Europe meeting which will be held in Moscow, Russia in 2017. Many thanks and congratulations to Know and Can’s Rumyana and Nikolay and their staff for their meticulous organisation and hospitality.