The EU and Ukraine are launching a new initiative to help modernise Ukraine’s legislative standards and principles of education and training – bringing them in line with EU policies. The EU-funded Lifelong Learning Twinning Project* was presented to the public on Feb. 19 in Kyiv to assist Ukraine in developing quality assurance and implementing a system of standard qualifications (the National Qualifications Framework) for vocational education and training.
With a budget of more than €1.4 million for 2013-2014, the project will focus on strengthening the capacity of the Ministry of Education, Science, Youth and Sports to improve relevant Ukrainian legislation. Together with its European partners, Metropolitan University College (Denmark), AARHUS Tech (Denmark) and the Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training (BIBB) (Germany), the Ministry will also work in close cooperation with other Ukrainian stakeholders and social partners.
Maria Juríková, the deputy head of the EU Delegation to Ukraine, recalled that the EU-Ukraine Association Agenda includes several priorities on vocational education and training. This related Twinning project works to “move forward the Association Agenda and relevant reforms, strengthen the Ministry’s institutional capacity and its cooperation with the stakeholders and social partners,” she explains.
Borys Zhebrovsky, Ukrainian project leader and the deputy minister of education, confirms that Ukraine has started the process of reforming its vocational education and training sector. “In that regard, this is the right moment to launch this project,” Zhebrovsky stresses.
“This year the Ministry, together with Ukrainian employers, is planning to work out modern standards of education for 46 professions,” recounted Viacheslav Suprun, director of the Vocational Education and Training Department of the Education Ministry.
According to Søren Bo Poulsen, an international expert representing AARHUS Tech in Denmark, the project will make “concrete and comprehensive suggestions on how to implement the already established National Qualifications Framework.”
Susanne Gottlieb, EU project leader (University College Metropolitan) believes that the project will have a positive impact on the workforce in Ukraine. “In Ukraine, you will have attractive jobs for young people, so they could stay in Ukraine and not go abroad to earn money,” Gottlieb emphasises.
As a result, better vocational training will help educate more high-skilled workers who will be able to find better jobs in Ukraine, experts conclude.
Twinning projects bring together Ukrainian and EU member states (MS) and public bodies to share expertise and best practices in the work towards agreed reforms. The Ukrainian institution, together with an EU member state civil servant called the Resident Twinning Adviser (RTA) who is based in the institution, runs workshops, training sessions, expert missions and counselling to improve citizen services and the legal framework by modelling successful European practices.
52 Twinning projects have been undertaken in Ukraine and 22 have already successfully concluded. This Twinning is the first involving the Ministry of Education, Science, Youth and Sports.
* “Modernisation of legislative standards and principles of Education and Training in line with the EU Policy in Lifelong Learning”