Building bridges between secondary and higher education and between higher education and the labour market
The quality of higher education is crucial for economy. It is important that youngsters can build out their talents into competencies that are necessary in society and the working field. And that they can find work that matches their possibilities, motivation and ambitions. To reach this aim Plantijn University College launched the Interreg project Enthusiasm for Learning and Working, known as GoLeWe, which is short for ‘Goesting in Leren en Werken’. ‘Goesting’ embodies a drive, that comes from heart and brains. It’s a strong word to express that you enjoy it, that learning and working ought to be fun.
In this international project 14 partners are involved: 4 Flemish and 3 Dutch universities of applied sciences, 2 research centres of academic universities and 5 secondary schools. Plantijn University College is the coordinating institution. Together we carry out actions on 3 themes.
Within the first theme, the transition to higher education, we focus on discovering and strengthening learning competencies. Since we know by research which learning competencies are related to study success, we set up actions to strengthen these skills and attitudes. A tool of main importance is the ‘Lemo’, an online test on learning competencies and motivation, which we developed together with the University of Antwerp. Pupils and students immediately get appreciative feedback . Their individual reports contain short explanations, tips and links to tools they can use to improve their skills. The study counselors of the schools and universities that use our web-based system get group reports on the learning and motivation characteristics of their students. And, they can make use of the manuals, tools and scripts we developed with the project partners.
The second theme contains several innovative actions to stimulate student learning. We especially believe in the possibilities of peer assisted learning. Linked to this we also promote a learning path for students, in which they can develop their coaching competencies and get a credit for this.
Enthusiasm for learning and for working go side by side. The new employee is a knowledge worker who develops himself continuously. With several actions we want to contribute to a better cooperation between education and the labour market, our third theme. The main idea is a transfer of knowledge and competencies between education and the labour market. Workplace learning, for example, is a specific action.
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