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Agenda Nijmegen Meeting

Launch meeting of the Leonardo project LABMAQUAL

Labour market involvement in quality assurance in vocationally/professionally oriented higher education


20-21 April 2001, hotel Mercure, Nijmegen




Friday, 20 April

14:30 Reception
15.00 - 15.30 Introduction of the research project partners
15.30 - 16.15  Background of the study
16.15 - 17.30  Conceptual framework of the study: introduction, discussion, adaptation
17.30 - 17.45 Break
17.45 - 19.00 The higher education system and vocationally / professionally oriented higher education in the participating countries, focusing the study: introduction and


20.15   Diner



Saturday, 21 April

9.00 -     9.45 Working programme and planning
9.45 -   10.00  Datasources
10.00 - 10.15 Start of a Leonardo project
10.15 - 10.30 Dissemination activities
10.30 - 11.00   Break
11.00 - 12.30   Contract and administrative subjects
12.30 - 13.00 Any other business
13.00 End of meeting


The first meeting, at the start of the project in April 2001, took place in Nijmegen. Present in this meeting were only the partners who were going to do the actual research work.

- a. After the welcome word of the coordinators the research partners introduced their institutes and themselves including their research activities in the subject of study.

- b. The coordinators explained the background of the study.  They started explaining the long title of the project, making clear that even choosing a title for such a study can be a delicate matter in view of the education political situation in some countries. The idea for the study has been built on findings in prior research into the ways educational programmes are anticipating or adapting to industrial change. The presence of a quality care system proved to be important in this respect.  Political developments, especially the Bologna declaration which has the objective of creating a transparent, two cycle system of higher education in Europe, stood at the basis of this project, since two aspects are stressed in this declaration: the enhancement of the quality of education and training and the labour market relevance of it. Quality care systems are disproportionally developed in the various EU Member States and it is politically a rather hot issue in some countries.

- c. The coordinators showed a number of transparencies illustrating the theoretical and practical ideas behind the study, culminating in the presentation of the conceptual framework for the country description of the vocationally / professionally higher education system and the system of quality care applied. The importance of following this conceptual framework in

the description for reasons of comparison was underligned. The conceptual frame work has been discussed and accepted as a guideline for the first research activities.

- d. Although there was already an idea in the project proposal about the vocationally  / profesionally oriented higher education programmes which could be studied in the respective countries, there was quite some discussion on this point, especially for Spain, the United Kingdom and France. The situation in France is extremely complicated. In the end there was consensus about the selection of the education programmes and levels for the study.

- e. the working programme and planning have been explained and discussed. The dates for further meetings were provisionally planned.

- f. building on a handbook for starting up Leonardo projects which the coordinators were producing for the Dutch Leonardo Agency, an overview was given of potential bottle necks in international projects that should be accounted for.

- g. dissemination is an activity, which should be paid attention to from the beginning of the project. In fact this is quite difficult in research projects as long as no research results are available, certainly when dissemination is looked at from a narrow view. The coordinators presented an overview of potential target groups and of tools for dissemination.

- h. the content of the contract and other administrative and financial subjects were explained and discussed. It was made clear to the research partners that at least two persons within their institute would have to be well acquainted with all aspects of the project.