VALERU Kick-off Event

VALERU, the new EU project coordinated by the Department of Interactive Media and Educational Technologies (IMB), Danube University Krems, adressing the validation of non-formal/informal learning (NIL) in Russian Higher Education celebrated its Kick-Off  in Moscow on 19th of February. The project is funded within Tempus as a national structural measure and is based on a strong cooperation between European and Russian HEIs & HE networks leading in the field of validating of NIL as well as networks of SME and professional associations. The Russian and European partners build a consortium of nine universities (four European, five Russian), the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, a European and two Russian networks. The project´s main approach on validation is focussing on the learning outcomes from professional experience (work based learning), a key approach for supporting LLL strongly applied by the University of Chester (UK) and the Université de Bretagne Occidentale (France).

Sustainable development of Russian Higher Education

Project Coordinator Lil Reif (Danube University Krems, IMB) states: „The project aims to establish mechanisms and human resources for the validation of non-formal/informal learning (NIL) in Russian Higher Education (HE) in order to ensure sustainable development of Russian HE. In the very heart of these approaches lays the principle of student centeredness: thus, to consider learning of an individual outside the walls of an institution and to integrate it means that we take the simple fact of varying life trajectories seriously”. Lil Reif sees VALERU as an excellent chance for many discussions and exchanges of viewpoints from different regions and with rich, diverse experiences. And, even though the project is primarily designed to develop validation approaches within Russian higher education,the coordinator Lil Reif hopes that it will also contribute to apply validation of nonformal and informal learning in HE within the EU much more than it is done so far. Therefore, the Consortium of VALERU will develop a national procedure for the validation of NIL, provide expert trainings for the validation procedure, and establish pilot validation procedures.

VALERU brings together experts from all across Europe

Jon Talbot and David Major (University of Chester) believe in the necessity for lifelong learning, where individuals learn what is relevant to them at points in their lives when it is necessary to do so as an important development in a globalised economy. The Université de Bretagne Occidentale with Abdeslam Mamoune, Head of the LLL Department (SUFCEP), will contribute with their longstanding experience in recognition of prior learning. Nadezda Kamynina from Moscow State University for Geodesy and Cartography (MIIGAiK, local coordinator for the Russian part of the consortium and HE reform expert in Russia), emphasises the importance of the project for higher education in the Russian Federation. Asamat Gubaidullin (ANO – the Development agency for professional qualifications in Russia) provides an overview of their practices, with a strong focus on informal education realised through the development of the certification systems in the Republic of Bashkortostan. The Peter Baumgartner, Head of the IMB Department, emphasises the potential of ICT in supporting validation of NIL and presents an epistemology of practice through his philosophical, organisational & technical considerations at the Kick-Off. Beside the overall coordination of the project, the main contribution of IMB will be to support in the analysis of validation approaches in Europe and based on this, the development of a validation methodology to be used in Russian HEI. Furthermore, we will support to develop and carry out trainings for future experts for the validation of nonformal and informal learning. Moreover, the IMB will contribute with their knowledge and experiences with educational technology to support validation processes, for example, the eportfolio or the open badges initiative. Birgit Wolf (IMB) is convinced that the strong cooperation between European and Russian HEIs & HE networks and the respective considerations on eportfolio for the purpose of recognition and validation of learning outcomes will give a new impuls for discussions on Europortfolio and therefore provided information about our European Network of ePortfolio Experts & Practitioners to the VALERU consortium and states, “The VALERU project is really inspiring and consits of an amazing consortium from Europe and Russia who joined to develop a new path for validation of prior experiental – informal and non-formal – learning. In my opinion the results will be a crucial contribution to equal chances and opportunities in the world of higher education!”

Published from 26/03/2014