Wednesday, 1 November 2023

Increased cooperation could help to make complementary use of the strengths of the nationally very differently structured higher vocational education and training. This is the conclusion of Movetia and the Norwegian Council for Higher Vocational Education. A meeting between the two institutions enabled an exchange on the Norwegian and Swiss systems and a joint reflection on challenges and opportunities regarding internationalisation. Movetia established new contacts, e.g. with Norwegian schools as well as with the Norwegian Agency that promotes the internationalisation of this educational sector. Swiss and Norwegian institutions of higher vocational education and training both have access to financial support for international cooperation.

The Norwegian Council for Higher Vocational Education is a strategic body that advises the Norwegian Ministry of Education on higher vocational education and is currently working on the expansion of higher vocational education in Norway. A 20-member delegation from the Council visited Movetia in Bern on September 12, 2023 as part of the Council's continuing education trip to Switzerland. Higher vocational education in Norway is currently only offered at level 5 of the European Qualifications Framework for lifelong learning (EQF). However, this is expected to change in the coming years.

Movetia's exchange with the Norwegian Council contributes to the international visibility of Switzerland's Higher Vocational Education and Training. This is a strategic goal of Switzerland. Because although in Switzerland most degrees at this level of education are classified at level 6 EQF (i.e. the same as bachelor degrees), awareness of the educational programmes abroad and recognition of the degrees are often not given. Movetia is convinced that more international exchange and cooperation between institutions in Switzerland and abroad enhances the reputation of Switzerland's higher vocational education and training. At the same time, Movetia is committed to facilitating more exchanges and collaborations with foreign institutions in higher vocational education and training and higher education. Both Norwegian and Swiss institutions are partly dealing with similar challenges, e.g. how to make good use of the potential of digital tools in teaching or how to better prepare students to work in international teams. 

Movetia has made new contacts in Norway and is happy to make the network accessible to Swiss institutions of higher vocational education as well. In Switzerland, for example, higher vocational schools can get accredited as a mobility institution by Movetia in exactly the same way as all Swiss higher education institutions and apply for national funding for mobility grants (see article on mobility at colleges of higher education). In addition, there are many opportunities to work together in cooperation projects. The cooperation funding instruments (e.g. the International Programme or dockings to Erasmus+ projects) are open to all actors in higher vocational education and training. For example, the Norwegian schools that were part of the delegation have a lot of experience in attracting third-party funding from Erasmus+. Swiss institutions (not only colleges) can engage in Erasmus+ Cooperation Partnerships or also in Erasmus+ Centres of Vocational Excellence.  

For personalised advice, Swiss institutions can contact Movetia at any time ( An event to bring together and network stakeholders from Swiss and Norwegian higher vocational education and training as well as other countries is envisaged for 2024. Interested institutions are welcome to contact Movetia already now and express specific interests (desired countries/regions, suitable subject areas, specific institutions...).