The central theme picked out and considered from different perspectives by the internationally oriented forum was exchange and mobility in initial and continuing vocational education and training. This resulted in concrete factors for success in the internationalisation of their own school being worked out and discussed.

This year, the forum of the Swiss Conference of Directors of vocational schools (SCD) looked at the promotion of exchange and mobility and the role that vocational schools can play. Statistics showed the actual situation regarding activities around exchange and mobility at vocational schools. This allowed for a provisional appraisal of implementation of the vision of the federal government and cantons: that vision is for all young people to have a mobility experience during their initial and continuing education and training. From 2014-2019, vocational schools belonging to the SCD submitted between 30 and 50 % of all applications per call. Movetia constructed an outlook for the future with regard to national, European and international mobility and cooperation. The Swiss perspectives were broadened, additionally, by the interesting inputs regarding mobility and cooperation activities of the international guests from Finland, Holland and Belgium.

From theory to practice: discussion forums and ABC of internationalisation

In discussion forums, representatives of the tripartite partnership worked in small groups to come up with success factors for exchange and mobility at their own school: 

  • Think global, act local: Define simple strategic goals with international orientation for the own institution, practical implementation (step by step) at local level
  • Building networks and using synergies: Interinstitutional collaboration between the cantons and other organisations in Switzerland and abroad
  • Creating a mindset: Creating a self-image for exchange and mobility and therefore establishing an E&M culture

In discussion forums, representatives of the tripartite partnership worked out guidelines for exchange and mobility at their own schools in small groups:

At the same time, the SCD presented its latest publication: The ABC of Internationalisation, which, with the aid of 26 inputs, also looks at the question regarding the successful establishment of internationalisation at their own vocational school. With the free action-led work materials, vocational schools can work out the success factors for international cooperation at their school and the integration of those factors in a strategic plan.

A good basis for all participants and vocational schools, now and in the future, to act as active creators of exchange and mobility programmes for learners and students.