Centres of Vocational Excellence are an Erasmus+ programme project format. Thanks to its bottom-up approach to the development process, this project format is focussed on the promotion of cooperative platforms that are nationally and locally anchored as well as internationally networked and seek to address sector-specific interests or societal challenges. The format also encourages cooperation between countries that want to further develop their vocational education systems.

What are the aims of the Centres of Vocational Excellence?

Centres of Vocational Excellence aim to increase the quality of the work, activities and practices of the organisations. They work together to define challenges and develop intersectoral and international cooperation on the basis of these definitions, thus initiating sustainable, forward-thinking and innovative developments across all levels. On the one hand, this increases the attractiveness of vocational education, in part by considering the needs and expectations of the individual. On the other hand, the organisations create a dynamic environment that integrates digitalisation and new methods and works together with different socio-economic actors. Once again here, individual needs are combined with organisational goals. Lastly, the Centres strengthen project management skills, the development of internationalisation strategies and international cooperation.

What main topic clusters characterise the international cooperation platforms?

Cluster 1 – Teaching and learning:
Developing innovative, learner-centred teaching and learning methodologies, including distance learning resources, developing modular and learner-centred transnational learning opportunities and the validation of these opportunities.

Cluster 2 – Cooperation and partnerships:
Creation and dissemination of knowledge in partnership with project partners and other stakeholders for example on the topics of entrepreneurship, apprenticeships, internships, sharing of equipment, distance learning and exchanges of teachers and staff.

Cluster 3 – Governance and funding:
Effective leadership/governance of all relevant stakeholders and making full use of EU financial instruments and funds.

The project must deliver relevant results for the selected topic from the activities listed in the application form:

  • At least 3 activities listed under Cluster 1 – Teaching and learning
  • At least 3 activities listed under Cluster 2 – Cooperation and partnerships
  • At least 2 activities listed under Cluster 3 – Governance and funding

Who can take part?

Any public or private organisation active in the field of vocational education and training in a programme country or in any partner country. This includes, for example, VET providers, companies, industry or sector representative organisations, national/regional qualification authorities, research institutes, innovation agencies, etc.

Centres of Vocational Excellence must include at least eight full partners from a minimum of four Erasmus+ programme countries (including at least two EU member states).

Furthermore, at least one company or industry representative and at least one representative from the field of vocational education (at secondary and/or tertiary level) must be involved. The composition of the partnership should reflect the specific nature of the proposal.

Swiss institutions cannot manage projects, but may be involved as full or associated partners.

How long does a project last?

The project duration is four years.

How are Swiss institutions supported financially?

Swiss institutions that are involved as full partners are funded directly by the Erasmus+ programme. Swiss institutions that want to get involved in a Centre for Vocational Excellence as an associated partner may apply with Movetia for funds from the Swiss Programme for Erasmus+. In both cases, the considerable added value of the involvement of a Swiss institution must be demonstrated in the European application.

To sign up for further information and a consultation, please contact  Yvonne Jänchen.