Erasmus Policy Statement
Erasmus+: The European Union programme for education, training, youth and sport 2014 – 2020.
Centro de Estudios AEG Ikastetxea is a vocational training (VT) institution. We provide an average of 250 students with courses in 4 fields: Textile and Fashion, Computing, Business Administration, and our newest addition this year: Marketing and Advertising.
Besides, we also have a section for active workers with continuous learning courses and also for the unemployed with further education and recycling courses. Finally, we also reach a number of students through our on-line courses offer. European and international dimensions have been present since the early stages of our practice and reflected in the mission, vision and values we develop for our institution.
Since 1988, when Centro de Estudios AEG was created, our Annual Studies Plan has always included some type of action directly connected with European and non-EU partners and topics: early workshops for students about the European Union (Spain had recently became a member in 1986); first contacts with European partners; a 3-year COMENIUS project with students and our dear colleagues from France, Germany and Italy; our ever increasing number of students in work-placement abroad, which started as part of a LEONARDO project and later became ERASMUS, after the successful application for the Erasmus Charter and the partnership with 2 consortia (CONFEBASK and AICE-IZEA); cooperation with the Chambre de Métiers (Bayonne, France); attending EUROBASK (the Basque Counsel for Europe) activities, cooperating with TKNIKA, the Basque Government Center for Innovation in Basque VT, with teaching materials for a Moroccan institute, joining MONDRAGÓN university for contacts with American companies, etc.
Both the European and international dimensions at our institution have benefited from other aspects of our activity:
- 1) An extensive network of companies, around 3,000 SME and some other bigger companies we collaborate with.
- 2) The educational organization we are an active part of (AICE-IZEA, which comprises 50 educational institutions).
- 3) A close and fruitful cooperation with TKNIKA focused on promoting innovation within the teaching community (new materials and methodology, Emotional Intelligence programmes) and encouraging and supporting entrepreneurship for our students.
- 4) The multiple cultural and entrepreneurial organizations we are involved with at local, regional and national levels: Chambers of Commerce, Zubi Forum, Employment Services: Lanbide and SPEE; Fortec, Cece, Balenciaga Museum, Net of Integrated HEI for VT, San Sebastián Fashion Week, several NGOs, among others.
- 5) A true belief that there is always room for improvement through quality management systems. We were certified for ISO 9002 and later received the Silver Q Basque Award to Quality (after and external EFQM assessment). The Basque Government has now refined the EFQM system by placing the focus on quality for VT, calling the program Hobbide, to which we have adhere.
In the coming years, our priority is to internationalize our institution even further in order to give students and staff opportunities to acquire, practice and share knowledge, culture and working methods abroad. We will make Key Action 1 our first objective and we will by all means possible, try to increase the number of students in work-placement. The active population report of last 25 April 2013 published a devastating figure: 57.2% of under 25s willing to work are unemployed in Spain (in our region the figure is 40%). This is simply a heart-rending, unbearable reality, a national tragedy. We cannot emphasize enough how concerned we are by this fact.
Through the Programme, we will be able to continue cooperating with the consortia in giving our students the chance to increase their employability with the added boost to their working and personal experience that a work-placement abroad gives them. So far, our students have been in work-placements in Austria, the Czech Republic, France, Ireland, Italy, Poland, Portugal and the UK.
Over the years, we have been sending them to where best their skills could be put to practice, and where more mid and longer term opportunities could arise. In cooperation with the consortia, we expect to be able to widen the geographical scope for work-placements, especially to northern European countries, where our students could profit from their long standing and high quality experience in mobility. As regards staff mobility, we are determined to improve it substantially regardless of the limitations imposed by our small number of faculty. Once the implementation of our newest course (MK and Advertising) is over, we will be able to focus and devote even more time and resources to establish agreements for staff to teach or be trained abroad while continuing with what we do permanently: facilitating staff access language learning courses and information about European programmes.