Pro-VET creating value in Russian and Serbian VET

Pro-VET Kick Off Meeting ja työpajaviikko

Pro-VET (Professional Development of Vocational Education Teachers’ with European Practices), a co-funded project with the EU through its ERASMUS+ programme has formally begun. Over 30 colleagues from six different countries (Russia, Serbia, Finland, Germany, the Netherlands and Ireland) were welcomed in a number of languages at the University of Novi Sad, Serbia 3-7 December 2018. The group was kept busy all week with the project’s kick-off meeting followed by a three-day preparatory workshop.

Cooperation with 12 partners!

This active and highly diverse group comprises 12 institutions whose colourful logos you can see at figure 1. The average distance between most partners is over 2000 kilometres but when thinking of the distance from the western-most (Warnborough College Ireland, Dublin) to the eastern-most (Russian State Vocational Pedagogical University, Yekaterinburg) some people will need to travel over 5500 kilometres to work together. With such huge distances between us, it is important that all partners keep in mind the three key tools identified as being central to achieving our aims:

  • Teamwork,
  • Cooperation and
  • Communication.
Projektin toteuttajien logot sekä Co-funded by the Erasmus+ Programme of the European Union

Pro-VET progress started

Despite the huge distances travelled, the team gelled together progressively during these five days as all participants created a common understanding of the goals and requirements of a very complex project. Our three-year project aims to improve the professional skills of VET teachers in Russia and Serbia with five specific objectives:

  1. by training their higher education and VET teachers in European pedagogical initiatives and proven best practices,
  2. by upgrading their technology e-labs to produce and disseminate vocational open online (VOOC) courses,
  3. by setting up a Educators’ Training Network (VET-ETN) to offer online in-service training courses for VET teachers,
  4. by ensuring sustainability of VET-ETN in order to consolidate the role of their VET teachers in further develop VET and build networks with working life and policy makers, and
  5. by co-designing roadmaps for VET development in cooperation with respective Ministries of Education in Russia and Serbia.
Pro-VET colleagues working hard in Novi Sad.

Following the workshop in which we laid the foundation for progress, we have a lot of work ahead of us as we look towards our next transnational meeting, which will be in June 2019, at JAMK University of Applied Sciences in Jyväskylä. Team JAMK in this project consists of Hannele Torvinen as RDI manager, Sirpa Laitinen-Väänänen and Eila Burns as content experts and Graham Burns as project manager all from the School of Professional Teacher Education.

Contact information: Graham Burns, project manager,, JAMK University of Applied Sciences, School of Professional Teacher Education

Text by Graham Burns
Photo Eila Burns