Kosovo: graduate tracking and recognition of prior learning key to educational reform
Two milestone workshops are taking place in Kosovo* this week.
In the first workshop on 16 September, the results of a pilot Tracer Study surveying graduates from selected vocational education and training schools and Centres of Competences were presented. The study was undertaken by the Ministry of Education, Science and Technology, and participating institutions, with the support of ETF, at the end of 2018.
At the workshop, the Ministry announced its prioritisation of tracer study implementation in the vocational education and training system as a key instrument for assessing education performance and enhancing the quality and relevance of programmes to the labour market.
Vocational education and training school representatives agreed the tracer study should be rolled-out across programmes noting, however, that this would require capacity building of vocational education providers supported by specialised staff. Schools are committed to raising awareness and incentivising students and graduates to participate. Additional data collection methods, such as electronic methods, could enhance the quantity and quality of responses.
Other discussions highlighted the necessity for multi-stakeholder engagement, from national and local levels, to enrich the design, analysis and dissemination of results benefitting overall educational planning and curricula, as well as enhancing partnerships with business, municipalities and the public employment service. Moreover, the results are needed to inform career guidance services and influence programme enrolment.
Building on the findings and recommendations of this workshop, the EU’s forthcoming support to Kosovo, under the Instrument of Pre-Accession programme, will seek to mainstream the tracer study practice within the education system, and vocational education and training in particular.
Meanwhile, the creation of a system for Validation of Non-formal and Informal Learning is in focus in the second workshop on 18 September. A competent system upskills the labour force and supports adult employment. Relevant stakeholders will be consulted on the findings of a report assessing current initiatives, with their opinions informing the report's finalisation. It will then be presented at an advisory group meeting of the European Qualifications Framework, of which Kosovo is a member, which ensures overall coherence and transparency in implementation.
*This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence