On November 29 – December 2, 2021, the 3rd international FlexWBL project meeting took place in Klaipeda (Lithuania). The event was organized by Klaipeda University. Partners from Austria, Russia and Armenia participated online due to COVID19 restrictions.
On the first day, Rector of Klaipeda University, Professor, Dr. Arturas Razbadauskas and Dr. Alona Rauckienė-Michaelsson made welcoming speeches, wishing all the participants fruitful work.
Representatives of Russian universities (Tver State University, Don State Technical University, Perm State National Research University, Institute for Advanced Studies of Roshydromet) and Armenian universities (Bryusov State University, Gavar State University, National University of Architecture and Construction of Armenia) spoke about plans to deepen the use of the work-based learning approach ( WBL) at their universities thanks to the FlexWBL project. Further on, during the working session, moderated by colleagues from the Private University of Education, Diocese of Linz, the partners discussed the process of implementing the WBL methodological framework in their universities.
The speakers’ presentations contained an analysis of educational programs implemented using WBL technologies: the directions of the WBL methodology most successfully applied in universities of Russia and Armenia were identified, as well as problem areas that are least developed. In the afternoon, the members of the consortium got acquainted with the work of the KU Continuing Study Center headed by Dr. Ilona Zubrickienė, who shared the experience of implementing a lifelong learning strategy that enables continuous professional development of qualifications of specialists and teachers of Klaipeda University. On the second day of the meeting, the participants studied the experience of Klaipeda University in evaluation and recognition of non-formally acquired competencies in Higher Education institutions. The main speaker of the day was Dr. Birute Anužienė, her informative presentation was filled with practical conclusions and examples from real life. After the lecture, the partners visited the Klaipeda Public Health Bureau, whose director Jūratė Grubliauskienė conducted an excursion and showed possibilities provided by the bureau for practice-oriented training of students. Online participants were also able to join the tour remotely.
The third day of the international meeting was devoted to the assessment of the environment and conditions created in consortium universities for work-based learning. For this purpose, partners from Perm State National Research University have developed questionnaires for interviewing key stakeholders – students, employers and peers from other universities. The consortium members agreed on a timeline for joint editing of the questionnaires and the development of final versions. Afterwards, Dr. Birute Anužienė continued to present to partners the samples of student portfolios and methodological materials developed by the University of Klaipeda. In the context of work-based learning, Prof. Dr. Elvira Aciene told the partners about the peculiarities of Androgogy. At the end of the working day, the consortium members visited the Public institution Retavas Parish Nursing Home, whose employees, being the students of the University of Klaipeda, have the opportunity to recognize and evaluate their competencies acquired at the workplace.
On the final day of the meeting, the Project Steering Group meeting took place, where the future plan of project implementation, schedule of project meetings, as well as important issues of financial management, were agreed. At the end of the meeting, all participants expressed their gratitude to Klaipeda University for such a rich and fruitful Agenda, thanks to which partners were able to get acquainted with the experience of their colleagues from Lithuania in the implementation of the work-based learning approach.