Field trials in Norway – Lessons learnt, by February 2019

The Norwegian trials are in progress.

In the Norwegian trials, asylum seekers in Integration Reception Centres will be given the opportunity to have their prior learning validated towards learning outcomes in the curricula in upper secondary education.  Prior to this validation, they have completed self-registration of competences, and have received career guidance.

The five participating counties have been granted exemption from the requirement in the education law to perform the validation procedure in Norwegian. The VISKA candidates may use their own language with an interpreter assisting in the validation process, or use English throughout the validation process.

By February 28, candidates from Turkey, Syria, Eritrea or Iraq have completed their validation processes in the five participating counties. 14 were validated towards requirements in English for general studies, 7 were approved, and the rest was validated towards learning outcomes in different vocational subjects, where many learning outcomes were approved. However, to be granted a full certification from upper secondary education, both in general studies and in VET, Norwegian language is required. Output from the validation process at this early stage of residency must therefore be followed by additional education and training. The VISKA candidates have got a ‘flying start’ in this learning trajectory as they have been introduced to the requirements in the relevant curricula in their trade of interest.

Some experience so far, quoted from professionals involved in the trial:

  • It is useful for the regional education authorities to get to know more about the competences that refugees bring with them and how this can be used as a basis for completing vocational education and training (VET) in Norway.
  • It is useful to open up for early contact between competent asylum seekers and businesses/companies and the opportunity to make competence visible regardless of language differences.
  • It has been interesting to see how candidates gradually develop the ability to talk about their own background and show what they are able to do. It highlights the challenges linked to interpreting professional vocabulary.
  • Early VPL will make shorter learning trajectories for candidates with a lot of practical skills. This gives the candidate an opportunity to show his/her skills while they are still ‘in his/her fingers’. (Meaning “while they still have recent hands-on experience from their trade”.)

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