„Europaschule in NRW“ is an official label used for schools which focus on Europe at their institution. These schools make their students acquainted with Europe and the European Union in particular, both theoretically and practically, and prepare them for the European job market and perhaps even a move to another European country. The topic “Europe” is present in lessons but the students also get the chance to travel abroad, e.g. by participating in projects and competitions or exchanges. The students and teachers are enabled to co-operate with students and teachers from other European institutions. It is a huge aim to enhance the intercultural and social competence, to promote language skills and furthermore to combat prejudice and to develop tolerance.
Currently there are more than 160 “Europaschulen in North Rhine-Westphalia”. Being awarded this label means that previously defined criteria have to be met, an aspect which has continuously been monitored by external consultants. Berufskolleg Rheydt-Mülfort für Wirtschaft und Verwaltung was awarded “Europaschule in NRW” in 2009. It was the first vocational school in the Mönchengladbach area and the twelfth in North Rhine-Westphalia to get this label.
Here are some examples of our Europe-related activities:
- International project work (“Lifelong Learning Programme”, “Erasmus+”)
- Industrial placements for students abroad
- Internationally accepted language certificates
- Bilingual lessons
- Additional qualifications like „Europakaufmann/-frau“ (IHK)
- Special activities dealing with the topic „Europe“ e.g. school festivities
In 2007 the European Lifelong Learning Programme started. The main objective of this concept was to enhance the mobility of students and teachers within Europe and to encourage educational institutions in the EU countries as well as in Switzerland, Liechtenstein, Turkey, Croatia, Norway and Iceland to co-operate. Berufskolleg Rheydt-Mülfort für Wirtschaft und Verwaltung used this unique opportunity, joined various projects and offered its students and teachers the chance to work on relevant topics, to travel abroad and to meet many interesting people from all over Europe. Our full-time school students benefited from the Lifelong Learning sub-programme Comenius, the Leonardo da Vinci programme was intended for our students of vocational school.
In 2013 the Lifelong Learning Programme ended. It was replaced by “Erasmus+”, which will continue promoting bilateral and multilateral school partnerships, further education for teachers as well as stays abroad.
In addition to the above mentioned programmes there are further institutions we benefit from e.g. Robert-Bosch-Stiftung or Deutsch-Französisches Jugendwerk.
Here is a chronological overview of successfully finished projects:
- 2012-2014 Enhancing trainees‘ learning motivation and achievement by identifying their learning styles (EnTraiMo):
Students, especially in vocational education and training with its heterogeneous classes (age, education, social and cultural background etc.), learn in different ways. The project brought European partners from Germany, Great Britain, Slovakia, Hungary, Spain and Sweden together to share and understand different learning styles and how these impact on mixed groups of learners.
- 2012-2014 Investigation of concepts dealing with the individual advancement of students:
The idea of this project was to investigate concepts dealing with the individual advancement of students. Teachers of our school travelled to some of our European partner schools and gathered information about successfully applied concepts at these institutions. The main aim was to find new promising concepts which can be used at German vocational schools, too. Partners: Poland, Spain, Malta, France, Finland and Italy
- 2012-2014 Learning environments in vocational educational settings (LEVES):
The bilateral project with Malta aimed at the identification and investigation of factors of the learning environment, which might have an influence - both positive and negative - on the students' learning process. The factors identified were temperature in the classroom, colour of the walls, light, noise and air humidity.
- 2009-2011 Cooler World:
The overall aim of the "Cooler World"-project was to promote a sustainable society by enhancing the knowledge and awareness of sustainability (self-efficacy in environmental and socio-cultural questions), sustainable development and influence individual attitudes and activities of teachers, trainers, experts and students. During the project partners from Finland, Slovakia, Germany, Italy and France created an online ECO-game, a Mini Info Package and a Mini Dictionary to improve and integrate teaching and learning sustainability in secondary vocational education.
- 2008-2010 Development and implementation of international concepts of quality management for schools (Qm-Pro):
This project focused on getting to know different national quality management systems and concentrating on single joint aspects of these systems. Basing on these aspects objectives and criteria to enhance the quality of schools were developed, measures were planned, carried out and evaluated. Partners: Finland, Sweden, Norway, Spain and Poland
- 2007-2008 The euregional pavilion: People 2 People II
In cooperation with Gilde Opleidingen a pavilion was built on the Berufskolleg Rheydt-Mülfort für Wirtschaft und Verwaltung premises. The drafts and architectural models were created by students of Gilde Opleidingen and Berufskolleg Rheydt-Mülfort für Technik, Berufskolleg Rheydt-Mülfort für Wirtschaft und Verwaltung was in charge of the commercial activities.
- 2007-2008 LOG IN – Learning without limits on the Internet radio
About 100 German and French students worked on a joint project and produced six radio programmes with topics like „Being a youngster in Moenchengladbach“, „Violence at schools“ or „Chances on the regional job market“. Partner: France
- 2005-2008 Regions of opportunities:
The objective of this project was the development of a long-lasting co-operation between the schools and the companies in the fields of business and the understanding for a holistic and intercurricular work. The project aims at demonstrating to the students the value of an international co-operation, giving them a better understanding of their region and arousing the interest in entrepreneurship. In addition, the teachers can gain experience in developing new pedagogical methods. Partners: Norway and Finland
- 2003-2005 Virtual Corporate Learning about Electronic Commerce (Vico-Ecom):
Selected European partners worked out teaching and learning materials in the field of “e-commerce” and exchanged them. Partners: e-learning experts from Austria, Bulgaria, Greece, Germany and other European countries
- 2002 DEPOT:
With the objective to inform German youngsters about the EU-eastward enlargement a delegation of the Polish partner school in Warsaw visited our school in the context of the EU-project DEPOT. Our school was the host and organized the courses which were held by Polish students. During one week they informed about 500 German students at different vocational colleges about the topics “job market”, “education”, “economy”, “social issues” and “leisure time”.
On the following websites you will find more detailed information on the above mentioned, current and future projects.