Towards a common curriculum in vocational social and health care education

CATCH project aims at creating a Nordic study module NOCVET. The project addresses the basic social and health care sector education.

CATCH project aims at creating a Nordic study module NOCVET. To reach this aim, the five participating vocational colleges from Sweden, Norway, Iceland, Finland and Denmark are processing a common Nordic curriculum that complies with the ECVET objectives. The project addresses the basic social and health care sector education.

Doing international cooperation and meeting partners in and from different countries means getting experiences about nature and culture, but also getting to know and meeting people. All this makes an important base for cooperation and is what we have experienced in doing CATCH cooperation.

CATCH is a Nordplus Junior project. One concrete aim of the project is to produce a Nordic study module NOCVET, common for all Nordic partner colleges. This will form the basis for future student and teacher exchanges. The project is realized in five meetings (2015-2016) in the partner organizations and online. Management, staff and students of the colleges and representatives of working life contribute to the project.

Inspiring study visits kick-off the cooperation

The first meeting was held in Iceland in November 2014, where much effort was made to find some common base in the curricula. Even within the Nordic countries, our task was demanding and required much thought. Fortunately, lively study visits helped to kick-off our work. In Iceland we visited Ásgarður, which provides mentally disabled individuals work and service during daytime. Its professional aims are built on Rudolf Steiner’s theory, which sees disability is a possibility - not an obstacle - and that every individual has a healthy core they work with. Empowering the creative power that is inside every individual is one of the cornerstones in Ásgarður, where every individual is met with an emphasis on their own terms. This creates a condition for growth and independent life. We were impressed and inspired by this study visit as well as the natural surroundings of Iceland.

Students highlight the importance of work-based learning 

The second meeting was held in March 2015 in Finland at social and health care sector education institution Tampere Vocational College Tredu, which has a long tradition in the educational development work and cooperation between school and working life. Our key competence in the project is work-based learning (WBL), which was also the theme in Tampere meeting.

During the Tampere meeting students gave an important contribution to our cooperation. Students told about their on-the-job training experiences abroad in Denmark and in Portugal. Students emphasized the importance of international exchange and the impact of it in learning different skills (e.g. language, culture, daily life). Tredu’s tourism industry students organized a Tampere sightseeing walking tour and a farewell dinner was also prepared by students at the student restaurant Eetvartti.

Work continues with the healthy lifestyle promotion in Norway

Both face-to-face meetings have been very important to this project. They have given possibilities to learn at many levels. The next task for a meeting in Bergen, Norway in September 2015 is to work with the theme: Promoting Healthy Lifestyle and then on with meetings in Denmark and Sweden, before the project is complete and all the Nordic views taken into account.


Photo: Lena Hedbratt, Göteborgs stad Utbilding Studium

Countries involved: Finland, Denmark, Iceland, Norway, Sweden

Contact information:

Author: Marjatta Lehtovirta, Nordplus-coordinator, Tampere Vocational College Tredu