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Ukraine has approved the first standards of the professional pre-higher education – COOP Ukraine

Ukraine has approved the first standards of the professional pre-higher education, which have been developed on the basis of a competency-based approach. One-third of the development team consisted of pedagogical staff of educational institutions that are part of the COOP Ukraine system. This was reported in the COOP Ukraine Training and Methodological Center “Ukooposvita”.

The standards were developed in pursuance of the Law of Ukraine “On Professional Pre-Higher Education”, adopted on June 6, 2019, and in accordance with the Guidelines approved by the Order of the Ministry of Education and Science of Ukraine. The work continued for more than six months, involving units of the relevant ministry, more than two dozen employees of cooperative educational institutions and representatives of other colleges. As a result, the document has passed a methodical and three-level professional examination: by representatives of employers, higher education and vocational colleges, the expertise of the relevant subcommittees of higher education, and the federation of employers.

I have to admit that the development of the standards was difficult and long, there were many discussions and debates, and the draft was amended several times, because there were many questions, as this was the first time this work had been done. Eventually these standards will unify the educational process and form the basis for the implementation of the Law of Ukraine “On Professional Pre-Higher Education”.

Most importantly, we developed these standards, focusing on students and the requirements of employers, as they are the end users of educational services”, said Lidia Voynash, member of the Management Board of Ukrkoopspilka (COOP Ukraine) and director of the Training and Methodological Center “Ukooposvita”.

According to her, the standards will apply to 9th and 11th graders as well as graduates of vocational education institutions. They will be used to determine the content and assess the results of educational activities in vocational education and training programmes of pre-higher education are mandatory for all educational institutions, regardless of their form of ownership and management.

Standards of professional pre-higher education were developed for each specialty in accordance with the National Qualifications Framework, and they provide the degree of pre-higher education, name of the field of study and specialty, forms of education, educational qualification, diploma qualification, description of the subject area, academic rights of graduates, credits ECTS required for the degree of professional pre-higher education, the list of competencies of the graduate, the normative content of training of applicants for professional pre-higher education, formulated in terms of learning outcomes, forms of certification of applicants for professional pre-higher education, requirements for internal quality assurance of professional pre-higher education, employment of graduates, etc.

“We managed to defend and maintain the existing terms of training of accountants, financiers, marketers, managers, commodity experts, technologists, hotel and restaurant business specialists, and even reduce tourism professionals by six months. Although representatives of the Ministry of Education and Science have proposed to increase the volume of educational and vocational programmes by one year in connection with the introduction of 12-year school education and the introduction of specialized secondary education in schools. As a result, the existing scope of educational and vocational programmes will allow training competitive specialists who can hold relevant positions and save millions of state budget funds and parents’ money”, explained Lidia Voynash.

It should be reminded that the system of cooperative educational institutions includes 20 colleges, two institutes (Vinnytsia Cooperative and Khmelnytskyi Cooperative Trade and Economic) and two universities (Poltava University of Economics and Trade and Lviv University of Trade and Economics). The scientific and methodological activities of cooperative higher education institutions are coordinated by the Training and Methodological Centre “Ukooposvita” and the Council of Rectors and Directors of Higher Education Institutions of the consumer co-operation of Ukraine.