VINCE Training Workshop in Aarhus, Denmark


  • 11th of December 2018


  • VIA University College


  • For higher education staff and other people working in advising migrants/refugees


  • The workshop was held in Danish language with 13 people: 12 study counsellors and 1 senior consultant


  • Workshop-Moderator: Bodil Lomholt Husted


VINCE Workshop Outcomes


It is clearly recognised as an advantage and a strength of the training module that it succeeded with a wide involvement of study counsellors. This extensive involvement paved the way for further dissemination of the VINCE model and tools to all teachers at the FIF courses.[1]

No doubt, there is a need for specific knowledge within this area. Dialogues throughout the workshop proved a great demand for knowledge and best practice – by a facilitation of local, national and European experience & knowledge sharing.

The professionals, responsible for the training express that the workshop helped create a broader awareness of the challenges and dilemmas that VINCE addresses.

The conversations among participants highlighted the differences in the VPL assessment of applicants’ competences due to HE admission criteria. A recommendation from the workshop was to further develop and implement the VINCE training module in terms of a tailor-made internal education for study counsellors / assessors with a special focus on VPL approach and processes.

Evaluation and recommendations to the VINCE Guidelines

A very positive response to the VINCE aims and results:

  • VINCE addresses relevant challenges in the meeting of HE institution and a migrant target group
  • VINCE offers tools for the validation procedures
  • VINCE offers general information to the applicants on study concerns, validation arrangements a.m.
  • VINCE provides the framework for VPL-professionals to recognize one’s own challenges as universal for the VPL area and target groups of migrant applicants.

The VINCE concept is clearly relevant and interesting though also an unfulfilled potential remains.

This concerns:

  • Guidelines and the VINCE platform are interesting though they also appear some kind of ‘stiff’. The study counsellors demand a more hands-on format for the information, for instance: What is the good VPL process? How do I establish the symmetrical meeting between assessor and applicant? In general, a need for more inspiration and insight into the validation process for applicants with a migrant background.
  • It is the impression that VINCE Guidelines aim at encompassing everything, which – on the contrary – ends up with the absence of ‘presence’.
  • Within the Guidelines, there are extensive jumps in level – from the overall and general level, for instance about Europe, to specific students’ organisations. Focus and intention with the Guidelines are not as clear as it should be – though some of the Guidelines are more usable than others.
  • The case studies are very good.
  • The overall evaluation of the training module and material is positive, though some local work remains for the training model to be fully integrated into the Danish context.
  • Based on the workshop, participants raised the questions: how do we establish a knowledge-flow from VINCE to the national structures? In addition, internally in each educational institution? How can we – based on the VINCE concept – develop our internal knowledge-flow, so that we develop and improve our validation processes for the target group of migrant applicants?

Workshop Activity

Instruction to the group work

  • Form groups with the representation of various education programmes.
  • Choose one case
  • Discuss how this applicant meets the admission criteria on your educational institution. Is a positive validation realistic? Why? Why not?

Case 1:

The applicant is a woman, born 1988 and she comes from Poland. She has her high school diploma from Poland and hereafter, for three years, she studied Special Education equivalent to a Danish bachelor of Education. In addition, she has studied a Master for Social Education with a focus on rehabilitation. She has no work experience with her Polish education.

She has lived in Denmark for five years. She has finalized Danish language course, level 2.6 at the language centre. Hereafter, she worked as a cleaning assistant. She finalized her FIF- course in June 2018.

She and her Polish husband have three children.

Case 2:

The female applicant is born in 1981 and she comes from Syria. She has stayed in Denmark for seven years and she has two children.

She has fulfilled the Danish language course, level 2 and afterwards, she continued with general adult education, NQF level 2, English, Danish / foreign language, mathematics and science.

She has worked in a kindergarten for three months and in another for 10 months. She brings an internship opinion from her FIF- internship and she has finalized her FIF course. Furthermore, in Denmark she has worked as an interpreter. From Syria, she has an education equivalent to social- and healthcare helper, for which she does not have the documentation.

Case 3

Male applicant from Ukraine where he worked for eight years as a teacher in general subjects and music at grade 1 to 6.

In 2010, he got a job offer within farming in Denmark. Due to higher salary, together with perspectives for a permanent stay, he accepted the offer. Now, it is his wish is to become a qualified teacher in Denmark. He has worked at the farm for 7-8 years. He applied for the FIF course from which he graduated in 2017 with very fine marks – some of them, excellent. Besides the FIF course, he has been a volunteer in a youth club. Now, he applies for the admission to the teacher education as his first priority, secondly, educator- and as his third choice, the social worker education.

Questions to start the group discussion:

  • Which guidance and counselling will the applicant achieve when applying for admission to your education programme?
  • How is the VPL process in your institution?
  • Do you miss information in the case, which could pose a vital asset for the applicant, had this been part of your knowledge as assessor?
  • If yes, is this information available, for instance at the institutions website?


[1] VIA Internal preparation courses for applicants with a refugee and migrant background.

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