Visoka škola strukovnih studija za obrazovanje vaspitača i trenera (further in text – VŠSSOVT) from Subotica, Serbia directs its strategy towards connecting with foreign Schools and Faculties for learning on examples of good practice. VŠSSOVT bases strategic plan on 5 axes
- internationalization of teaching and non-teaching staff, students,
- regional enhancement and development,
- organization and management.
VŠSSOVT will strive to focus its international cooperation on deeper and wider partnerships and strategic networks, resting on a stronger connection between student and teacher exchange, education and research, but also entrepreneurship.
Bearing in mind that we are a vocational school, we are preparing students not only for theoretical knowledge but also for practical tasks. The environment in which we operate is closed and unfortunately inert so our mission is to stimulate students to be initiators and entrepreneurs, what we have already successfully doing.
By opening to countries abroad, in Western and Northern Europe we believe that we can learn new business models, but also improve the curriculum and bring new alternative practices in our society. Regarding the internationalization axes the main target is widen the geographic an thematic scope of cooperation, therefore some contact are being made with European countries – Austria, Croatia, Hungary, Ireland. Our strategy is to expand the network of contacts in other countries of Europe and the world. VŠSSOVT is oriented not only on teaching stuff and student’s mobility but also on project connected with adult education, sport and culture. We recognize our institution as the bearer of changes in the social and economic sense in the environment in which we work.
College of Vocational Studies for the Education of Preschool Teachers and Sports Trainers (Nutritionists and Professional Nurses) or VŠSSOVT in Subotica has a long 40-year tradition in educating staff of the pedagogical profession (preschool children), experience in the education of specialist preschool educators, and also marks the successful beginning of the realization of basic vocational studies in the field of physical education and sports for the education of professional trainers in sports, medical sciences – for the education of professional dietician nutritionists and professional nurses. Study programs of basic vocational studies are realized for the duration of 3 (three) school years – 6 (six) semesters, in the scope of 180 ESPB points. The study programs qualifies students to apply critical approach and show readiness for team work, as well as to gain competencies for continuing professional development.
VŠSSOVT has 2330 m2 available space. Lectures, practice work and different types of activities take place in amphitheatres, well-equipped classrooms, laboratory and the library.
More than 50% of the employees at College are doctors of science, there are 4 specialists, 4 master’s of science and 10 masters of science from different fields: psychology, pedagogy, medicine, sports, methods, techniques and technology. Non-teaching staff includes 14 employees. The significant part of the College work includes the practical work of students which is taking place in state and private preschool institutions, health centers, the General Hospital Subotica, the Geriatric Center in Subotica and the Sports Association of the city.
We choose partners for together international projects very consciously and thoughtfully, always looking for a dimension from which we can learn and improve the current situation. We turn to countries that have reached certain levels in the areas that are our profession, and the institutions and organizations to whom we give priority are those who are certainly well-organized, professional and fostering entrepreneurial spirit.
We are open to innovative projects, for informal cooperation with unconventional organizations, and for linking various artistic fields with science and profession in order to expand the popularization of culture, to bring new trends to the raw classes of citizenship, and above all to encourage students to think outside the box.
The change of School Management enabled the development of a strategy, opening up to abroad, interacting with entrepreneurs in the environment and the region, as well as a clear picture of needs and goals. In order to be socially responsible, we are designing projects that contribute to the improvement of general awareness of citizenship about healthy lifestyles, promote ecological ideas and enable training in so-called lifelong learning. In 2019. VŠSSOVT will implement international project ,,Change your mind, citizens in charge,, in cooperation with Austrian “Akademie für Politische Bildung und demokratiefördernde Maßnahmen,, with the help of BACID fund.
Since January 2017, the College has set new strategic goals related to improving the quality of the teaching process, the quality of the teaching staff, intensifying cooperation with the stake holders and directing the school towards the market and economy.
Activities related to improving the quality of the teaching process.
One of the main aims of the university reform driven by Bologna process is enhancing academic quality of studies. We are dedicated to breaking down the traditional views on how and what students should learn. Our school is slowly move away from rigid traditional lecture-based teaching to more student-centered concept. Our teachers strive to encourage active learning, with more diverse learning methods and techniques. Students have opportunity to learn from their group discussion, to present and compare their expectations and experiences and to get different kinds of feedback. Also, we believe that monitoring of students learning and progressing and providing appropriate feedback are crucial elements of successful learning and teching.
Activities related to the quality of the teaching staff. The teachers are become aware of the variation of ways in which learning and teaching can be conceived and carried out. Special attention is also paid of teachers improvement of professional and personal skills.
We encourage teaching staff for their continuous improvement, lifelong learning and initiative.
Activities related to intensifying cooperation with the stake holders. We organize numerous activities and free education for our stake holders and citizens because we are socially responsible and, thus, contribute to the partners relationships and development of local and regional community.
Activities related to directing the school towards the market and economy.
We are a forward-thinking institution committed to developing forward-thinking citizens and future leaders who will face down the challenges of our modern world. And we do all this in a multicultural, multilingual city of Subotica that provides students numerous opportunities to learn and grow in the classroom and out in their professional field. We know how important is to support every part of an entrepreneur’s process, from inspiring students at formal and nonformal talks and events, to helping create a compelling pitch and connecting them to network of mentors, investors and experts. The extra curriculum within which we organize workshops, lectures, seminars and trainings in the field of pedagogy, psychology, sports, nutrition and medicine, aims to involve students in the process of gaining knowledge and skills for themselves, not for the sake of assessment, and to awaken curiosity, initiative and entrepreneurial spirit. The Center for Career Advice within the school conducts individual counseling of students regarding employment opportunities, increasing knowledge and professional experience, volunteering and professional networking in the local community.
VŠSSOVT strives to improve curricula development including both structure and content, through development of flexible learning paths. One of the biggest concerns is strategic partnership and implementation of new knowledge alliances enlarging the current School, creating a platform for innovation and collaborative development. Quality of teaching and research development and innovation are of course of the utmost concern for VŠSSOVT and this requires improvement of the curricular quality of our programs and international recognition of our studies. One important goal is increasing the number of foreign students, who can give new ideas and energy in Subotica.
VŠSSOVT sees cooperation as an economic activity that is performed within a social context in which the actors are embedded. Actually this is a first step to change to a more business like institution looking for new market and students in a ever more international environment.
VŠSSOVT is now dealing in a much proactive way in the coordination of different projects, searching for new markets and defining it’s place in the global High education and entrepreneurial market. Strategic management as a different standpoints – scope, efficiency and effectiveness to create sustainable competitive advantage.
What really defines the advantages of VŠSSOVT it’s the complementary as well as compatibility. Combine resources, efforts and knowledge give all members strength and disclosure, physical capital resources, human capital resources and organizational capital resources. The geographic location of the VŠSSOVT could be seen as an advantage, in a border with European Union.
Participation in international exchange programs would be crucial for students of our School. Students who are enrolling our School are young people from the villages and poor parts of the province of Vojvodina, which we are trying to involve in various projects to open their aspects and encourage them to participate in lifelong learning and initiative. Engaging in exchange programs would provide to our students: contact with new cultures, detection of ways of living, studying and business, as well as a chance to understand how they can use their profession (vocation) and business ideas as a fertile ground for starting a business in their midst, and on that way they can directly affect the quality of life.
One very important factor is innovation and digital technologies in education which we already are trying to implement in many ways, by including students in blogging, involving teachers in “eTwinning network”, and promoting innovative, personalised and digital teaching methods and technologies that will help improve learning outcomes, boosting language learning, giving more support to teachers, concisely said we are investing in people.