The project BOOSTED aims at providing an aligned and relevant skillset for the CB region tourism industry to grow as a coherent tourism destination. As pointed out in the EUSBR the region should be developed as a common tourism destination: it has joint markets and challenges. Skills and competencies of the tourism industry should also be aligned in the region in order the industry to grow and to be competitive. However, the business skills needed to attract and to receive more international tourists are lacking.
In practice, the project aligns higher vocational tourism education with the needs of tourism industry and labour market in Finland, Estonia and Latvia into a new, joint curriculum and a study programme (32 ects). In the project relevant and mutual skillset is identified and aligned by research, it is translated into a VET curriculum and implemented as an online study programme. The study programme is created in close co-operation with the tourism industry and around real-life business cases in order to support the industry development. Teaching material is also produced and experience is exchanged during an innovation camp.
When the project ends the curriculum and the study programme are integrated as a module to the institutes’ bachelor curricula and online course offerings. The curriculum is spread to higher vocational institutes delivering tourism education in Finland, Estonia and Latvia. To ensure this, a teachers guide is produced and future teachers are coached.
As a result, the project enhances quality of higher vocational tourism education in the CB region through internalization and digitalization. The project supports joint curriculum development, increases physical and virtual mobility and attracts more students outside the region to study. By matching the education with the skills needed in the industry the project boosts the growth of tourism businesses and contributes to creating new partnerships.
Expected Results (EN):
R4.2. Increased share of aligned vocational education and training (VET) programmes in the Central Baltic region
Expected Outputs (EN):
The project’s main result is a joint curriculum and a study programme of 32 ects in advanced tourism business development. The programme is implemented online in English by distance learning. Courses (4 x 5 ects and 4 x 3 ects) are divided between the partners based on their expertise. Every partner organizes a 5 ects core course and a 3 ects course providing specialized knowledge. The programme is created with the tourism industry and around real-life tourism business cases in order to support the industry development and to achieve stronger integration of learning and local tourism enterprises. Thus, SMEs co-operating with the project partners provide cases to the courses that are jointly solved. The programme is placed at level 6 of the European Qualifications Framework.
The programme is targeted to higher vocational education students (bachelor level) but also tourism sector workers can participate through open university. The content of the curriculum and the study programme is based on the reseach results identifying the joint skillset and competencies. Each PP sends second or third year tourism students and SME''s workers to participate in joint courses.
The programme is implemented using joint eLearning platform, and one course of 3 ects is organized as an innovation camp (1 x 5 days) in Kuressaare. In the programme also joint teaching material, teacher''s guide and coaching events for CB region tourism lecturers about the curriculum and the programme are produced. Altogether 150 students from CB countries participate to the programme.
The result indicator for the objective is the share of aligned vocational education and training (VET) programmes in the CB region: the project result links directly to that by designing a joint curriculum and implementing a joint study programme (32 ects) in the CB region. The curriculum is spread in Finnish, Estonian and Latvian higher education institutions in the CB region.