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Reducing drop outs by introducing Emotional Intelligence in VET


The National Agency of the European Erasmus + program in the Netherlands has approved the project application for an “Exchange of Good Practices” submitted by the Stichting Europese Beroepsopleidingen (Stichting EB), a foundation for cooperation in VET.

In the project “Intelligent Euregional Emotional Exchange (IE³)”, VET institutes from the Euregion Meuse-Rhine are working together to reduce early school leaving by introducing Emotional Intelligence (EI) in the education and guidance programs. STEP Institute, Ljubljana, as centre of expertise in the field of EI, is a partner in this project.

According to the planning from the pre-corona time, the project will start on September 1, 2020 and will run for 26 months.



Dropping out of school is a persistent phenomenon in Europe and is considered a real challenge. Personal frustration and an actual loss of potential employees for the job market are the main incentives for the participating partners to take part in this exchange. Earlier study trips on the theme of dropping out of school has increased the motivation when these study trips were complemented with workshops on the theme of Emotional Intelligence and the impact on school drop-outs. Exactly that is the reason for the 9 partners to take part in this exchange of good practices, directed by the Stichting Europese Beroepsopleidingen (Foundation for Cooperation in VET)), HAST Hasselt (Belgium), Käthe Kollwitz Berufskolleg Aachen, Berufskolleg Jülich, Berufskolleg Eschweiler, Berufskolleg Herzogenrath (all from Germany), STEP Ljubljana (Slovenia) en Stichting BVE Zuid Limburg VISTA college (the Netherlands). All schools involved are schools for secondary vocational education. In particular the relation between emotional growth and dropping out of school is the trigger for the participating partners. They are all convinced that it is of the utmost importance that emotional intelligence training should be an integral part of the curriculum or should be part of guidance programs. It is believed that in time, this will have a positive effect on the reduction of school drop-outs, will have a positive effect on students themselves and will improve the quality of his/her time at school and opportunities on the job market. The goals have been formulated SMART and are concrete measurable. Furthermore they show a high degree of reality:

  • Awareness concerning the importance of emotional intelligence;
  • Recognizability in the curriculum and/or student guidance;
  • A minimum of 2 teachers/coaches per school have been trained and thus can endorse their knowhow/skills;
  • Every partner has made a start with carrying out a train-the trainer program on how to handle emotional intelligence;
  • STEP, the Slovenian expertise partner, remains available for consultation. In addition, every partner has formulated individual goals.

After all the starting position is different for each partner. The idea ‘learning from each other’ is leading from the start. The exchange will consist of visits to each other’s schools and share know-how. Besides that the Slovenian partner will build in a training and a start will be made with a train-the trainer program. Results of the already achieved goals will be shared during the last 2 meetings. At the final meeting relevant partners will be involved in the dissemination. In time this exchange will lead to structural attention for emotional intelligence in curricula and/or guidance programs, reduction of school drop-outs, strengthening of the bond between Euregional partners and an increase of bilateral collaboration in the Euregion. Last but not least: This will advance thé goal of Stichting EB, the bringing together of vocational education in the Euregion Meuse-Rhine.

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