Liechtenstein:Ongoing Reforms and Policy Developments
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This chapter provides a thematic and chronological overview of national reforms and policy developments since 2012.
The introduction of the chapter describes the overall education strategy and the key objectives across the whole education system. It also looks at how the education reform process is organised and who are the main actors in the decision-making process.
The section on ongoing reforms and policy developments groups reforms in the following broad thematic areas that largely correspond to education levels: Early childhood education and care; School education; VET and Adult learning; Higher education; and Transversal skills and Employability. Inside each thematic area, reforms are organised chronologically. The most recent reforms are described first.
Finally the section on the European perspective provides links to European strategies in which education and training have a prominent role.
Overall national education strategy and key objectives
Within the education strategy Fürstentum Liechtenstein 2020 published in March 2011, major and long-term objectives of the Liechtenstein education system have been defined and current initiatives and projects have been presented. Based on the fundamental importance of education a vision for the next ten years has been created:
- The overall aim is to provide and offer optimal education and further education for all inhabitants of Liechtenstein
- Framework conditions should be attractive in all levels of education and for both students and teacher.
- Within a reasonable financial framework the education pro-vided should be as broad and multifaceted as possible.
- The Liechtenstein education system should enable outstand-ing achievements and performances in different fields, fos-ter innovative strength and therefore assure prosperity.
Overview of the education reform process and drivers
Related to the strategic aims core themes of the different education fields have been determined for the next years in the following way:
- Concerning kindergarten and compulsory school the deregu-lation and decentralisation, the promotion of pedagogical developments through increased autonomy as well as the optimisation of transition are of major interest.
- Within secondary school (Sek II) the major goals are to im-prove educational opportunities in terms of learning oppor-tunities and potential degrees, to provide individual support for students of vocational trainings on a more regular base and to guarantee ongoing quality development at the Liech-tenstein Gymnasium.
- Within adult education and training as well as life long learn-ing the aim is to promote the validation of non formal learn-ing, to improve the standardisation of funding as well as to promote the opportunity of life long learning for everyone.
- From a broader perspective, the set-up of a national educa-tion controlling and the international cooperation and coor-dination are of major interest.
Based on the education strategy'y premise that education is a joint task the strategic aims have been discussed with internal experts, representatives of the economy as well as education experts. Relevant feedback has been implemented into the strategy. Furthermore, the initiatives and projects are based on specific requirements and correlate with international initiatives thus European aims.
Early Childhood Education and Care:
- Concept of Day Schools
- Early Language Learning – a Project in the Communities Eschen-Nendeln
- Remedial Education Support in Kindergarten
Reforms in School Education:
- School Development at Gymnasium – Vision 2015
- Decentralisation and Allocation of Logopedics
- Gifted Education
- Further Development of the Voluntary 10th School Year
- Bilingual Matura
Reforms in Vocational Education and Training and Adult Learning:
- Participation in the Agreement of Höhere Fachschule (higher vocational schools)
- Career Coaching for third Parties
- Foster Basic Skills of Adults
Reforms in Higher Education:
- Development of a National Qualifications Framework for Higher Education
Implemented, August, 2013
Revision of the Law of Scholarships:
In June 2012, the parliament approved the revision of the law of scholarships. This revision ensures that state funded grants are used for income-relevant further education. The suggested measures urge the recipient to more self-responsibility (e.g. from the age of 33 on only loans which need to be refunded will be given). Addition-ally an increase in efficiency is to be achieved which leads to fewer expenditures in scholarships. Despite these optimisations the bene-fits remain generous. These changes become operative after August 1, 2013. Until then all necessary administrational changes need to be done.
Implementation of the Head of School Concept
Employment and salary of school management has been newly reg-ulated with the change of ordinance and now complies with the law of state personnel. Competences concerning school operation (e.g. management, absences and dispensation regulations), transition into next level or repetition as well as personnel issues haven been extended.
Newly the school management decides in cooperation with the of-fice of education about employment of teachers (for community schools in cooperation with the school community council). In case of disagreement between school management and office of educa-tion the government will take the decisions.
Supportive Measures in the Liechtenstein School System: Overall Concept
Since August 2012 an overall concept, which summarises all sup-portive measures in the Liechtenstein school system, is available. Since the supportive measures in Liechtenstein correspond with the Swiss special needs education concordat a participation is consid-ered. The requirements have been fulfilled already.