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"International Youth Studies" project was presented to the European Youth Forum

The last stop of the long-term Erasmus+ capacity building project was held in Brussels where a clear-cut youth work distance learning course was discussed.

The largest youth organization in Armenia, the Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia (FYCA), which is implementing a long-term Erasmus+ project "International Youth Studies: Curricula, Distance Learning Course and Open Educational Materials" (InYouS), organised an evaluation meeting in Belgium on April 7-10.

InYouS aims to improve the recognition of youth work in Europe through the creation of certified youth studies curricula, organizing a distance-learning course for youth workers and open educational materials for European Higher Education Institutions. Within the framework of the ongoing project in Brussels, a meeting was held with the representatives of the European Youth Forum. The international partner organisations’ representatives also took part in the meeting.

Coordinator of the "InYouS" project, Diana Yeghiazaryan, who is also international secretary of the FYCA and Vice President at ECYC, presented to the European Youth Forum in details the 4 activities carried out during the past 15 months on the Youth Work education, the structure and Modules of the course underlining the expected impact of the "International Youth Studies" project. According to Diana Yeghiazaryan, youth workers who currently are not recognized in the EU Eastern Partnership countries and are straggling for better recognition in the EU member states will have the opportunity to use the experience and open educational materials gained during the project and participate in an online study course. "We expect that our course will be ready in June, however, we applied for the continuation of the project and by having InYouS 2 we will go for the accreditation and make the course a degree on European level", said Diana Yeghiazaryan. Arman Grigoryan, who is one of the project coordinators added that we all need quality in Youth Work and Education in line with recognition, this is why this project has been created.

Atom Mkhitaryan, President of the Federation of Youth Clubs of Armenia, informed the meeting participants that active work has been done to create an online distance learning program on youth work that can be further expanded. "We attach importance to the advocacy and recognition of youth work. It is an important topic in Armenia and Europe. In this direction we are trying to implement both already tested and innovative ideas also involving partners from other sectors, including Higher Education Institutions, Universities, public bodies and research centres".

The representatives of the European Youth Forum that we met - Līva Vikmane (Secretariat) and Andrea Casamenti (Board), congratulated the organisers on the project and expressed that such projects are not only needed to know each others successes and needs, but are also of great importance for expanding the scope of cooperation beyond the youth sector. We held a dynamic debate on a long-term vision for youth work development. One of the open questions for the sector to answer is how to develop quality youth work where there is a balance and space for both - volunteers in the field and those who choose youth work as occupation for longer or shorter period. They expressed that the developed course might pave the way for further training of all types of youth workers. Līva and Andrea also answered to participants’ questions who wanted to know more about the youth work development on European level.