Newsletter August 2015 – NVSU
In February 2015, E3M project transitioned to the Work Package № 4 titled “Implementation of the action plan at faculty level”, with lead RU partner – Nizhnevartovsk State University, acting as a WP leader. WP 4’s primary objective is to conceive roadmaps (HEI level) and strategies (national level) for RU partner institutions to foster, modernize and empower cooperation with employers.
In the first phase teachers started implementing their individual Action Plans by piloting new forms of cooperation based on the EU practices observed during the first Benchmarking Visits. The best EU concepts were utilized to find new business
partners, outline strategic plans for cooperation combining curricula and companies’ needs. As a result, a large number of partnerships were initiated by RU partner HEIs.
In the next phase the second benchmarking visit was organized to share the lessons learnt from piloting new forms of cooperation. Russian students and teachers travelled to Finland, Belgium, Austria and Spain to benchmark the implemented action plans. The benchmarking visits lasted for 14 days during which RU participants divided into small groups to visit JAMK University of Applied Sciences (Jyvaskyla, Finland) University of Girona (Spain), Carinthia University of Applied Sciences (Austria), AP University College (Antwerp, Belgium).
RU participants reiterated that the 2nd round of visits deepened their understanding of the EU HEI-employer collaboration and further relieved some mechanism behind its imminent success – readiness of the EU HEI administration to invest and support initiatives and most importantly to demonstrate an added value and convince employers to embark on joint initiatives.
A diverse range of concepts, activities, practices employed by the EU HEIs were observed during the visits: JAMK University of Applied Sciences – market-oriented R&D transfer, HEI-business adherence to support of the regional development, promotion of student entrepreneurial skills across different disciplines (“Innovation Week”); University of Girona – SMART specialization strategy aimed to establish strategic alliances between universities, regional authorities, industry and other stakeholders, Job “Speed Dates” for students to interact with employers, industry representatives through a series of short conversations, database of students profiles, effective traineeship management, “Master Thesis Award” organized by the Federation of Business Organizations of Girona to reward best master thesis which addresses real company issues; Carinthia University of Applied Sciences – support of student start-up initiatives with free of charge provision of premises, equipment, consulting services; on-campus “Career events”, ”Alumni clubs”; AP University College – comprehensive Internship management (Guidelines for companies, Internship Evaluation Table), TechnoMatch Portrait – a practical tool to enhance collaboration of education and business, centred on the analysis of professional competences and key skills for the use of educators.
The next WP 4 activity to be carried out is the development of an algorithm for establishing cooperation with employers on the institutional (“roadmap”) and national (“strategy”) levels, based on the deliverables and results of the previous activities.