WP3 – MILETUS operation

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Assumptions:

  • Availability at HEIs in PCs of competent staff willing to arrange and supervise students’ mobility runs.
  • Research methodology course to be developed fully addresses the needs of HEIs in PCs.
  • Preparatory lectures target students’ needs in getting ready for mobility runs.
  • Spin-off lectures are characterized by expected level of quality.
  • Selected and purchased literature covers all areas of knowledge necessary for preparation for and participation in mobility runs.

Risks:

Teaching staff representatives of HEIs in PCs fail to produce spin-off lectures on time before the second virtual mobility run. Elaborated syllabus contains more materials than students might have time to master.

DESCRIPTION:

During WP 2, which is led by NaUKMA, all development tasks will be undertaken to enable realization of virtual students’ mobility run. Within the framework of this WP, HEI teaching staff in Ukraine and Serbia is selected according to the criteria to be defined to guarantee accompanying students’ mobility initiatives and production of online training sessions. Administrative staff represented by for example employees of International Relations Offices or Dean’s Offices currently responsible for students’ mobility initiatives and/or internationalization will also be included to encompass all branches of the students’ mobility arrangement process. In total, every PC HEIs sends out two teaching staff and one administrative staff participants (with the ministries sending two staff representatives) for a five-day, 8 hours/day session. The Programme Country partners will arrange and give train-the-trainer sessions building internationalization and mobility capacity depending on the assessment report’s results (DEV 1.5) on good practices, identified shortcomings and potentials, students’ needs, wishes, and requirements, as well as the gaps to existing mobility programs. The training sessions are also related to the topics indentified for literature purchase.

Literature, e.g. on internationalization, students’ mobility, international project management, intercultural competence, and cultural diversity that is selected is made available to all participants from Ukraine and Serbia. This literature is purchased jointly with literature necessary for the students’ courses. To extend the training session’s impact, prospective training sessions’ participants will beforehand familiarize themselves with distributed materials (primarily on best students’ mobility practices) to be better prepared for presentations and trainings. The trainings can then entirely be used for clarifying terms, concepts, theories and overall understanding etc. To ensure this continuity, an overall assessment report (DEV 1.5) will be distributed among the participants. A laptop and a projector shall be purchased to ensure the training.

Furthermore, a camera is needed to record the course. These needs will be covered by the equipment purchase in DEV 2.4.2. Since the sessions follow the train-the-trainer idea, future courses within the HEIs in Ukraine and Serbia will be possible first through viewing training sessions via Internet space (DEV 2.4.3) and tuning in during videoconferencing sessions of the second virtual mobility run (3.4.2) where new teaching staff representatives have a chance to familiarize themselves with students’ supervision peculiarities. It will ensure future knowledge transfer (training further) and costs reduction (in case more representatives from HEI want to participate). The online courses that are made available to teaching staff at HEIs in Ukraine and Serbia serve as basis to the development and production of spin-off lectures by the selected teaching staff (DEV 2.6). While the initial online course will offer fundamental knowledge, lectures evolved by teaching staff in Ukraine and Serbia will be more in-depth, yet make references to the basic research methodology course. The virtual mobility runs shall primarily target Master students in their last study year, to facilitate the course recognition. The most meaningful way is to prepare the thesis during such a mobility run in order to reduce the need to learn a foreign language (English shall be sufficient).

On a later stage, PhD students are expected to perform part of their research during the planned mobility. Even though those students are already skilled and experienced in their field of study, there is a knowledge lack in research methodologies that are normally applied for thesis elaboration:

  • Even though there are courses on research methodology at HEIs in Ukraine and Serbia their quality may not be par with that of HEIs in the Programme Countries;
  • Students at Master level participating in mobility runs (within the framework of the project and beyond its lifetime) from different HEIs from Ukraine and Serbia, irrespective of their background, need to be equally trained in research methodology, for they will need to accomplish similar tasks and assessed according to the same criteria;
  • Students at Master level will be better prepared for their Master’s Thesis;
  • PhD level students participating in a mobility run will have to be trained in conducting good scientific research to be on an equal footing with their fellows during real mobility phase (not wasting time on harmonization of research methodology approaches); For the project, teaching staff from Ukraine and Serbia will have to receive additional training on learning materials production. Research methodology course provides such an opportunity to learn and produce spin-off lectures because of its detachment from a specific field of studies (be it marketing or finances, or economic theory).

Programme Countries’ partners will contribute by producing research methodology online course, each preparing one lecture (introduction to scientific research, qualitative research, and quantitative research) to be presented and recorded future viewing by students participating in students’ mobility runs.

Literature on research methodology will be selected by the Programme Countries’ partners in light of the needs and requirements of HEIs in Ukraine and Serbia. Books on research methodology will be acquired as described above. The materials will serve as basis for preparatory discussions. Different functions of existing International Relations Offices will be upgraded to serve a consulting and intermediary function in future students’ mobility initiatives according to the WP1 needs analysis. If there is not International Relations Office, then such an office will be founded. All offices shall be appropriately equipped for the mobility runs. In any case one laptop should be bought for a teaching staff representative to supervise a distant work of virtual mobility students and another for every student participating in a mobility run.

Computers will retain at the HEI, but will be made available to students for work on tasks within the scope of mobility runs, i.e. for typing, research, videoconferencing or chatting with peer students, watching online courses, taking it to reading rooms etc. To ensure practical experience of the office’s team, students for future mobility runs will be turning to the International Relations Office to act as a trusted intermediary (regarding information, future mobility runs, qualification criteria, application etc.).

As a summary, there are train-the-trainer training sessions, research methodology courses, three additional lectures on preparatory coaching for students (on cultural diversity, integration, communication), and spin-off lecture on research methodology developed by each teaching staff representative from PCs. The trainings for teaching and administrative staff last a week. Then, in the course of the project within WP 4 there will be meetings having a character of trainings, but representatives of PCs will be regarded already as people in the know. Research methodology course contains 6 lectures (each two produced by each EU partner). All topics will be defined after activities in WP 1 based on the DEV 1.5 Overall assessment report, to comply with the students’ needs and the HEIs’ deficiencies.