19 février 2012

Why we should never stop learning

http://www.habervakti.com/img/zLMmaX7G.jpgIn this week’s Learning World, we are looking at lifelong education: focusing on the huge number of things we have still got to learn long after our formal education has finished.
Mauritius: Recognising skills

In Mauritius a new project is helping vulnerable people who have had very little formal education to pick up new skills and qualifications. This has been useful for some as they have been able to start up their own businesses, while for others it proved to be a boost to their self-esteem.
One of the key features of the project is that they look at the things the people already to do; either at home, at work or in the community, and show that they have real value. Where applicable, they can use these skills to earn state recognised qualifications.
UNESCO - Adapting to change

Rapidly changing technology necessitates the ability to keep on learning throughout our lives. Now more than ever there is great pressure to constantly learn and follow changes for fear of getting left behind.
Yves Attou, President of the World Committee for Lifelong Learning, spoke to euronews on the importance of seeing learning as an ongoing pursuit for everyone in the world, and not just those currently in education. www.wcfel.org.
Thailand: Opening the door
In the highlands of northern Thailand near the Burmese border, a remote community is served by a learning centre. The Karen hill tribes people are skilled craftsmen, but are hampered by a language barrier which, to an extent, cuts them off from the outside world. Now thanks to an education scheme, which is not only life-long but intended to be passed down from generation to generation, they can learn the skills needed to communicate with others from outside their community. iiz-dvv.de.

Posté par pcassuto à 11:20 - - Permalien [#]


Les nouveaux territoires de l'éducation - Vers l'Euro-Méditerranée

http://www.europe-education-formation.fr/images/elements/2011/bandeau-agence.jpgLa conférence annuelle de valorisation des projets s'est tenue à Marseille les 8 et 9 décembre 2011.
Ci-dessous une synthèse des tables-rondes et des ateliers qui ont réuni porteurs de projet et collectivités territoriales impliquées dans l'éducatif. L'Agence a remis un prix 2011 au projet Tempus DEFI-AVERROES tourné vers la Méditerranée et l'employabilité des jeunes diplômés. Accéder à la newsletter.
Ouverture de la conférence

« L’Euroméditerranée s’inscrit comme un des enjeux majeurs dans les prochaines années et l’Europe doit s’ouvrir sur l’espace méditerranéen de culture et de jeunesse. » Jean Leonetti, Ministre chargé des Affaires européennes a adressé un message d’encouragement et de félicitation à l’Agence pour sa mission de promotion et de gestion des actions de mobilité européenne. Retrouvez la vidéo du Ministre en cliquant ici.
« Nous ne pouvons pas imaginer une seule seconde de ne pas donner une dimension internationale et a fortiori européenne à notre éducation. » Jean-Paul de Gaudemar, recteur de l’académie d’Aix-Marseille, a accueilli les participants et introduit les débats. Retrouvez l’intégralité du discours d’ouverture de Jean-Paul de Gaudemar.
http://www.europe-education-formation.fr/images/elements/2011/bandeau-agence.jpg La conferenza annuale di sviluppo di progetti si è tenuto a Marsiglia l'8 e il 9 dicembre 2011.
Di seguito una sintesi delle tavole rotonde e workshop che ha riunito i responsabili dei progetti e degli enti locali si occupano di educazione.
L'Agenzia ha assegnato un premio al progetto Tempus 2011 defini-AVERROES si affacciano sul Mediterraneo e l'occupabilità dei laureati. accesso alla newsletter. Più...

Posté par pcassuto à 11:09 - - Permalien [#]

Deutsche Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Weiterbildung und Fernstudium

http://www.dgwf.net/age/img/agelogo_klein.pngDie Deutsche Gesellschaft für wissenschaftliche Weiterbildung und Fernstudium (DGWF) ist eine bundesweit agierende Vereinigung von ca. 270 Institutionen und Personen aus dem Hochschul- und Weiterbildungsbereich in Deutschland. Ca. 15 Mitglieder kommen aus anderen europäischen Ländern. Der satzungsmäßige Zweck des als gemeinnützig anerkannten Vereins besteht in der Förderung, Koordinierung und Repräsentation der von den Hochschulen (Universitäten, Fachhochschulen, Hochschulverbünden) getragenen Weiterbildung und des Fernstudiums. Dazu gehört auch die Förderung von Forschung und Lehre auf diesen Gebieten. In jüngster Zeit richtet die DGWF ihr Augenmerk zudem verstärkt auf die Rolle der neuen Medien in der Hochschulweiterbildung und im Fernstudium. Vorsitzende des Sprecherrats der Arbeitsgruppe der Einrichtungen für Weiterbildung an Hochschulen (AG-E) ist Frau Dr. Ursula Bade-Becker, Geschäftsführerin des Zentrums Wissenschaftliche Weiterbildung an der Universität Bielefeld e.V. Die Homepage der DGWF erreichen Sie unter http://www.dgwf.net. Die DGWF ist Mitglied im European Universities Continuing Education Network (EUCEN).
Ziele der AG-E:

    Bildung einer Plattform für die Diskussion aller theoretischen und praktischen Dimensionen der Weiterbildung an Hochschulen,
    Förderung des allgemeinen Verständnisses für die Hochschulweiterbildung,
    Aufbau und Pflege einer Infrastruktur für die institutionsübergreifende Entwicklung und Verbreitung von Angeboten der wissenschaftlichen Weiterbildung,
    Initiierung und Förderung von Forschung und Entwicklung zur Weiterbildung an Hochschulen und Beteiligung an entsprechenden Projekten,
    Gemeinsame Vertretung der Weiterbildung an den Hochschulen Deutschlands auf europäischer und internationaler Ebene und Beteiligung an Projekten zur University Continuing Education (UCE).
Aktivitäten

    Themenbezogene Jahrestagung für die Mitglieder der AG-E und weitere Interessierte
    Dokumentation der Tagungsbeiträge in der DGWF-Zeitschrift "Hochschule und Weiterbildung",
    Aufbau von kooperativen Netzwerken zur gegenseitigen Beratung und Unterstützung bei der Realisierung des Weiterbildungsauftrages,
    Beteiligung an überinstitutionellen Projekten zur Gestaltung und Qualitätssicherung der wissenschaftlichen Weiterbildung.

Posté par pcassuto à 11:04 - - Permalien [#]

Innovación Docente y de Gestión en la Formación Permanente Universitaria

http://nevada.ual.es/epropias/graficos/logo_encuentro.pngXI Encuentro RUEPEP. Universidad de Almería 15-16 Marzo 2012.
Bienvenidos al XI Encuentro de la Red Universitaria de Estudios de Postgrado y Formación Permanente que se celebrará en la Universidad de Almería, los días 15 y 16 de Marzo de 2012.
Estos encuentros nos ayudan a las Universidades e Instituciones a adquirir un compromiso con la sociedad participando en su desarrollo a través de la formación avanzada y de calidad a lo largo de la vida.
El lema del encuentro "Innovación Docente y de Gestión en la Formación Permanente Universitaria" invita a las universidades e instituciones a analizar y proponer estrategias innovadoras en todos los procesos de Formación Permanente y de Postgrado, creando un espacio para compartir experiencias, fomentar la colaboración tanto académica como de gestión, servir de vínculo con otras redes nacionales e internacionales, así como con el entorno socio-económico.
Esperamos que, al igual que en encuentros anteriores, la participación, el debate y el intercambio de información sea una de las claves para seguir avanzando hacia la mejora de la Formación Permanente Universitaria.
See also X Encuentro de RUEPEP.

Posté par pcassuto à 10:40 - - Permalien [#]

Changing Assessment to Improve Learning Outcomes

http://www.cedefop.europa.eu/EN/Images-UserInterface/bg_cedefopLogo.gifIn response to the strong interest of education researchers both in European Union countries and internationally, Cedefop is organising its 3rd International Workshop on Curriculum Innovation and Reform: Changing Assessment to Improve Learning Outcomes in 26-27 April 2012 in Thessaloniki, Greece.
This year the workshop will be focusing on policy links. In reforming curricula and assessment, the challenge for policy is to create effective links between teaching, learning and assessing. New curricula and assessment methods are pointless unless they lead to better teaching and learning
Discussions will centre on key findings on how learning outcome approaches shape recent curriculum and assessment policies, drawing from two Cedefop related studies in 32 European countries. Policy makers, researchers and practitioners from all EU countries and beyond, and representatives of international organisations are invited to reflect on the following questions:
− How can curriculum and assessment policies strengthen each other?
− How can curriculum and assessment policies work together more effectively to improve learning outcomes in vocational education and training?
The goal of the workshop is to draw out general lessons for policy development and further research needs on two key issues:
1. Ensuring links between curriculum and assessment policies
    The alignment of standards with curricula and assessment
    The relationship between indented and assessed learning outcomes
2. Improving teaching, learning and assessment
     Innovations in teaching and assessment methods and tools
     Links between formative and summative assessment
The workshop will take an interactive approach, allowing participants to share experience and brainstorm on the various issues.
More information about this workshop will be available soon in the workshop website currently under development. Project managers in charge: Irene Psifidou and Slava Grm Pevec.

Posté par pcassuto à 10:33 - - Permalien [#]


Vocational students face exploitation in sweatshops

http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Yojana Sharma. Overseas non-governmental organisations have been raising the alarm over worker exploitation in factories in China that produce the Apple iPad and other consumer electronic products. A new report by a Hong Kong-based labour organisation has found that many of the exploited are students working as interns as a compulsory part of vocational courses.
Rapid growth in vocational education in China has led to a huge army of underpaid and routinely exploited interns for factories and businesses, according a report published last month by China Labour Bulletin (CLB) titled The Mass Production of Labour: The exploitation of students in China’s vocational school system.
More than nine million students graduated from China’s vocational schools and colleges in 2010, according to the latest official figures. A similar number of vocational students were employed that year as interns in factories and other workplaces as part of their education, CLB said.
“In many ways, vocational schools are seen as only serving the interests of businesses looking for cheap and disposable labour,” it claimed.
In one case reported by Shanghai Daily last August, Ganxi College in Jiangxi province took some 140 students to Shanghai to work as summer interns on an assembly line in a computer manufacturing company. Most worked night shifts, usually six days a week, unpaid. The case came to light when they demanded payment.
CLB looked in detail at media reports of forced internships from 2008 to 2011 involving 62 schools and factories. “The reports came from just about every central and coastal province,” it said.
More than half the cases involved tertiary-level vocational schools rather than secondary vocational schools, with internships lasting from 40 days to one year.
Better employment prospects
The government’s 10-year State Education Reform and Development Blueprint states that the development of vocational education is now a “national necessity”, and the sector has been heralded as a success by government officials as unemployment levels are lower for vocational school graduates compared to university graduates.
In 2010, the official employment rate of vocational school graduates was 96.6%, up 1% from the previous year and higher than the 91% employment rate of higher education graduates during the same period. The trend in 2011 was similar.
But reports of abuses have become so widespread that increasingly families shun vocational schools and colleges in favour of academic degrees. Many parents see vocational education as “nothing more than a conveyor belt supplying factories with cheap labour,” the report said. As a result, a number of vocational schools have had recruitment difficulties in recent years.
Foxconn’s use of interns
The perception of widespread exploitation is borne out by research conducted by labour groups like CLB and the Hong Kong-based non-profit Students and Scholars Against Corporate Misbehaviour (SACOM). It has investigated the use of cheap labour, including student interns, by factories in China, particularly at Foxconn, a Taiwan-owned electronics giant that produces the Apple iPad, the Amazon Kindle reader and products by Nokia and other well-known Western brands. Foxconn exploys almost a million workers in different parts of China and SACOM estimated that up to a third of the workforce at some Foxconn facilities were student interns. The company has disputed this figure, saying the proportion of interns has never exceeded 15% of workers. According to SACOM, Foxconn uses student interns possibly to keep down costs as its profit margins have been falling over the years, and to maintain competiveness in the industry.
The issue of exploitation of workers at Foxconn has been raised internationally by labour organisations in recent weeks, “but numerous other cases [involving other companies] have been reported over the past few years, and it would be safe to assume that there is some degree of force or compulsion in internships at many vocational schools across China,” CLB said.
“Employers want vocational schools to provide both a steady stream of well-trained graduates to meet their long-term development plans, and a regular supply of interns to meet their short-term demands for cheap, flexible labour as and when required,” the report said.
Forced internships
In addition, CLB found that the incidence of ‘forced internships’ has been rising.
“The declining numbers of young workers entering the workforce, high economic growth and increased employment opportunities across China over the last few years have combined with low wages to create severe labour shortages in several regions and industries,” according to the CLB report.
“The shortages have in turn placed additional pressure on vocational schools to meet businesses’ demand for labour. This pressure has been one of the key reasons why incidences of forced internships have increased.”
A common complaint is that vocational institutions force students to intern at designated factories.
“It is alleged that if students refuse to accept the placement, schools threaten to withhold their diploma. Some schools have reportedly charged students with absenteeism, made the designated placement a necessary course credit, or even held exams inside the factory in a bid to ensure students participate in the internship,” CLB said.
And some local governments may have been have been complicit in urging vocational schools to provide local businesses with a steady stream of interns to make up for employee shortfalls. The official China Daily newspaper reported in 2010 that the provincial government of Henan played a key role in sourcing up to 100,000 interns for Foxconn, and that some 119 vocational schools in Chongqing had also pledged a steady supply of interns to the company.
Common complaints
By far the most common complaints of exploitation of students were excessive working hours and poor pay. But another well-documented complaint, clearly stated by students from 16 of the schools examined by CLB and SACOM, was that their internships bore no relationship to their field of study. In one example, students studying road and bridge construction and maintenance were told to help with security checks in Shenzhen subway stations during the University Games in August 2011. A group of pharmacy students from Liaoning were told to package lighters in Jiangsu, while a recent SACOM report showed that interns working on the factory floor at Foxconn had been studying several different majors, many unrelated to their work.
CLB talked directly to 22 institutions and found that nearly half had a well-established partnership with local businesses or factories in other provinces. In these cases it was not unusual for schools to deduct a ‘commission’ from the interns’ salaries or get paid directly by factories for providing cheap labour, even though this is in direct violation of laws governing internships by vocational students, CLB said. The law also states that interns should be paid a reasonable salary but few students considered their remuneration to be ‘reasonable’. Other students also complained of having to pay tuition fees while working on the factory floor.
Foxconn has said in a statement that “compensation levels for interns are equivalent to that of basic workers and higher than the government-regulated levels and the average internship period is between two and six months.”
Apple’s CEO Tim Cook said last week that the company “takes working conditions very seriously”. It agreed last month to allow inspections by the Fair Labour Association, which has offices in Washington, Geneva and Shanghai, following reports that employees were overworked and underpaid in Foxconn factories in China.

Posté par pcassuto à 10:24 - - Permalien [#]

Worldwide student numbers forecast to double by 2025

http://enews.ksu.edu.sa/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/UWN.jpgBy Geoff Maslen. The number of students around the globe enrolled in higher education is forecast to more than double to 262 million by 2025. Nearly all of this growth will be in the developing world, with more than half in China and India alone. The number of students seeking study abroad could rise to eight million – nearly three times more than today.
In a new book, higher education consultant Bob Goddard writes that the worldwide increase is being fuelled by greater numbers of young people entering the peak education ages along with sharply rising participation rates, especially in the non-compulsory education years. But the developing countries experiencing a huge demand for further and higher education will be unable to provide enough places, Goddard says. So by 2025, eight million students will have to travel to other countries to study – nearly three times more than today.
“Average annual growth in demand for international higher education between 2005 and 2025 is expected to exceed 3% in Africa, the Middle East, Asia, Central America and South America,” Goddard writes.
“While the inability of developing countries to meet the medium-term demand for education domestically is a key factor determining the number of students travelling to another country for education purposes, it is also true there is a growing recognition of the benefits of an international education experience.”
The English-speaking countries have been long accustomed to dominating the market in selling international education to students but that situation is undergoing rapid change, Goddard notes. Traditional source countries such as Singapore, Malaysia, Thailand and the Middle East are developing their own capacities to offer education to outsiders. Singapore hopes to attract 150,000 foreign students by 2015, Malaysia 100,000 by 2020 and Jordan 100,000 by the same year. China, despite facing huge demand for higher education from its own young people, is planning to expand its enrolments of foreigners from 200,000 at present to 300,000 by 2020.
Then there are developed countries such as Japan that have shown little interest in the past in marketing education overseas. With an ageing population and an increasingly under-utilised higher education sector, Goddard says there is a growing realisation among the Japanese that this could provide opportunities for “substantial levels of international recruitment”.
Although the book, Making a Difference: Australian international education, traces the history of foreign students enrolled in Australian institutions, several of the contributors such as Goddard place the local situation in the context of global changes in transnational education.
Described by the publishers as “possibly the first fully documented comprehensive record of a country’s international education initiatives”, it explores the beginnings of Australia’s involvement in providing higher education to foreign students, believed to have started as early as 1904, through the Colombo Plan period of free tuition from the early 1950s to 1985, and the subsequent impact over the next 25 years of the introduction of full fees for overseas students in 1986. To mark the 25th anniversary from when the federal government allowed universities to charge foreign students the full cost of tuition, two experts in the field of international education, Dorothy Davis and Dr Bruce Mackintosh, edited a collection of essays by key players to produce a 450-page description of how international education has transformed Australian universities and contributed billions of dollars to the national economy.
In a preliminary essay describing how higher education has become an aspect of increasing globalisation, Professor Fazal Rizvi discusses the increasing mobility of higher education students and “the shifting dynamics of internationalisation”.
A professor of global studies in education at the University of Melbourne, Rizvi notes that, driven by developments in information and communication technologies, globalisation “has given rise to new forms of transnational interconnectivity.
“It has implied that while people continue to live in particular localities, these are increasingly integrated into larger systems of global networks...[and as a result] people around the world are becoming increasingly aware of this fact and are reshaping their lives accordingly.
“As people – as well as governments and institutions such as education – experience on a daily basis the realities of transnational economic relations, technological and media innovations, and cultural flows across national borders with greater speed and intensity than ever before, they increasingly use these experiences to make strategic calculations about their futures in global terms...”
Australia was one of the first countries to recognise how the global knowledge economy had created “a class of potential students prepared to invest in global mobility for their education, and who consider the value of international knowledge networks in largely economic terms”, Rizvi says.
He refers to an emerging “transnational class of people who can now not only afford international education but also regard it as a major marker of status”.
By capitalising on this and attracting hundreds of thousands of foreign students to its institutions, Australia showed other Western countries how profitable selling education could be. As discussed above, though, an unexpected by-product has been sharply increased competition, not only from the big English-speaking countries of Britain, America and Canada, but also from European nations and some of the Asian countries that have been the biggest sources of overseas students. Instead of regarding this as a challenge to boost their marketing efforts, Rizvi argues that universities should rethink their approaches.
“As higher education institutions round the world embrace mobility, there is a growing awareness of the new demands and possibilities of collaboration and networking among institutions dealing with knowledge production and dissemination,” he writes, noting that this seems likely to shift attention away from a focus on educational markets and their commercial possibilities towards the importance of transnational collaboration.
“If the market view of international education was largely about recruiting students, enabling them to experience Australian education, then the emphasis on transnational collaborations implies rethinking the nature and scope of that education itself.”
* Making a Difference: Australian international education, edited by Dorothy Davis and Bruce Mackintosh, UNSW Press, may be ordered from the International Education Association of Australia.

Posté par pcassuto à 10:19 - - Permalien [#]

Update on EUA Rankings Review project

LogoIn June 2011, EUA published the report “Global University Rankings and their Impact” which provided a comprehensive analysis of the methodologies used in the main international university rankings and a number of other ongoing projects that are seeking to measure university performance. As part of its Rankings Review project, EUA is continuing to monitor developments in this field for its member universities and will publish a second ‘Rankings Review’ report in November 2012.
The Editorial Board which oversees the Rankings Review project recently met to discuss the focus of the next report. At the meeting, project expert and author of the 2011 report Professor Andrejs Rauhvargers (Secretary General of the Latvian Rectors’ Conference), explained that there have been a number of important changes and developments in the international rankings field over the last six months including the development of new methodologies and the arrival of new ranking products. This means there will be a lot of interesting new material to be covered in the next report.
More details about the launch of the second Rankings Review report will be published later this year through the EUA Newsletter/website. Download the first Rankings Review report here.
Transparency and Rankings
In recent years, the demands to make the diversity of European higher education institutions and study programmes more transparent have increased. The Bologna Process, through its emphasis on a European dimension of quality assurance, a qualifications framework and recognition, together with the tools designed to facilitate their implementation, such as the Diploma Supplement, ECTS and the Lisbon Recognition Convention, has contributed substantially to this demand.
However, at the same time the number of international and national rankings, league tables or classification exercises has increased significantly. These initiatives often attract a lot of publicity and, as several recent studies have demonstrated, thus influence the decision-making of both policy makers and institutions.
EUA is actively taking part in the discussions on these initiatives and on how to respond better to the increased need for transparent information about the profiles and the performance of institutions. It monitors the progress on key European and international developments such as U-Multirank and AHELO as contributions to the work of the Bologna-Follow-up Working Group on transparency tools.
EUA’s Rankings Project
Background

Universities are increasingly confronted by a plethora of ranking and classification initiatives – both at the national and international level. This is why EUA has decided that there is a need to respond on behalf of the 860+ members it represents to carry out an ongoing project to review existing international rankings.
The first Review: “Global University Rankings and Their Impact”

The first Review “Global University Rankings and Their Impact”, which analyses the methodologies used in the main international rankings and presents the results of the first year’s work, was published in June 2011 and was presented to university leaders for the first time at a special one-day seminar which took place in Brussels, Belgium on 17 June 2011. Download the first Review here. The report is also available in french, here.
The second Review

The work will continue in the course of 2012, with the second Review expected to be published in November 2012. The EUA Rankings Review project is co-funded by the Robert Bosch Stiftung and the Calouste Gulbenkian Foundation.

Posté par pcassuto à 09:56 - - Permalien [#]

DIVERSE 2012, 3-6 July 2012, Leuven

http://www.diverse2012.eu/index_files/diverse-logo.pngDIVERSE 2012 will take place from 3-6 July 2012 in Leuven, Belgium. This 12th edition will be organized by the Diverse Network and the Media and Learning Unit of the KU Leuven (Catholic University of Leuven).
DIVERSE is the leading conference regarding all aspects of video and videoconferencing in education: teaching, research, management, etc. This includes the convergence of these technologies; the emergence of new possibilities such as "presence production" for learning, interactive television, virtual reality and computer games techniques, and handheld access to moving images."
The main theme of the 2012 conference will be 'Enrich the learning experience'. This theme sets the agenda for in-depth discussions, presentations and networking sessions on questions such as the enrichment of learning materials, the design of online and offline spaces that support teaching and learning, the use of digital media to reach out to elderly or people with special needs and the opportunities of information and communication technologies in the context of medical and health care education. On this website you find all the information about the DIVERSE 2012 conference.
To stay up to date we invite you to subscribe to our news blog via RSS on this page. You can also join the DIVERSE Group Page on Facebook via the button in the sidebar on the left or by clicking here.

Posté par pcassuto à 09:48 - - Permalien [#]

Defining and Delivering the University’s Third Mission

http://www.evolllution.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/10/Logo1_EvoLLLution.jpgBy Alfredo Soeiro | EUCEN Representative, Universidade do Porto. This article is an attempt to describe the outputs of project E3M – European Indicators and Ranking Methodology for University Third Mission.
The project is funded by the European Commission under the Lifelong Learning Program. European universities have accepted, traditionally, two main missions: teaching and research. Recently, another mission is being considered to reflect the involvement of universities with society. It is commonly designated in theUSA as outreach and engagement. While for education and research there exist several proposals for measuring these activities there are few consistent approaches to evaluate and compare third mission accomplishments.
The measurements in the three missions are most of the times based on indicators. The reasons to propose and adopt the set of performance indicators are various and abridge funding differentiations, quality assurance, benchmarking, ranking and management. The users are also from different origins and comprehend government, universities, researchers, industry, NGOs, global organizations, financing institutions and public in general. This project, facing the complexity of the indicators pool and diversity of its utilization has concentrated on the indicators of three dimensions: continuing education, transfer technology and innovation and social engagement.
In the initial phase of the project the partners and the coordinator discussed the issue of whether the indicators were supposed to be used to create a ranking of universities. This listing would classify the universities based on their third mission performance. Factors in favor and arguments against that endeavor were considered and thoroughly debated. This option, although stated in the project proposal, was abandoned as it became evident that the diversity in missions and activities of the universities inEuropeand in other continents is vast. This wide scenario makes impossible a realistic direct comparison unless the institutions were grouped in narrow terms of specified operational structures which would turn the ranking meaningless.
The first phase operational of the project consisted in identifying the important processes by the partners of the project for each of the three dimensions. Then for each of the processes in each dimension it was created a list of indicators in terms of relevance. These indicators were then analysed in terms of relevance, validity, reliability, comparability, data source, timeframe, access, feasibility, data format and usability. Taking into account that the partners were members of the universities it was decided to make a revision and refinement of this list of indicators by a set of experts that included also members from university stakeholders´ universe. This approach of quality refinement was based on theDelphimethod. The experts for the refinement phase were twenty and were chosen to cover different areas of society like OECD, enterprises, government agencies, NGOs, university researchers and UNESCO.
As example of the project outputs the project proposes to measure third mission activities in the dimension of continuing education (CE) the following six indicators, among the complete set of eighteen:
1. CE is is included in the mission of the higher education institutions (HEI);
2. CE is included in the policy and/or the strategy of the HEI;
3. existence of an institutional plan for CE in the HEI;
4. existence of quality assurance procedure for CE activities;
5. total number of CE programmes active in that year for implementation;
6. number of CE programmes delivered which have a major award under higher education system.
To complement the analysis of the set of processes and of indicators it was implemented a set of six case studies. These case studies were composed by the visit to six universities where the proposal was tested. The test was done in terms of verifying the practices of each of the universities in third mission, the discussion of the possible adoption of the proposed set of indicators to each university and the debate about possible improvements of this set of indicators proposed by the visited university.
The final event of the project is a public conference to be held in Dublin on the 2nd and 3rd of February 2012 to discuss a project Green Paper on indicators of the third mission. It is expected that the final conference will be participated by relevant stakeholders that will participate in shaping the policy paper that is considered the major output of the project.
The goal of the policy paper is to propose a comprehensive instrument to identify, to measure and to compare the activities of the third mission of universities. The project did however conclude that there is a place for indicators of third mission if proper third mission initiatives can be identified and if related firm and reliable data can be obtained.
This project has not done a complete work but it has promoted and started a debate that provided a conceptual framework and a set of indicators. These have been subjected to an intense high degree of examination and debate.  There is a consciousness that these types of measurements can create significant impacts especially if the values will be used to condition funding of universities. Therefore the timeframe and implementation of these measurements of third mission have to be carefully chosen to avoid risks of provoking more damages than benefits to third mission activities.

Posté par pcassuto à 09:39 - - Permalien [#]