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TEMPUS JEP CD 19087 - 2004:
THE PROJECT - DESCRIPTION
On the grounds of problems existing at present postgraduate studies of Economics in Serbia, stakeholders needs and methodology of project management, wider objectives of the project have been defined, as well as outcomes and activities required for those outcomes. Wider objectives have been derived from mission and vision of the Faculties of Economics of the Universities in Serbia.
According to priority level, the problems could be separated in the following groups:
• Dominantly out of date curricula with small number of elective subjects,
• Insufficient implementation of modern methods and equipment in teaching process,
• Dominantly low level of foreign language knowledge (EU languages),
• Long duration of studies as result of above mentioned reasons and low quality of educational processes,
• Low modularization of courses and low mobility of students,
• Unsatisfactory economic situation.
On the other hand, needs of all stakeholders (students, teaching staff, management, business, local and regional community, and state) continually grow and request increased transformation of master studies in Serbia. Importance of these needs is depicted in new Higher Education Law, which was adopted in the Serbian Parliament in August, 2005. In this law, many directives of Bologna declaration are included, including: self evaluation, quality assessment of education institutions, curriculum evaluation, accreditation procedure, types and levels of study, study scope, credits, student parliament.
Beginning with wider objectives and specific objectives of the project, identified needs of the parties interested and in accordance with requirements and policy of Higher Education in Serbia, the applied project “Reorganization of Economics Study in Serbia” is expected to attain the following outcomes:
1. Basic principles and model of Economics and Management studies agreed
2. Concrete study programmes revised
3. Common quality assurance procedure developed
4. ECTS system implemented
5. Students involvement in decision making and teaching process established
6. Facilities modernized
7. Dissemination and Sustainability
8. Quality Control and Monitoring
9. Management of the project
As the first thing, we will start with recognized needs of the Serbian Parliament, European Commission and Interested parties (students, teachers, business and others). On the basis of wider objectives and specific project objectives of Universities in Serbia, Consortium of 3 Faculties of Economics in Kragujevac, Beograd and Nis is established. The Faculty of Economics from Novi Sad is engaged in JEP CD 17027-02 with the Faculty of Economics from Podgorica (Montenegro). All results and experiences from implementation of this project will be harmonized with applied project “Reorganization of Economics Study in Serbia”.
To attain those highly specific objectives and outcomes of the project it is necessary to apply project management principles and therefore, since resources are limited, to test and introduce project solutions into a pilot organization. The Faculty of Economics of the University of Kragujevac is the one. Consortium members should take part in all the outcomes realization through the activities listed in section III.5 of this project.
First phase of project implementation consists of two groups of activities: (1) comparative analysis of Curricula for Economics and Management in Serbia and EU countries and (2) developing and adoption of common policy for restructuring the Curricula.
Each group will be implemented with intensive mobility of Consortium Members. The results that should be achieved after 12 months are implemented basic principles and models in Economics and Management studies.
Basic idea of the proposed project is to establish good foundation for all the processes at the University and particularly for teaching process, by redesigning the existing Curricula for graduate studies and designing new Curricula (outcome 2). Redesigning scope will depend on interested parties’ needs and limits existing. It has been estimated that more than 60% of the Curricula existing at the Faculty of Economics in Kragujevac is to be redesigned as a result of this project, as well as more than 50% of the Curricula at the Faculties of Economics in Nis and Belgrade. Restructuring of Curricula will begin with creating common elements of courses and new teaching methods. After that, the sub phase selection and introduction of new teaching methods will be presented. At the end, very sensitive activity of harmonization of Curricula in three Serbian Economic Faculties will be promoted. Redesign will begin with subjects and courses with the biggest gap respecting similar subject and courses in EU universities. After that, next activity will be upgrading the content of the subjects and fine adjustments between subject contents. Outcome from this phase is particular study programs revised. The next group of activities should enable creation of procedure for common quality assurance through activities of its formal approval, implementation in teaching process, monitoring, internal conformity assessment and external assessment from accreditation body. Accordingly, certain activities have been suggested leading to certification and accreditation of the Faculty of Economics (outcome 3) where some partial outcomes of the project JEP 17040-2 will be used and Certification Team of the Faculty of Economics will be founded according to ISO 9001:2000.
Next group of project activities is based on implementation of ECTS through:
(1) modularization of courses and developing of common criteria and
(2) improvement of students mobility in Serbia using ECTS (outcome 4).
During realization of the Project, there could be performed comparative analyses of students workload, modularization of courses on each faculty and harmonization for common modules and defining and adoption of credits for each subject. In second part of this phase, ECTS is used for encouraging students’ mobility.
Students’ involvement, especially in decision making and teaching processes, is necessary for quality improvement of all processes (outcome 5).
For implementation of this project phase the following is required: (1) analyzing and review of students’ involvement in decision making and teaching process and (2) implementation of relevant mechanisms for improvement of students’ role. Milestones for this project phase are: (1) establishing of Students Parliament on each of three faculties in partner country and (2) preventive and corrective actions for improvement of students’ role.
Integration of Faculties of Economics from Serbia into European education area is necessary and will be introduced by applying of up-to-date information and communication technologies in both teaching process and follow-up services at the University (outcome 6). This project will enhance the openness of the University by infrastructure building in three new computer classrooms connected with other PCs using communication network and Internet technologies. The outcome of this part of the project activities is teaching material designed for new Curricula as a start point for education processes improvement. Teaching material includes preparing of new textbooks and web site for teaching purposes.
Proposed teaching equipment is universal and is necessary for elimination of overloaded computer classrooms in presenting many subjects, especially Information Systems. This equipment will be basic for implementation of new teaching methods and individual work of students.
Dissemination and sustainability of this project (outcome 7) will be realized through:
(1) designing and maintaining of the project web site,
(2) establishing of workshops and media promotion and
(3) continual work on the project activities in next 3 years.
Expected success of project implementation will attract attention of new, potential students, and their financial contribution through scholarships provides financial sustainability of project results.
In all the aforementioned project activities the Consortium members from Serbia will actively participate in exchange of information during short visits, study stay, etc. The Consortium members from EU will enable direct knowledge transfer through their short visits and lectures given in this field in Serbia. That would enable greater mobility of teaching staff. Finally, this project must provide effective Quality Control and Monitoring (outcome 8) and Management of the Project (outcome 9).
Quality Control and Monitoring will be realized through:
(1) establishing of effective system for internal Quality Control of the Project with working teams and (2) setting up external control mechanisms for monitoring and assessment of the Project using external independent team of experts.
Successful implementation of this project will be obtained through working of two teams:
(1) central team on inter-university level and
(2) teams on each Faculty in Serbia.
Management of the Project (outcome 9) covers:
(1) setting up management infrastructure and responsibilities of each Consortium Member and
(2) organization of Steering Committee meeting for management.
The Consortium members from Serbia are partially participants of the following complement Tempus projects: (1) JEP 1656-01 (Computer Science Curricula Founding and Upgrading) and JEP 17119-02 (Education Network Based on Information Technology) in the field of information and communication support and appropriate Curricula in Informatics, (2) JEP 16098-01 (Building of the Network for Further Development of the Small and Medium Enterprises in Bosnia and Herzegovina) with development of appropriate Curricula in Statistics and Business, (3) JEP 17040-02 (Implementing Quality Assurance in Serbian Universities) in the field of quality improvement of teaching processes in Higher Education and Faculty accreditation and (4) JEP 17027-02 (Updating Undergraduate studies in FRY) at the Faculty of Economics in Podgorica and Novi Sad where we have agreed about mutual dissemination of the project results. Responsibility and work organization on this project have been divided in two levels.
Grant Applicant bears the first level responsibility; besides contractor’s duties his role in this project is as follows:
(1) first meeting organization in order to coordinate the Consortium members’ work,
(2) correspondence with European Training Foundation- Tempus Department and
(3) active participation in realization of the outcomes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9.
Coordinator (Partner Country's’ responsibilities are the following:
(1) to plan all the project activities in detail and inform the Consortium members about it in opportune time,
(2) to define tasks for the Consortium members in detail as well as the methodology of project work,
(3) to forward the requirements for resource supply (equipment, money funds etc.) to the Grant Applicant,
(4) to implement project activities in accordance with the Work Plan (Section III.4),
(5) to perform monitoring of project activities together with the Grant Applicant,
(6) to prepare reports and send them to Tempus Department together with the Grant Applicant.
Other Consortium members and their activities are on the second level of responsibilities for project implementation and are specified in III.5 (Outcomes and activities tables).
Concept of this project is deep involvement and mobility of all Consortium Members in project activities, great transparency, openness for further improvement and reachable objectives. Using great motivation, mutual familiarity, knowledge and respect of all Consortium Members, the applied project will avoid all weaknesses of team work because Consortium Members are ready to give full contribution in project implementation with all theirs expert knowledge and skills.
Faculty of Economics, Djure Pucara Starog 3, 34000 Kragujevac, Serbia
tel. +38134303502, fax. +38134303516
Tempus JEP CD 19087