Event of the Education, Audiovisual and Culture Executive Agency, EACEA – Erasmus+ HERE Study visit «Research based teaching / Universities, Entrepreneurship and the Knowledge Triangle» (30-31.05.2017, Milan, Italy)

Dates: May 30-31, 2017
Venue: University of Milan / Università degli Studi di Milano (Milan, Italy)
Participants from Ukraine:
1. Volodymyr Lugovyy, First Vice-President, National Academy of Educational Sciences of Ukraine; HERE.
2. Mychailo Wynnyckyj, Associate Professor, National University of “Kyiv-Mohyla Academy”; Advisor to the Minister of Education and Science of Ukraine; HERE.

Program and materials: http://supporthere.org/milan2017/

Learning outcomes:
• Develop the best practices and concrete examples of how research can be related to teaching.
• Assess the dual role of professors as researchers and lecturers and understand better how to support them in this role.
• Understand the challenges and approaches to engaging industry not only to researches but also to the teaching process (partnership).
• Get a better understanding of entrepreneurship and how it can be integrated into the teaching and design of the program.
Participants: higher education reform experts from EU partner countries, representatives of higher education institutions of the EU countries and EU partner countries.

Description and key information:

On May 30-31, a study visit of the higher education reform experts from EU partner countries to the University of Milan (Italy) entitled “Research based teaching / Universities, Entrepreneurship and the Knowledge Triangle” was held. The training was organized within the EU program Erasmus+ under the SPHERE project (Support and Promotion for Higher Education Reform Experts). A similar seminar was held with the participation of the Network of Universities from the Capitals of Europe for Bologna Experts and Higher Education Reform Experts “Research based Education: Strategy and Implementation” at the high-ranking Eötvös Loránd University (Hungary) in November 2012. This topic reflects the general trend within the Bologna process and in the context of European Higher Education Area and European Research Area on implementation of research based higher education at all levels. This progressive tendency is taken into account in the new Law of Ukraine “On Higher Education” (2014) in accordance with the clearly expressed research and innovation type of global development.
The interdisciplinary research University of Milan was chosen for the training of experts not by chance. The institution has been steadily ranked in the Shanghai Ranking (one of the 300 best) and Times (it shares 301-350 places). This relatively young institution is a unique in the country that is part of the League of European Research Universities. League includes 23 leading universities with high research activity in 12 advanced countries – United Kingdom (5 institutions), France (3), Germany (3), Netherlands (3), Switzerland (2) and Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Belgium, Ireland, Spain and Italy (one at a time). The League is seek to influence the European politics and shape best practices through mutual exchange of experience.

University of Milan was founded in 1924 by the merger of two institutions with a tradition of activities in the medical, scientific and humanitarian fields. It quickly grew to a very large institution (90 thousand students) and in 1998 became a donor of another state city university – the University of Milano-Bicocca (33 thousand students), also high-ranking, interdisciplinary, with a wide range of academic programs. Both institutions have a favorable research and innovation context. Milan is the second largest city in Italy, the leading city for investment in technological researches and development, a city of knowledge, creating a unique scientific environment that includes 12 universities and a large number of research institutes. Nowadays, the University of Milan, where educated about 64 thousand students at various levels, has a strong permanent staff (more than 2,000) and invitees (170) professors, as well as administrative and technical staff (about 2,000), advanced research infrastructure. Professors combine educational and research (basic, applied and experimental) activities, with a small workload, several times less than usual professor at the Ukrainian higher education institution.

Since 1989, the University has full autonomy. Despite its large scale, the system of management is compact. It includes elected and legally authorized Rector, who represents the institution and carries out coordinating, implementing and monitoring of University policy. Rector is the President of the Board of Directors and the Academic Senate. The Board of Directors has executive responsibilities and policy making functions, supervision over the search and obtaining of financial resources, managing of administrative and cultural assets and human resources planning. This body consists of 10 members: eight experts (four members from university and four members are external) and two students. Academic Senate consists of 32 elected members (among scientific, pedagogical and other staff and students). It is a collegial body that defines the strategy and policy, coordinates educational and scientific activities. General Director is a Head of administration (10 executive managers and more than 900 administrative and technical staff). Its functions include the implementation of plans and goals, which are defined by the management bodies: it is responsible for the management of financial, material, instrumental resources, assets, administrative and technical staff and the organization of administrative services. Administration is designed to manage resources, processes and services to support research and training activities.

The educational and research organizational structure of the university includes 8 faculties, 2 schools, 33 departments (chairs), which are headed by directors and staffed by permanent professors and about 1 thousand of administrative and technical personnel. Departments (chairs) are directed on research and educational activities; each of them is leading by the Head and collegial body, endowed with administrative and organizational autonomy. Faculties and schools are unifying structures that are responsible for planning, maintaining and coordinating of educational programs in relevant subject areas. Each department is formed a management committee, consisting of heads and a small number of professors appropriate to the faculty departments (chairs).

The first plenary session of the event was addressed the problem of how researches could be related to teaching and informational provision. The University experience was illustrated on the example of Applied and Medical Physics, Ecological and Applied Botany. The organization of the interaction of research and teaching, which was presented by a representative of the high-ranking Weizmann Institute of Science, Israel was interesting.

The second plenary session was devoted to the dual role of professors as researchers and teachers. Examples of Pharmacology and Molecular Biology were considered. It is recognized that it is necessary to find a balance between teaching and research as well as funding the study of teaching methods.

The third plenary session was discussed issues of partnership with production for research and teaching. Attention was focused on the field of information and communication technologies and computer sciences. It was noted that the closed model (for a concrete result) of funding researches by production, unlike to the open model, does not lead to the revolutionary inventions in science and the relevant industrial changes.

Finally, the fourth plenary session was considered the problem of how to integrate the entrepreneurship into teaching. In this connection, the necessity of attracting lecturers from industry and business, conducting student internships (practice) at leading enterprises as well as the use of dual and mixed forms of higher education were emphasized.

The discussions of the plenary session’s topics were also held at three meetings of three variables working groups from among the participants of the training with the subsequent presentation of the results.

Conclusions and suggestions / recommendations for Ukraine

• To introduce an approach to teaching on the basis of research results, to involve the academics into the fundamental / applied researches, to develop the innovative teaching methods accordingly.
• To define the profile of the modern University teacher, taking into account dual role as a researcher and teacher as well as identify the mechanisms of organizational and financial support for them in this role, based on the balance between teaching and research.
• To develop new approaches to attracting business representatives both to researches and to designing / modernizing educational programs and teaching on a partnership basis, taking into account foreign experience.
• To introduce dual and mixed forms of higher education, which are providing an educational process integration into industry, including student internships (practice) at leading enterprises.

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