Strategic ALignment of Electrical and Information Engineering in European Higher Education Institutions
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In the SALEIE Project we defined 7 workpackages as they relate to Electrical and Information Engineering in Higher Education acrosss Europe, Management, Quality, Technical Challenges, Widening Participation and Student Support, Policy, Dissemination and Exploitation.
This workpackage addresses the general management of the overall project and will provide administrative, financial, and operational guidelines for the management, project risks, communication and coordination of activities to ensure the coherent and smooth operation of the project.
The managing team will monitor of the work, in coordination with the evaluation and quality WP, at partner, sub-WP and WP levels with respect to the key objectives to be achieved (Activity Document). This monitoring will serve as a key report on the project activities, and the nature and importance of each partner’s involvement. This Activity Document will also be used to identify both “over-activity” and “under-activity” of partners, and allow the managing team to take appropriate early action in respect of under-performing partners.
The managing team, and in particular the project coordinator, will organize the project’s meetings schedule, and be involved in the practical organisation, with the partner institution that will host the meeting, of every meeting.
The Coordinator will be responsible for the administrative and financial management of the project, manage the generation and presentation of reports for the Executive Agency and ensure efficient communication with the project officers at the Executive agency. The coordinator will disseminate information received from the executive agency to the project partners.
The quality of work undertaken in this project is a high priority for the project team and attention will be given to it from the outset. The quality WP leader will work with the project leader to oversee and manage all aspects of quality. Overall quality management will be achieved through a quality assurance system, quality control checks and a general policy of continuous quality improvement. The final element of this workpackage is project evaluation.
1) A quality assurance system will be established at the outset of the project that defines methods of working, formats for outputs, a document version control system and a between and within workpackage communication and coordination system.
2) The quality control activity will monitor and assess the coordination and coherence of the work at WP and sub-WP levels, according to the work plan set by the managing team. It will devise appropriate key quality indicators for each activity and gather and report evidence for each. The quality control activity will have specific responsibility for:
3) Continuous quality improvement:
The quality workpackage leader will produce mid-term and final reports for incorporation into the overall project reports.
The external quality review will be a subcontracted activity and will be made at the project and at each workpackage levels. The external quality review team will evaluate and comment on the project results, the quality with respect to the stated objectives, and on the potential impact of the results.
The objective of this work package is to enhance the competitiveness of EIE education within Europe, especially in relation to modern global technical challenges. The outcomes will provide European HEI's with model curricula optimised to the technical needs of the challenges whilst retaining the valued characteristics of Education within European Institutions.
Building on our understanding of EIE programmes across Europe gained though the Surveyor and ELLEIEC monographs and the Tuning survey, this work package will look at the needs of Electrical and Information Engineering graduates in the key Global Challenges of Green Energy, the Environment and Sustainability, Communications and IT, Health (eg. medical application of knowledge of information engineering), and Modern Manufacturing Systems (including Robotics). Prior studies have developed our understanding of the need and importance of generic competences, including entrepreneurial skills, the importance of designing learning as a socialisation process, and the use of project orientated learning methods where learning is based on a concrete problem that target groups know from everyday life. This work package will explore these issues in relation to conventional students and those with special needs.
The methodology to be used will start with a review of past monographs and a survey to identify existing programmes orientated to the key global challenges. The survey and follow-up more detailed discussions with the programme providers will form the basis of example curricula with module content, learning outcomes, level of achievement and assessment methods. The module specification will include the scope and depth of generic competence development. Partners willing to pilot these trial modules will be identified and supported through their first delivery and outcome assessment and documentation of their experience.
Activity in this work package will include:
All the outcomes will be made public through publication on the project website.
This work package will explore approaches to widening participation in EIE programmes across Europe. It will consider the specific needs of learners with disabilities pertinent to education in EIE. Consideration will be given to conventional Higher Education learners, those studying part-time, distance learners, International students, lifelong learners, students with disabilities and those who traditionally do not see conventional higher education as their route to personal development. Each of these types of learner have different support needs especially in relation to developing competence in laboratory skills and generic, transferable competences (such as group working, presentation skills, creativity, etc.). The work package will explore the implications on the education system of students with disabilities (reference of best practice across Europe in supporting students with such issues, eg: Dyslexia, Dyspraxia, Mental Health, Autism, Aspergers, etc.).
Activity in this work package will include:
Programmes and modules already aligned to the key global technical challenges (see Wp4) will be carefully reviewed to ensure that appropriate learner support systems can be put into place in these future critical technical areas.
The methodology will be to start with an audit of current practices through a set of appropriately targeted questionnaires. The project partners will be used as the route to obtaining responses to these surveys from within their own institutions and their networks. The objective will be to achieve as broad a coverage of stakeholder responses as can be achieved. The results of the surveys will be collated and analysed into one or more reports. These reports will be published on the project website.
The results of the surveys will inform: the design of new models for support systems for students; the design of programme marketing materials to maximise attractiveness of EIE programmes to all potential students; the perceptions of ERASMUS exchange institutions and Industry on student support systems; and the identification of examples of best practice in support systems. Visits of partners to institutions with identified best practices will raise the visibility of these systems and enable best practice to be spread across the project network.
Findings in previous EAEEIE Thematic Network projects undertaken by networks have identified differences in Quality Assurance procedures and administrative practices across Europe and that establishing new and making changes to existing programmes in European HEIs are governed to varying degrees at the National, Regional and Institutional level. Given this variation and that work packages 3 and 4 are focussed on change within Higher Education to meet future challenges, a review of the needs and impact of administrative policy as it impacts the design, development, delivery, assessment and review of academic programmes is included.
The survey will address the following questions, as a minimum:
Activities in this work package will include:
The design of a policy in EIE resource website as part of the project site.
Internal dissemination (between project partners) is through:
An annual meeting is planned where all project partners meet to share work package outcomes and share experiences. The meetings will be adjoined to a European educational conference to maximise the overall benefit gained from attendance.
A project website will be created containing, publically visible, all results and outcomes as they emerge and as an on going resource after the project ends. The website will be referenced from the EAEEIE’s site. Contact will also be made with other relevant EU projects with a view to mutual referencing.
The final report and an executive summary will be sent to the head of department of all known EIE departments across Europe as identified in the THEIERE and EIE-Surveyor project monographs [1,2]. Each head of department will be asked to forward the communication to their industrial partners, academic policy makers, student support administrators and teaching staff. By using this resource, the majority of current providers of EIE programmes will be reached and through them relevant administrators and industrial partners.
The activities being undertaken in this project are extremely important to the future of EIE education across Europe and should have a significant impact on the administration, design, development, delivery, assessment, and support activities for current and new programmes. Dissemination of the outcomes of the project is a very important activity and is one that the project and EAEEIE are fully committed to for the duration of the project and beyond. The project leader and work package leaders will jointly develop an exploitation strategy for the project based on the following.
It is expected that, by virtue of the attendance of partners at meetings in other institutions, benefit will be gained that will be able to be used within partner institutions. Being able to explore how other institutions address the widening participation and student support issues, the policies and practices of programme and module administration and student mobility and work experience, all key components of the overall learner development process, will raise the general level of performance in these areas across Europe. An immediate benefit will, therefore be available for partner institutions and through their networks institutions in general.
Newsletters and a final letter containing the project outcomes will be sent to every head of an EIE department or faculty across Europe (using the EIE-Surveyor survey database) with a summary showing how the findings can be exploited.
In respect of EIE responding to the global technical challenges, this project will produce a survey of programmes and modules aligned to the challenges, examples of best practice and model curricula for institutions to use and adapt to their specific local needs. Institutions who are seeking to create new programmes or modules will have carefully designed models that will give them the combined benefit of all the project partners, all experts in the EIE field, as a starting point, with links they can follow to partner experts for further clarification if needed.
Overall the benefit to Europe from this project should be in both the breadth of personal development (through widening participation, and enhancing student support) and depth of development through a better understanding of how Europe can respond to the current global technical challenges it faces. The EAEEIE, through its members and activities, will spearhead the exploitation of the project findings and sustain their presence in the minds of EIE educators beyond the life of the project.