European Conference
on
European Models of Synergy between Teaching and Research in Higher Education
   
       
 
   
Abstracts
(A)
   
  
                                         ( By title, in alphabetical order )
    
    
An analytic model of the Teaching-Research Synergy in the University-Industry cooperation 
     
Doru Talaba, University of Transylvania, Brasov, Romania
   

Starting from the identification of the relative position, missions and flows of activities within the University and Industry sectors in the 21st century society, a systemic representation is proposed as a starting base for a first synergy definition and identification. Based on the proposed model, the synergy is systematically analyzed as a separate issue, identifying the possible parameters and mechanisms. A permanent comparison with the corresponding features that are present in the real life is given as well as proposals for implementation of new mechanisms generated as result of the analysis. Some case studies are presented, illustrating the identified mechanisms as well as possible additional ideas to maximise synergy as suggested by the proposed model.

      
An attempt of merging in a synergetic way research work and higher education activities in computer engineering by an European programme project
     
Ileana Hamburg, Oleg Cernian & Herbert ten Thij, Germany/Romania/the Netherlands
   

Telecommunications and computer technologies are converging to make e-Learning one of the fastest moving trends in higher education.
E-learning, especially for engineers and executives in technology industries, has evolved as a major mean of organising education/training. At present, many courses, including degree and certificate programmes, are offered by universities and professional development centers. The global connectivity of the Internet and a new generation of hardware and software have pushed teaching of courses over the web. It is estimated that industry e-training will double its volume annually over the next several years; as well as that the academic on-line market will continue to expand its supply.
From official American statistics it follows that the demand for e-Learning will leap from 5% of all students in 1998, to over 25% by 2005. Therefore no educator/instructor/professor can ignore this objective trend in the market.
The impact of industry requirements for refreshing courses stimulated already more than ever and will stimulate also in the future the development of adequate on-line courses. Some large companies now operate corporate universities on line by collaboration with academic institutions that deliver basic courses from their curricula or customized courses. There are offered also product-specific courses on particular topics as Linux, Windows NT, 2000, XP, Novell Netware etc. It can be appreciated that at present the market in on-line learning has matured to the point where there is sufficient software available for designing, teaching and administering a web-based course. Among the most popular commercially available software tools to design, run and manage on-line courses are for example: Blackcoard’s Courseinfo, Lotus Learning Space, WebCT and Topclass. Typically, e-learning packages incorporate a database-centered syllabus with links to internal or external web pages, on-line time-monitored testing, discussion groups and e-mail.
A thorough comparative analysis that was applied to on-line web-based and conventional classroom (on-campus) courses concludes that no significant difference was put into evidence, the students from both categories obtaining quite similar grades.
But experts stated that while on-line learning may add some value to an education, it cannot replace life on a real campus with face-to-face education; by attending classes and meeting professors and colleagues, the students gain more than just discipline specific or the core factual information.
Another point to be mentioned, is whether logistical matters raised by accompanying on line learning do need extra time by producing web-based courses and extra time to teach web-based courses. To these questions the answers are contradictory. Some professors found that the total time can far exceed considerable a traditional classroom course, while others estimated that the amount of time consumed is similar in both systems, but that only the time is distributed differently.
However, the modern trend in academic institutions is to combine these both systems in such a way that all on-campus undergraduate courses include some e-Learning components.
Traditional engineering instruction used the classes on campus method, with little interaction amongst students, while at present professors are using web sites as classroom tools especially also to improve the interaction as well between them and the students, as also between the students themselves.
Obviously, using web tools forces professors to rethink their courses, so that the old on-campus style method could be improved significantly. In many universities seminars and web faculty colloquia were initiated, in which on-line features and tools were clarified outlining the digital accomplishments, as well as some uneasiness about virtual pedagogy.
Another matter of consolidation of on-line classes is the looking for funds in order to launch new programmes. In general, web professors would receive two fees, one for developing the e-courses, another for teaching it over Internet. Additional administrative and technical staff are also needed to run web learning programmes which must be kept up and running entire day. There are additional costs for training, software licenses, e-commerce applications, web design tools and the maintenance of computer and telecommunications infrastructure. It is conspicuous that the enumerated costs led to a significant amount of investment, roughly about some millions of dollars.
With respect to the students, tuitions for web-based courses are comparable to those for conventional classes; savings in time commuting from campus to on-line learning must be balanced against the costs of computer hardware and software and Internet services to access the courses on-line.
The intellectual property of e-learning courses is also a matter that yet has to be clarified in further detail.
Anyhow, it is at present still a generally accepted opinion that certain types of instruction will never go entirely on-line, as, for example, laboratory courses that require immediate access to as well expensive as also highly specialised equipment. Nevertheless, it should be mentioned that efforts are undertaken in many universities to use some real equipment in virtual laboratories, where students can run experiments and analyse the results remotely. The main target of such laboratories is to allow students to interact easily with a set of physical processes through the Internet.
The project “ViReC e-Initiative” was developed in the framework of European programme MINERVA between the years 2002-2005 by a Consortium formed of seven partners from Romania, Germany, Ireland and Greece. This project was clearly devoted to the development of innovative practices and services, having in view the setting up of a virtual resource center composed of a Distributed Learning Environment (DLE), arising awareness of the impact of ODL and the use of ICT in education. One of the remarkable outputs of the project is the creation, by applied research work, of virtual laboratories crossed with some real devices/equipment. By its structure, the virtual resource center is reproducible, allowing integration of cross-curricular approaches. It fosters collaboration between learners and educators, as well as it stimulates multidisciplinarity under the circumstances mentioned, while the main objective of the project was to set up a qualitative learning environment in an academic European network ensuring an open access to improved methods and educational resources, as well as to the best practices applied in the partner institutions by outlining an innovative development of ICT-based educational products. The following additional objectives were covered by the applied research work carried out by partner institutions:

     - Extended use for educational purposes of new tools and methods incorporating features of the new ICT
       technologies
     - Development of ICT-based educational products, in particular multimedia-type, by  encompassing advanced
       pedagogical skills
     - Evaluation of the level of the impact of new products on a target group of students
     

The paper presents briefly the outputs of the applied research carried out by the partners of the Consortium and their synergetic impact on the development of on-line educational system for higher education institutions.

     
       
An integral 3-layer technological model for Education and Labour interleave and intensification 
      
Evangelos M. Mylonas, Daedalus Informatics Ltd, Greece
    

Despite the phenomenal progress in Internet era technology and proliferation of commercial and publications-related applications, progress and adoption of this era in the educational domain has not met a commensurate evolution. The pioneering vision of Paul Lengrand for Lifelong Learning, as outlined in his UNESCO 1970 speech, may have been a milestone for defining the European social reformation model for the 21st century education, yet little pragmatic progress has been attained in this direction.
Apparently, more than one milestone features will have to be introduced to the future technological and educational developments, as to generate the desired shift to virtualization in education, along with the necessary social awareness upraising and motivation support initiatives. 
This paper introduces an integral 3-layer roadmap for implementing an effective and pragmatic delivery, of a technological model able to interleave and render an individual’s employment and academic profile, as inter-nested to his/her life-through education. Effectively, this model is realized as a set of next-generation distributed applications designated as:
a)  Audited database classification and maintenance of an individual’s integral and dynamic  profile of dexterities

    and qualifications acquired along his/her carrier path, as an intermediate link between industry and academy,
    as well as provision of automated  employment profile correlation and matching.
b) Distributed Information Repository Servers as a mediation and engagement environment  for project collaboration
    and management between industry and graduate or post- graduate academic candidates.
c) Thematic Knowledge Depositories as an accompanying asset to an individual’s  academic and employment
    capacity. Primary infrastructure for delivering an aggregative model of distributed knowledge and distributed
    services, as a fore step for implementing the virtual enterprise of knowledge workers.
     
A Model of co-operation between Tomas Bata University in Zlín, Czech Republic, Faculty of Management and Economics and local/regional industries, professional organizations and the surrounding entrepreneurial environment 
     
Bedřich Zimola & Roman Bobák, Faculty of Management and Economics, Tomas Bata University in Zlin, Czech Republic
   

This contribution describes a model of co-operation of a faculty focused on Management & Economics Studies (i.e. a non technical/technological orientation) with the local industrial and entrepreneurial environment. This model can be considered as being the more-or-less standard model used in the Czech Republic by higher education institutions of the type described above. It also describes common/shared activities and contact liaisons, as well as the benefits to all of those involved.
Topics Covered: 
· Bachelor, Master and PhD thesis prepared by students in company out-placements.
· Cooperation on resolving research projects financed from domestic and European grant programmes and 

  schemes (i.e. long-term research programmes, grant-maintained projects), the elaboration of questionnaires and 
  field market research, and case-studies.
· Specially-ordered (paid) research for enterprises not covered in the graduate outplacement scheme and thesis or
  dissertations – the participation of teaching staff, students of the B.Sc., MSc., and Doctoral degree programmes 
  in projects financed by local (or other) enterprises
· The development of new curricula and study programmes.
· The participation of industry representatives in the activities of the TBU/FaME Scientific Board
.
    
A University-Industry Partnership to serve for an Innovation Pole in  Western Greece
    
Socrates Kaplanis, T.E.I. of Patras, Greece
   

Partnerships between the University and Industry sectors, either at national or European level, were given policy priority in the E.E.C. since more than 3 decades. The target was to liaise the Universities to the socio-economic needs and regional development strategies.
 
The University potential in collaboration with market or industry staff, in the project to be described in this paper, is expected to contribute to regional development, through various innovative efforts and initiatives, planned by this partnership.
 
The paper describes a new effort by the T.E.I. of Patras, based on its previous experience in European collaboration projects, to establish a partnership under the title: Energy Management for Intelligent Buildings with Incorporated Renewable Energy System (EMIRES), at a rather regional level, with a European-wide component. 
 
The partnership is funded by European Commission, Community Structural Funds by 75% and the rest, 25%, by private funds, i.e. the partners funding the project.
 
The partnership has 12 partners. 5 from the university sector and 7 from the economic-production sector, while 2 of the partners are based outside Greece.

         
A use case related to the relationship between universities and industry 
(Transylvania University and Siemens PSE)
Paul Borza, Head of Dept. Energy and Information,  SIEMENS Program und System Engineering SRL
   
The paper presents a use case of the relationship between Transylvania University of Brasov and Siemens PSE, two actors involved in the Romanian county-level labor market. 
The paper details the needs and resources, the formal frame, the experience and some outcomes accumulated along the four year collaboration. 
An important aspect underlined in this paper is the way in which the balance between the expectations and results prospected by both the universities and companies was obtained, and how the frame created has stimulated the global improvement of the educational system. 
The two sided approach of the paper – both the educational system and industry points of view being analyzed - discloses the methodology (methods and parameters) followed by the two actors in order to achieve mutual cooperation and efficiency in their common activities. Starting from the needs of industry and the human resources educated by the university, the developed frame generates a mechanism which regulates the requests and expectations, in this way assuring the settled personnel growth of the industry on one hand and stimulation of the continuous perfecting and adapting process of the educational system on the other hand. 
The process involves: improving the work force training; stimulating the continue improvement of students and young engineers’ knowledge level; a rational financing, which assures the prosperity of universities; developing a common work frame by jointly broaching high risk themes in groups including experienced engineers from company, students and their professors; developing the material base of the university by building up laboratories; reciprocal visits stimulation; workshops and conferences planning. 
The paper proposes a metrics that takes into account several features: the level and opportunity of the know how generated by the university, the material investments made by the industry and their short, medium or long term returns, the common interest in research activities that involve high risk factors, and the social effects as a result of common activities, illustrated by the structure and occupation degree of work force. 
The collaboration can be systematically cultivated by minimizing the distance between the current and optimal trajectory, the purpose representing useful and benefic results on every level.
     
 
   
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