ASU Participates in TEMPUS Project
Dr. Nikolay Khurchak, Vice Rector for International Relations of ASU, and Dr. Denis Zholobov, Dean of our Department of Mathematics & Information Technologies, have told us about participation of Astrakhan State University in the project “On-line Quality Assurance of Study Programmes EQUASP 543727-TEMPUS-1-2013-1-IT-TEMPUS-SMGR”.
According to Dr. Khurchak, Astrakhan State University has been participating in TEMPUS programs since 2000. In 2016, the TEMPUS Program was transformed into the ERASMUS+ Program, which provides more opportunities to implement our developments in practice. All in all, our University has been involved in ten TEMPUS projects in various fields.
The main goals of the current project, in which 16 universities from 5 countries (Lithuania, Slovakia, Italy, Spain, and Russia) are taking part, are to encourage development of student-oriented technological study programs, make the process of internal quality management of study programs comply with the EU standards, enhance quality, transparency, and compatibility of Russian study programs, etc. This experiment gained financial backing of the European Union. “This project is fundamentally different from other educational developments: it makes it possible to establish an entirely new system that would provide the right quality of study programs online. Feedback between all the participants of this project is crucial, and its online system aims to enhance the educational process and our students’ proficiency, considering with both the University Administration’s and our customers’ opinions”, the Vice Rector comments.
As for Dr. Zholobov, the essence of this project is to make up a system to provide the right quality of study programs so that it was synchronized between all the participating universities. “The first goal of this project is to create a single documentation structure of study programs (in Russian and in English); its second goal is to develop and implement a specialized electronic resource – an online system of documentation. It’ll make our study programs more open; it’ll make it possible to compare similar programs between all the participating universities. This project aims not to develop the contents of programs, but to describe their quality considering with students’, graduates’, and employers’ opinions. We developed special questionnaires for each of these categories; our surveys are carried out on a regular basis”, Dr. Zholobov points out.
The next stage was to document programs in the field of Engineering: our Italian partners have developed a special system to contain all the data related to those programs. In general, the results of this project may be applicable in any sphere. Outcomes of its development and implementation will be submitted to the Ministry of Education and Science of the Russian Federation, so that it provided its recommendations for all the universities nationwide. “We’re planning to implement the obtained system in practice at our Department”, Dr. Zholobov remarks, “Just as the Academic Council of ASU decides. As for other Departments of our University, that’ll be of recommending character for them”.
According to Dr. Denis Zholobov, when our team was forming this system, it considered with the Russian standards for educational programs in Engineering and with legal requirements towards them set by EU institutions, including the European Commission. Special attention is paid to such aspects as quality management of study programs and the appropriate documentation coverage at all the stages. Cooperation with potential employers is also under special consideration.
Astrakhan State University, jointly with several other consortiums, has already submitted some more applications to participate in ERASMUS+ programs. We look forward to achieving real results.
Interviewed by T.Yu. Gavrilkina (University Web Resources Information Support Laboratory of ASU)