Aim

The aim of the project is to provide better professional knowledge and skills of Bachelor, Master and PhD students in Latin America Universities studying Renewable Energy Engineering so to conform their educational standards with European level requirements.
The driving force behind preparations of this proposal was a rapidly rising demand for the highly qualified specialists/graduates in the Renewable Energy sector in Latin America and EU.

 

Objectives

Specific objectives of the Project are:

  1. Familiarisation of the academic staff in partner Universities with best practices in the development of modules and teaching methods in EU Universities.
  2. Modernisation of the content and teaching methods of core modules for Bachelor and Master students in partner Universities to the level of quality corresponding to the Bologna system.
  3. Implementation of the modernised modules and teaching methods and practice in partner Universities.
  4. Improvement of Skills Development of PhD students for meeting career targets and better integration into international research community.
  5. Implementation of EU standard quality assurance of the content of modernised modules, their teaching methods and examination procedures.
  6. Improving quality of education by ensuring that didactic materials and training methods from both EU and partner Universities satisfy EU quality assurance requirements and using distance learning technology;
  7. To develop high quality Project network between Latin America and EU Universities and industrial companies for Renewable Energy research and training.
  8. To improve the employability of graduates with enhanced knowledge of Renewable Energy Engineering at the national and the international levels.

Preparation of high quality specialists in Renewable Energy Engineering will support government and private organisation/company activities on expansion of Renewable Energy Sector and satisfy high demand for high quality specialists in this sector across Latin America and EU.

Furthermore, the above activities have a perfect fit with the University strategic development plans of all parties involved since all Universities taking part in this project have inspirations to strengthen research and teaching activities in Renewable Energy Engineering and widen their network of international collaboration in this field.

 

Project Innovative Features

1. The proposed activities will simultaneously affect three cycles of education in Renewable Energy Engineering:
– Core modules of Bachelor and Master level Renewable Energy Engineering courses will be radically modernized in terms of their syllabus, teaching methods and quality assurances.
– Skills Development of PhD students in Latin America Universities will be improved via one-to-one supervision sessions with academic staff in EU Universities via teleconferences or personal meetings when EU staff will visit partner Universities.

2. Modern EU level engineering education methodologies with extensive exploitation of e-Learning technology will be deployed in implementation of The Crux Project.
Joining knowledge and expertise in Renewable Energy Engineering Education of three leading EU Universities and six leading Universities in Latin America and support from national and international industrial companies located in Latin America will ensure successful completion of the project tasks.

3. The course will be run in close cooperation with a large number of national, regional and international industry stakeholders from the beginning of the Project activities.

 

Project Methodology

Overall project methodology rests upon the following fundamental principles:

-Maintaining strong horizontal links between academic institutions and building up strong Project Network with industrial companies, public organizations and national authorities. Such intensive horizontal and vertical interaction of involved partners and stockholders will ensure high efficiency and impact of planned project activities;

-Building up efficient and flexible management structure for coordinating activities of 9 partners and efficiently direct project activities to planned goals;

-Good planning of the project by dividing activities in distinctive work packages with clearly identified outputs and outcomes;

– Running the project activities in cost effective manner by reducing expenses by coinciding
management, teaching and training meetings.

Pedagogical Approach: The pedagogy framework in this project places the learner firmly at the heart of the learning process. This MSc course will be taught implementing the modern pedagogical approaches for technology-integrated science teaching. This includes the use of Open-Ended Instruction and Discovery Learning techniques; Values Clarification and Differentiated Instruction; Experiential Learning; Co-operative Learning; Assessment and Evaluation of Student Learning; Case Studies and Locus of Control techniques.

 

Project Activities

The Project is split into the following five specific Work Packages with definite tasks, which are listed below.

WP 1 Preparation: Analysis of the market and training needs and Building up the Project Network
Prospective for further evolving of Renewable Energy market and demand for Bachelor and MSc graduates in Latin America will be investigated.
Task 1.1 Identification and selection of national authorities, public organisations and companies for conducting the survey;
Task 1.2 Conducting the survey;
Task 1.3 Analysis of survey results;
Task 1.4 Presentation of recommendations on final estimation of Bachelor and MSc student numbers and PhDs with strong engineering background in Renewable Energy
Task 1.5 Formation of the CRUX Project Network;
Task 1.6 Communications with national authorities and industrial companies and continuous expansion of the Network by involving new stakeholders.

WP 2 Development: Modernisation and enhancing of the structure and syllabus of the selected modules on Renewable Energy
Task 2.1 Finalizing Bachelor and Master level Renewable Energy modules for modernisation;
Task 2.2 Modernisation and enhancing of the structure and syllabus of the selected modules on Renewable Energy on the Bachelor level;
Task 2.3 Modernisation and enhancing of the structure and syllabus of the selected modules on Renewable Energy on the MSc level;
Task 2.4 Preparation of teaching laboratory facilities for selected modules;
Task 2.5 Development of teaching web platform, distance learning facilities and e-library;
Task 2.6 Development of and finalising teaching plans at the end of the 1st and 2nd years of Project;
Task 2.7 Approval of the modernised modules by University Board of Governors.

WP 3 Quality Assurance Plan
Task 3.1 Development of quality assurance plan for the Bachelor and MSc courses with enhanced Renewable energy syllabus;
Task 3.2 Quality assurance of the developed teaching materials and monitoring;
Task 3.3 Quality assurance of employed teaching methods and processes and monitoring;
Task 3.4 Quality assurance of examination processes and Bachelor and MSc degree awards.

WP 4 Dissemination and exploitation
Exploitation
Task 4.1 Commencing the teaching and examination processes in partner Universities using modernised modules on Bachelor level.
Task 4.2 Commencing the teaching and examination processes in partner Universities using modernised modules on MSc level.
Task 4.3 Organisation of internships/placements for Bachler and MSc students in industrial companies;
Task 4.4 Distance improvement of Skills Development (SD) of PhD students.
Dissemination of the CRUX activities and results
Task 4.5 Organisation of specialised workshops, conferences and information days;
Task 4.6 Monitoring and reporting on the Employment history of graduates and on the Sustainability of the CRUX Project;
Task 4.7 Concluding meeting.

WP 5 Project Management

 

Expected impact of the project

The ultimate goal of the project is supply of qualified engineers with enhanced knowledge to rapidly expanding Renewable Energy sector in the Latin America and EU. Companies and organisations engaged in the Renewable Energy industry will benefit from the Project.

The success is measured by substantial numbers of Bachelor and MSc students with enhanced knowledge of Renewable Energy Engineering graduating partner Universities every year and finding employment in the respective industry.

The Project Network will be created to include companies and organisations active in Renewable Energy industry in Latin America and EU countries to act as stakeholders in The Crux Project which be crucial for provision of employment opportunities for Project graduates. Since companies are located across respective countries participating in this project then the local and national economics will benefit from outputs of the Project. Since a considerable part of companies active in Renewable Energy industry are international ones with overseas investments then the benefit will be also on international level.

Another group of Project beneficiaries/stakeholders will be students themselves and HEIs. Participation of EU countries in the Project will increase the attractiveness of the Bachelor and MSc programs with enhanced teaching of Renewable Energy Engineering. It will result in the increased attraction and increased retention ratios of students with strong academic background. Because of experience and expertise of participating EU Universities the quality improvement in teaching is expected to be substantial. Faculty members of partner Universities will gain invaluable experiences through exposure to students and educational systems of EU member states. This experience, as well as the interaction with colleagues from other Universities, will invariably improve teaching and research. Students at Partner Universities will greatly improve their core competences and contribute in high-skill occupations.

The project will strengthen ties between academics on research and education and will also enhance relationships with the industry and business world in Partner Countries and Europe, assisting higher education and business cooperation.

Further strengthening the links between education, research and business is the key to innovation and overall advancement of society. Participation in the Programme further strengthens the Partner Universities efforts towards the above goal.

The Crux activities will be focused on shared problems within the region and dealing with European integration processes. Project accomplishments will have instrumental impacts on other educational and training programmes and on consultant activities in Partner Universities and have an influence on the reform processes of public administration in the partner countries of the region.
The Network will be continuously expanding during the lifetime and after completion the Project. After formal completion of the Project regular information days and workshops will be organised for companies and organisations in Project Network with presentations from alumni. The discussion forum also will be created and maintained for Project stakeholders. Such proactive maintenance of the Project Network will improve the employability of graduates at the national and the international level.

Universities from Latin America and EU will continue to collaborate on the Project after its formal completion on the improvement of quality of teaching materials and methods and its sustainability in terms of attracted students and their employment.

The CRUX Alumni society will be stablished after the completion of the Project for Universities and graduates to communicate with History of Employment of Graduates being recorded.