Here is the presentation of some results of this survey, presented by Petra Chaloupkova as an introduction to the webinar organized by CUL on May 11, 2021.
The focus group discussions were organized during the webinar (see table 1). The participants were divided into 3 main target groups (representatives of students, academics, professional sector) and the discussions were led by the facilitators. Following key aspects were discussed:
- How to share information on curricula, job needs, and their continuous evolution (agricultural transition)?
- What kind of teaching methods can be used to transfer knowledge and train for transversal skills required by the professional sector?
- How to design curricula of APS to meet the future needs of the professional sector?
- How to increase interest in international student mobility and its attractiveness for professionals?
The main recommendations from this discussion are:
Share information: More connection is needed, including international cooperation between companies, cooperation between universities and professional sector through specific projects. Connection could also be done by organizing job fairs and supporting grant writing experience by the students
Teaching methods: New methods are required (but not only online!), providing more interaction (asking some basic questions, for example by using polls or padlet). Teachers should listen more to the students and include problem-based teaching, virtual labs in their teaching.
Design curricula: Curricula should align to the world outside academia. Real-life/research holistic projects should be developed with students and professionals. Testimonies from employers may be included. Curricula should also include transversal skill training, through real-life scenarios.
Increase mobility: Universities should promote advantages of academic mobilities (showing the advantages of study abroad programs, benefits, the skills and attitude of students in terms of knowledge, professionalism and cultural awareness), and include mobility window or mobility as mandatory course. Mentoring of Erasmus students by teachers or fellows could help.