Erasmus+ is the EU programme for Education, Training, Youth and Sport for 2014-2020, which aims to boost skills and employability as well as modernising Education, Training and Youth work. It supports transnational partnerships among Education, Training, and Youth institutions and organisations to foster cooperation and bridge the worlds of Education and work in order to tackle the skills gaps we are facing in Europe. It also supports national efforts to modernise Education, Training, and Youth systems. In the field of Sport, there will be support for grassroots projects and cross-border challenges such as combating match-fixing, doping, violence and racism.
The programme is divided into 3 Key Actions:
- Key Action 1: Learning Mobility of Individuals
- Key Action 2: Cooperation for Innovation and the Exchange of Good Practices
- Key Action 3: Support for Policy Reform
Key Action 2-Projects at the University of Limerick
Project Reference: 2015-1-TR01-KA203-021768
Project Title: Identifying best practice across physical education teacher education programmes: A European perspective
- The aim of this project is to explore and understand examine physical education teacher education (PETE) curricula in Erasmus+ programme partner countries and to help improve the quality of physical education teacher education. This examination includes the process from student selection/admission to graduation. Also, priority will be given to innovations and sharing of good practices. We intend to provide data for the EU such as supporting double careers of athletes, preventing violence in schools through sports, ICT practices in physical education teacher education, physical education teacher qualifications, standards and accreditation (Erasmus+ Programme Guide, 2014). The basic practices of this project will be carried out in Turkey (Bursa) and the partner countries and the project is planned to last for three years.
List of Partners:
- Uludag University, Turkey (Coordinator)
- University of Limerick, Ireland
- Hacettepe University, Turkey
- Technicka Univerzita V Liberci, Czech Rep.
- Universita Degli Studi Di Padova, Italy
- Sport Sciences Association (SSA), Turkey
- Bursa PE Teachers’ Association, Tukey
Project website: N/A
Further information: Professor Ann MacPhail, PESS
Project Reference: 2014-1-UK01-KA202-001780
Project Title: Digital Innovations for Growth Academy (DIGA)
- Digital Innovations for Growth Academy (DIGA) meets the strategic need defined in the Bruges Communique to improve the capacity of Vocational Education and Training to respond to the changing requirements of the labour market and to adapt VET to keep pace with shifts to new technologies, work organisation and internationalisation.
This project aims to enable the enhanced deployment of digital and ICT tools by VET enterprise trainers and educators and improve their digital competencies in order to address the key needs to:
- Develop the ICT and digital skills, knowledge and capacity of VET trainers to enable them to support learners within SMEs more effectively and encourage greater adoption of digital and ICT tools.
- Develop VET programmes to support the changing needs of the EU workforce/economy in particular through the integration of ICT and digital literacy
- Ensure that VET programmes are equally open and accessible to women and men learners.
List of Partners:
- The Women’s Organisation, United Kingdom www.thewomensorganisation.org.uk
- Kemmy, Business School, University of Limerick, Ireland www.ul.ie
- Economic Institute Maribor, Ekonomske Raziskave In Podjetnistva D.O.O (EIM) www.eim-mb.si
- European Centre for Women and Technology (ECWT), Norway, www.womenandtechnology.eu
- Inercia Digital S.L., Spain www.inerciadigital.com
- Social Innovation Fund (SIF), Lithuania, www.lpf.lt
- Bulgarian Centre of Women in Technology (BCWT), Bulgaria, www.bgwomeninict.org
Project website: N/A
Further information: Dr Briga Hynes, KBS
Project Reference: 2015-1-FR01-KA203-015209
Project Title: EUropean CERamic MATerials (EUCERMAT)
The aim of the European Ceramic Materials (EUCERMAT) project is to significantly contribute to changing the general opinion about ceramics materials in Europe. As a matter of fact, ceramic materials are too often simply associated to great diffusion materials mainly employed as building materials (covering plates factories, glasses for windows... etc.). This narrow and negative image is the main reason for the difficulties faced by education institution in the recruitment of students in the field of Ceramic Materials trainings. To overcome this situation, EUCERMAT aims at implementing a new methodology based on a relevant functioning of the knowledge triangle in the domain of ceramic material. To make this possible, highly relevant academic (universities and research centres) and industrial (from start-up to multinational groups) partners, already closely working together at national level, joined forces in the consortium submitting this project proposal.
Their aim is to reinforce their cooperation and create a common space where the interaction between research, education and innovation is optimised.
The EUCERMAT project is a three years educational programme during which modern ways of teaching more adapted to the international cooperation between academic institutions will be developed.
- A teaching programme, integrating blended mobility and virtual classes via the moodle platform, will be developed to offer international courses that will be coupled to very unique teaching practical labs, closely connected to research and performed on instrumental platforms of laboratories associated to the different universities or research institutes.
- A charter will be implemented, defining a new way to promote the relationships between
universities and industries through teaching projects.
- Tutored projects for students will be implemented with the industrial partners. The subjects will be of industrial interest but defined in cooperation with the academics of the universities and researchers. The subjects will be prospective and challenging, corresponding to up-stream research so that a strong connexion with the research laboratories is developed.
- Innovative practices to promote ceramic sciences to the community: civil society and principally high school students will be developed and implemented during the programme.
To change the general opinion about ceramics materials in Europe, communication and dissemination events will be organized by the European Ceramics Society (ECerS), the main federation of national ceramic societies in Europe, which is the sixth partner of the project. Thanks to cooperation between the partners in the present strategic partnership programme, a road map aiming at defining guidelines to orientate the future research subjects, teaching projects and economic issues to challenge for the future years will be thoroughly discussed and ultimately defined.
At the end of the programme, a new European master programme dedicated to ceramic materials
and relevant to the needs of the industry will be proposed. It will also contribute to promote stronger coherence between the different EU partners .To ensure the sustainability of work of the knowledge triangle and the evolution of the Strategic Partnership programme towards an even more ambitious and structured project, a Knowledge
List of Partners:
- University of Limoges, France (Coordinator)
- University of Limerick, Ireland
- Institute of Science and Technology for Ceramics (CNR ISTEC), Italy
- Technische Universitat (TU) Darmstadt, Germany
- University of Aveiro (UAVR), Portugal
- European Ceramic Society, Belgium
- Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Spain
- AGH University of Science and Technology, Poland
- Refractory Solutions Insertec S.L, Spain
- System SPA, Italy
- Porcelanas da Costa Verde, Portugal
- Safran, France
- Agrupamento de Escolas Jose Estevao, Portugal
Further information: Dr Eamonn de Barra, Mechanical, Aeronautical, and Biomedical Engineering
Project Reference: 2014-1-IE01-KA200-000342
Project Title: Archimedes: Supporting problem based learning in SMEs through IT facilitated mentoring
The project will develop a framework for organisational problem based learning (PBL) and support the use of this form of learning combined with other methods, which are widely adopted in SMEs such as informal/social learning. It will do this through formal and informal mentoring processes, e-learning content and IT based social networking. The main project objectives are:
• Collect best practices in PBL and other forms of learning used by SMEs.
• Develop an organizational PBL framework with effective support mechanisms such as mentoring and ICT based social networking
• Create a curriculum and training modules to train mentors.
• Create a curriculum and training for staff in SMEs in PBL blended with other learning forms .
• Accredit the training course and recognition of such forms of learning in three Higher education institutes in Europe
• Test training in several SMEs.
• Create a learner-mentor network supported by an IT platform.
• Develop a transferability model for other companies.
SMEs remain vital to the European economy accounting for 98% of companies and 67% employment. (Wymenga et al , 2012). 50% of SMEs fail in the first five years (de kok et al, 2011), it is important to ensure their survival. Innovative companies have weathered the economic storm favourably. (de Kok et al, 2011). SMEs are geared positively towards innovation as they are relatively flexible in nature. However they often lack the knowledge and expertise and need to assist them in their approach.
Traditionally training and development in SMEs has been limited to informal approaches (de Kok, 2011; Admiraal, 2009) or is trainer driven. Employees are flexible in nature adopting new roles and tasks as the company changes. Little formal training is provided and there is little reflection about how training can support ongoing company problems. Significant research has been conducted in encouraging SMEs to make their training more flexible. Many reasons for slow uptake of SME formal learning have been cited; time, cost and lack of relevance. Many projects have focused on addressing these issues through e-learning resources. Admiraal, 2009 found that SMEs were largely unsatisfied with e-learning offerings due to their static nature and irrelevant content. In addition the readiSME project which investigated e-learning readiness in SMEs found that the main obstacles were the lack of Return on investment (ROI) in e-learning, the lack of relevant content, lack of time to find relevant content and a reactive approach to learning. Despite this research the SME uptake of learning has remained unchanged. Based on his findings Admiraal, 2001 has argued for more attention for informal learning processes in organizations aimed at learning problems that really matter”.
As a result of these findings it is important that a tailored approach to learning is developed, that allows those working in SMEs to determine realistic issues the companies are facing and address these with relevant training while maximising ROI. PBL allows this to occur while developing transversal skills that can be applied in future situations in the company. It is expected that it will foster a learning culture in small companies thus encouraging a proactive approach to training, and motivate employees to reflect and cooperate.
These techniques can be embedded into business and work processes in companies increasing the relevance to the organization while maximizing informal learning outcomes. This project aims to develop an e-learning based course to teach employees in SMEs on how to use PBL and to cooperate; it will develop a mentoring framework with formal and informal forms using IT tools to support these employees to use PBL. This will allow SMEs to leverage off of external expertise at a low cost. It will provide practical, relevant training to SMEs.
Each employee will identify a problem in their company and will be guided through the problem solving process using learning material and a mentor to facilitate them. Mentors will take a short course to guide them in their role. The courses will be accredited in each partner country.
List of Partners:
- University of Limerick, Ireland, (Coordinating Partner)
- Institute of work and technology (IAT), Gelesenkirchen, Germany
- Irish Small to Medium Enterprise (ISME) Association, Dublin Ireland
- SC IPA SA, Craiova, Romania
- Siauliu prekybos, pramones ir amatu rumai (SCCIC), Siauliu, Lithuania
- Association of Industry Portugal (AIP), Lisbon, Portugal
Further information: Dr Emma O’Brien, KBS
Project Title: CONNECT 2.0 - Intercultural Learning Network 4 Europe
CONNECT 2.0 is a cross-sectoral project, bringing together practitioners and experts from the university and youth sector, funded by the European Union. It was initiated to create an innovative intercultural learning scenario, consisting of an e-learning platform and curricula for pre-departure and re-entry orientation, to support Erasmus participants (students and interns) in the higher education sector before, during and after their exchange by integrating methods and concepts from non-formal youth education to formal education.
Every year, thousands of young students participate in the Erasmus+ program, to work or study abroad and gain intercultural experiences. Though these exchange programs usually have positive effects, it often lacks pedagogical support / intercultural mentoring and intercultural seminars so participants can systematically reflect their experiences in their host cultures and improve the learning outcomes of their exchange.
Comprehensive individual mentoring is necessary in order to tap the full potential of the intercultural learning experience with Erasmus+. Unfortunately, most participants do not have access to such services. Our strategy is to incorporate virtual learning modules into existing mentoring programs and to create a platform that meets the demands of a modern and digital generation: CONNECT 2.0.
CONNECT 2.0 promotes intercultural learning through a combination of online learning and face2face training. The online micro-learning modules ensure that all participants can work at their own pace to generate an intercultural learning path before, during and after an exchange program. These modules and learning activities serve as the basis for further individual and group reflection and experimentation during face2face training components and during their stay abroad.
CONNECT 2.0 contains the following elements:
- Preparation (face2face): introduction to Erasmus+ and the online platform, first intercultural learning session.
- Support (online): before, after and in particular during the ERASMUS+ stay abroad; online lectures on intercultural topics in combination with exercises that allow for interaction and self-assessment.
- EXPERIENCE MAP (online): tool for the documentation of experiences gained abroad and for exchanging practical information.
- Reflection (face2face): evaluation of and reflection on (intercultural) experiences, perspectives (knowledge transfer), networking, mentoring program.
List of Partners:
- InterCultur gemeinnutzige GmbH, Germany, Coordinator
- University of Limerick
- AFS Interkulturelle Begegnungen e.V. Germany
- Haaga-Helia University of Applied Sciences (Haaga-Helia UAS), Finland
- Friedrich-Schiller-Universitat Jena, Germany
- Karlshochschule gemeinnutzige GmbH, Germany
- Fundacao Fernando Pessoa-Universidade Fernando Pessoa, Portugal
- Adam Mickiewicz University, Poland
- Universita' degli Studi di Urbino Carlo Bo, Italy
- UNIVERSITAT DE VIC UVIC UCC, Spain
Project website: http://weconnecteurope.eu/
Further information: Dr Gisela.Holfter, Department of Languages and Cultural Studies
Project Reference: 2015-1-DE02-KA202-002278
Project Title: TecCOMFrame – A Joint European Academic Competence Framework and Curricula for the Training of Technical Communicators
What is Technical Communication (TC) and why is it important?
For the safe and efficient use of products – whether devices, machines, software, entire production plants or service provider products – users require information. The manufacturers or providers of the products are obligated to make this information available across the entire product life cycle in a suitable media format. The creation of information that is usable, effective and reader-friendly has become a spezialized task within companies, and hence specially trained and qualified personnel called "technical communicators" are required. Quality technical documentation is also an important contribution to product safety. Technical understanding, language skills and digital competencies are only few of the competencies that are needed to perform those tasks.
How can the labour market for TC in Europe be characterized?
The number of HEI graduates is far below the demand of the labour market. Our studies reveal a constant demand for technical writers. In the industry sector technical writers account for 1.4% of all employees while in the software sector it is 3.6%. To fill the open job postings companies hire graduates from related study programs such as translation or engineering. Yet, these “career changers” often lack formal qualification in TC. In general, the majority of people working in TC are lateral entrants with background in engineering or translation.
What is the status quo in the academic education of TC in Europe?
Only some European universities offer programs in TC at all, while in most countries there are no HEI programs and thus the occupational profile is not explicitly represented. As a consequence, the required competencies and qualifications for technical communicators remain unclear for teachers as well as for employers. Further education and special training programs with appropriate curricula have yet to be developed at universities. For doing this HEI need guidance to understand what a curriculum should contain and how prospective students in that subject could be trained.
What is the project aiming for?
The project consortium aims to develop standard curricula based on a common academic qualification and competence framework – the TecCOMFrame, which stands for Technical Communication Competence Framework. The framework should further enable and support transparency, recognition, and transferability of the qualification and competences of technical communicators. As a result, curricula will be developed for EQF levels 5-7, constituting more higher
education programs in TC across Europe, which again leads to more graduates who will be well prepared for the labour market. As an important side effect the recognition of the profession will be reinforced.
What is the scope of the project and who will be involved?
It is a European-wide project, involving eight project partners from universities across Europe. The project is led by Europe’s largest professional association for Technical Communication with a strong member base of more than 8.000 professionals. The project places high importance on the involvement of and collaboration with stakeholders from industry and service companies as well as from other European universities not acting as project partners. Knowledge transfer in terms of exchanging good-practices with respect to curriculum development, teaching, industry cooperation, and academic research is a central part of the project.
What will be the major outputs of the project?
The project will deliver the TecCOMFrame as an academic competence framework for the education and training in TC across Europe. It will also deliver four different prototype curricula reflecting the EQF levels 5-7: Specializations, Bachelor and Master. Apart from regular communication and articles on the project, a publication on the final TecCOMFrame will be created. The TecDocNet guideline, which goes back to an EU-funded Leonardo-da-Vinci project will be revised according to the findings during the project and published anew. Finally, a qualification and competence profiling tool following the example of the European e-Competence Framework (e-CF) for the area of TC will be developed and published.
Who are the target groups?
European HEI, students, high-school graduates, employers, career changers, placement agencies
What are the major (long-term) impacts?
Increasing number of:
- study programs in TC
- graduates in TC
- qualified professionals in TC
• understanding of the profession and its competence requirements
• job mobility through definition of standards
• student and staff exchange through availability of programs
• employablility of students from related studies through spezialization in TC
• employee recruitment due to clear assessment criteria for competences
List of Partners:
- European Association for Technical Communication - tekom Europe e.V., Germany, Coordinator
- University of Limerick, Ireland
- KU Leuven, Belgium
- Hochschule Karlsruhe Technik und Wirtschaft, Germany
- University POLITEHNICA of Bucharest, Romania
- University Paris Diderot, France
- UNIVERSITEIT TWENTE, Netherlands
- AARHUS UNIVERSITET, Denmark
- UNIWERSYTET SZCZECINSKI, Poland
Further information: Dr Yvonne Cleary, School of Culture and Communication
Funding body: Erasmus Plus: Strategic Partnerships
Grant amount: €294,685
Co-ordinator: Engineering Research Centre, University of Limerick
Principle Investigators: Dr Emma O’Brien and Dr Mark Southern
Partners: ISME (Ireland), Seville Chambers of Commerce (Spain), Siauliu Chambers of Commerce (Lithuania), IPA Craiova (Romania) Institute for work and technology, Westphalian University Gelsenkirchen (Germany)
For further information contact: email@example.com
Innovation involves the utilisation of new knowledge or a new use or combination of existing knowledge. New knowledge may either be generated by the firm in the course of its innovation activities ....or acquired externally through various channels (e.g. purchase of new technology)”. (OECD, 2005)
Education providers have long been sources of this knowledge that can take the form of research partners, contract researchers, skills providers, informal interaction, technology transfer and scientific publications (Perkmann and Walsh, 2007).
However studies have proven that the greater the internal research and development of the organisation the higher their ability is to collaborate and exploit external research conducted by higher educations.(Bercovitz and Feldman, 2007 and Fabrizio, 2009). Often higher education produce 'general research' and an internal research capacity is required to allow them to adapt this research to the company requirements and particularly their business (Soh and Subramanian, 2014). However SMEs in particular often do not have this internal research capacity due to limited resources.
Reinnovate complements this need by developing research skills in SMEs to enable them to absorb new knowledge and innovations offered by external sources such as education institutes and conduct small scale research projects. The project will develop a programme to allow SMEs to use research skills as a basis to then to develop the knowledge they need to create innovative ideas and translate this knowledge into value. This will enable the company to become more entrepreneurial.
Current entrepreneurship programs focus on the innovation process, managing this and developing business acumen for those wishing to set up their own business. For example programs such as VUE, PAEM teach excellent business planning and administration skills for start ups and new business owners however research skills do not form part of the program. Similarly business incubation centres offer physical support and business planning advice for new businesses but do not provide ongoing training and research skills to allow SMEs to encourage continuous innovation and sustainability.
The majority of these programs are targeted at new business owners or startups. The Entrepcomp framework outlined by the EU commission, 2016 highlights Entrepreneurship should not be limited to those people setting up businesses but in all aspects of life. Slevin and Covin (1990, p. 43) highlight that "a successful firm not only engages in entrepreneurial managerial behavior, but also has the appropriate culture and organisational structure to support such behavior”.
The aim of the ReInnovate project is to focus on using systematic research to facilitate the development of entrepreneurial skills in employees in SMEs. This will allow the company to develop a culture of entrepreneurship or an entrepreneurial mindset where individuals are inquiry focused, continuously looking for opportunities to improve the business and allowing them to gather the knowledge to put these into action.
1. Develop a learning methodology and accredited curriculum to support the development of SME orientated practice based research skills (1O1). This will ensure research skills are orientated towards the needs of SMEs. It will also ensure co-operation between VETs and SMEs
2. Develop a level 6 higher certificate in practice based research to teach these skills to employees SMEs (IO2). The modules will be based on the needs analysis and the ENTRECOMP framework and will develop entrepreneurial mindset in SMEs
3. Develop ICT tools to support the mentoring and development of research skills in SMEs (IO3). This will provide flexible pathways for SME learners
4. Pilot these with 100 companies in EU (IO4) to ensure it meets the requirements identified in EU policies and the needs analysis
5. Transfer the methodology to other sectors and VET programs (IO5) will develop cooperation models
Funding body: Erasmus Plus: Skills Sector Alliance
Grant amount: €496, 833
Co-ordinator: FORTEC Formation Y Technologia (Spain), UL partner
Principle Investigators (UL): Dr Emma O’Brien and Dr Mark Southern
Partners: UL (Ireland), UFEMAT (Belgium), Institute of Technology Argon (Spain)
For further information contact: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Construction sector is one of the most relevant at European level. The number of companies in the sector amounts to 3,429,268 (EUROSTAT 2015) and is estimated to reach 15,580,000 workers (CEDEFOP, 2008). The sector is affected by significant technological and regulatory changes and must address the challenges of producing buildings and infrastructures adapted to changing social and economic needs and meet global challenges such as energy security and climate change.
Any change in regulations, technology, social, etc., involves the adaptation of companies and workers, with training being the essential instrument to carry out such adaptation. At present it is possible to find static studies of training needs related to the professional skills for which it is necessary to qualify workers in the sector, but the reality is that tools such as the one proposed by the present project are needed that can detect qualification needs Dynamically and continuously over time and deliver results on:
- Training requirements, emanating from the companies themselves
- Trends in emerging professional skills
- Current training offer and its adaptation to the demands of companies.
- Geo-positioning of both the job offer and the training offer
The main contribution of the project is DETECTA, a totally innovative tool that provides the results indicated previously. Its operation is based on the management and processing of all the information published in prospective reports, job offers and training offers to know in real time where and with what qualification the workers are needed and if existing training strategies respond to the demands of the companies. This project will successfully do this by combining of semantic intelligence technologies with the Big Data's large-volume information analysis power.
For further information contact: email@example.com
Key Action 1- Projects at UL:
Global-MINDS- European Master in the Psychology of Global Mobility, Inclusion and Diversity in Society
Project Reference: 574444-EPP-1-2016-1-PT-EPPKA1-JMD-MOB
Project Title: Global-MINDS- European Master in the Psychology of Global Mobility, Inclusion and Diversity in Society
Global-MINDS is the European Master in the Psychology of Global Mobility, Inclusion and Diversity in Society. It is a comprehensive 2- year study programme with 120 ECTS focusing on insights from Social and Cultural Psychology for contemporary social and societal issues. Universities from five countries jointly deliver the Global-MINDS programme in English and award graduates with a joint master degree. Each of these institutions is expert in their respective part of the Global-MINDS educational programme. A group of world-leading scholars from different countries also contributes to the delivery and quality assurance of the programme. An international network of associate partners – private companies, civil society organizations, public service providers, practitioners, policy makers, governmental organizations and NGOs – assures high quality student internships and assistance in graduate’s employment. Global-MINDS students start either at ISCTE-IUL or at SWPS. They then spend their 2nd semester at one of the other three Partner Universities. Three mobility paths, focusing on a specific social and societal issue, ensure that students experience the highest level of diversity in regard to cultural, socioeconomic, academic conditions and educational contents:
A. Diversity & Inclusion (ISCTE-IUL, then UL)
B. Global Mobility & Acculturation (ISCTE-IUL or SWPS, then UiO)
C. Culture & Organizations (SWPS, then KU)
Students can stay at the chosen university after the second semester or opt for additional mobility tracks to any of the Partner Institutions for their third (internship) and fourth semester (master thesis). Global-MINDS is a unique study programme with an internationalization component that is indispensable for such a master. It is aimed at students with a Bachelor (or similar) degree in psychology. This ensures that the programme complies with international legal requirements regarding the registration and use of the title ´psychologist´, therefore, significantly improving the employability of psychology graduates. Students receive a thorough training in subject skills as well as intercultural skills – assets that are indispensable in today´s global knowledge economy and multicultural working environments. Moreover, recent societal challenges such as Europe’s refugee crisis or the rise of political extremism call for experts to tackle pressing issues of mobility, inclusion and diversity. In Europe and across the globe, well-trained specialists in intergroup relations and cultural diversity are needed to prevent marginalization, conflict and violence and promote inclusion, social equality and collaboration. Global-MINDS is a timely master programme that responds to these needs.
List of Partners: ISCTE – Lisbon University Institute (ISCTE-IUL), Portugal (Coordinator), University of Oslo (UiO), Norway, University of Social Sciences and Humanities (SWPS), Poland, Koç University (KU), Turkey, University of Limerick (UL), Ireland
Further information: Dr. Anca Minescu and Dr. Eric R Igou, Department of Psychology