ECO-RED project does not focus on research, but on teaching and innovating the courses related renewable energy and energy efficiency. ECO-RED is also a good platform to connect three leading universities in Viet Nam and Europe, creating a common framework for the design of mutual modules on renewable energies, which are expected to be recognized and accredited in the Partner Countries.
The internationalization resulted from the project activities and the integration of EU standards into designing the courses contents and didactic materials are other innovative characters of the project.
The “Seminars on the European University system” aimed at introducing the European Higher Education system, explaining the main principles and strategies. Seminars were organized at each beneficiary University: in Ho Chi Minh (30-31/03/2016), in Can Tho (04-05/04/2016) and in Hanoi (06-07/04/2016).
George Makrides (University of Cyprus), Marek Frankowicz (Jagiellonian University) and Andrea Corese (Sapienza University of Rome), conducted two-day seminars respectively on Quality Assurance, Bologna process and Internationalization issues.
The seminars gave introductive information that will serve as a foundation for the next “in-depth analysis” online courses which will be then followed by more “specialized training” on employing European standards in designing ECO-RED courses.
During his presentations, George Makrides directed the participants’ attention towards three important contents: an introduction to Quality Assurance (QA) giving an insight into basic concepts and issues about QA, QA in higher; European framework and guidelines for QA and the significance of QA in higher education and QA guideline description at agency and institutional levels. He also explained in details about the European Association for Quality Assurance in Higher Education (ENQA), an umbrella organization which represents quality assurance organizations from the European Higher Education Area (EHEA) member states.
Marek Frankowicz presented the main features and achievements of Bologna Process. The development of Bologna in Polish context was also mentioned to give the participants a vivid scene of how Bologna was established and employed with different challenges. The presenter also discussed three training cycles and ECTS applied in European higher education. A lively discussion on the compatibility of three circle system in Europe and Vietnamese educational system occurred in the talk, which aroused active sharing and comments of concerned attendees. High attention has been put in the description of the meaning of learning outcomes, longlife learning , student centered learning and academic networks.
Andrea Corese defined Internationalization as “the process of integrating an international, intercultural or global dimension into the purpose, function or delivery of postsecondary education” (Knight, 2003) or “integrating the institution and its key stakeholders – its students, faculty and staff – into a globalized world” (Hawawini, 2011). The definitions led to very interesting discussions on two relevant terms “internationalization at Home” and “Internationalization Abroad”. Internationalization at Home plays an important role to move the universities to towards the integration process.
The number of attendances showed a high interest and involvement within the target universities in understanding the ratio, the main framework and the standards of Bologna process, in particular related to quality assurance and internationalization policies. This was demonstrated by the high participation of teaching, administrative and high management staff. The participation was more than expected by the project, involving in these seminars almost 130 people in total instead of the 60 foreseen by the project design: 40 participants in CTU, 58 in HCMUT, 30 in HUST.
The high participation foster the overall impression that is a general interest and commitment of the beneficiary universities. They have their own standard at Ministry of education level and at Asia University Network levels despite there is not a country strategic direction for Higher Education at national level.