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AGROCAMPUS OUEST

Developing partnerships
with companies in Moldova

N° 144544/tempus/2008/fr/jphes
backgound

Task groups & Activities

A mix steering committee ‘universities-companies’ ensures the general, scientific, educational and political management of the project. It supervises also the technical and financial management. The steering committee is assisted by four task groups – each one in charge of achieving one of the specific objectives:

1 -Task group “Quality-Relevance of Studies”
It experiments on some fields of studies the survey methodology and carries out surveys towards graduates and companies. The aim is to evaluate the adequacy between the studies and the needs of the labour market and to adapt the studies as a consequence. 

2 -Task group “Development of Job-Oriented Studies”
- It informs and train Moldavian teachers on the vocational and career-oriented activities that can be proposed to students within their studies – e.g. vocational university courses, job fair, work placements/ internships, design of an individual career plan, testimonies of professionals… It develops the tools and university structures dedicated to these activities.
- It experiments – with the participation of the Moldavian companies - the most appropriate activities.
- At the end of the project, and after validation by the Ministry of Education and the university senates, the activities will be integrated in the university programmes and the dedicated structures will be created (Corporate Relations Department, Work Placement Office)

3 -Task group “Transferring Knowledge to Companies”
- It studies the scientific and technical assistance that can be offered by universities to companies: continuing education, researcher’s expertise, setting-up of a technological transfer centre…
- A technological transfer centre – satisfying both the needs of the universities and the companies - will be installed. It will experiment continuing education for companies and their employees, as well as practical training for students. This technological platform is located on one site of the Technical University of Moldova. Its legal status will be defined.

4 - Task group “Entrepreneurship and Development of Start-ups”
- It conceives a lecture on how to set-up a company.
- It trains a group of Moldavian teachers on this subject. The teachers will then teach this lecture in each of their universities.
- As far as possible, the group sets up some ‘company incubators’. 

Students will not only be informed about the project, but they will be directly associated in the project as players in some activities: testing vocational and career-oriented activities, setting-up of start-ups…

Task groups' realisations

Task group 1 "Quality-Relevance of Studies"

Objectives

1 - Collect the opinion of companies and graduates on:
     > first of all, the adequacy between the studies and the needs of the labour market
     > and second of all, the adaptation capacities of the graduates to the work activities and to the job requirements.
2 - Point out the possible weaknesses existing in the study programmes.
3 - Inform the companies about the Tempus project and discuss with them about the co-operation possibilities: work placements for students, training to develop the employees’ competences – continuing education-…
4 - Ensure a better knowledge of companies by the teachers-interviewers and get back in touch with the graduates.

Implementation

• Surveys were carried out in six fields of studies : educational psychology, veterinary medicine, food science & technology, cooperative businesses, business & administration, textile production & design. To achieve this:
- questionnaires were first designed and tested to check the relevance of the results with the objectives
- surveys were carried out through direct audit with the company managers or with the graduates. 295 company managers and 650 graduates have been interviewed
- questionnaires were collected and then the results processed on a computer.
• The results were analysed and presented to the other group members (a PowerPoint for each one of the six fields of studies). The final results were presented in each university.
• Regarding the initial objectives of the survey, we can conclude that:
- results are very satisfactory as regards the feedbacks received from the companies and graduates and the weaknesses of the university studies have been highlighted
- results are satisfactory as regards the information to companies about the cooperation possibilities.

Consequences

Each faculty drew conclusions further to these surveys and introduced the following measures:

- changes in the studies’ contents. In particular the proportion of practical work adapted to the needs of companies have been increased.

- increase and re-organization of work placements in companies, especially at the Master’s level - length extended, tutoring, acquiring technological and general competences during the work placements

- training on entrepreneurship

- the six Moldavian universities have chosen to extend these surveys to all their faculties

- moreover they intend to ask their teachers to carry out placements in companies every 3 or 4 years to update their knowledge about companies

- at last they study the possibility to create new trainings at the Bachelor level or training for employees of the industry (textile, civil engineering…)

Survey for companies (example)

Survey for graduates / ex-students (example)

Task group 2 "Development of Job-Oriented Studies"

Objectives

1 - Set up activities to inform students about the job opportunities after their studies: job & company directory, job fair, work placements with diverse objectives – getting to know the work in a company, developing the student’s technical skills, working on a specific project at the company’s demand…
2 - Carry out applied research (Master’s thesis focused on R&D – Research & Development) for students.
3 - Improve the graduates’ employment possibilities thanks to an increased practical knowledge on the company’s functioning.

Implementation

- The group members and the university representatives worked with their EU colleagues on how to make the studies more career-oriented.
- The electronic directory of the companies in the industrial or business sector is at the students’ disposal.
- Job fairs and an offices are also existing which guide the students when looking for a work placement or a job.
- Partner universities started a re-organisation of work placements in companies.
- The group conceived several guidelines related to work, work placement and thesis for the students – see documents below.
- New forms of work placements have been experimented by universities according to the project: objectives, content, number, length, tutoring.
- Six R&D Master’s theses were carried out by six Moldavian students of the partner universities in the EU.
- The Moldavian universities have included and experimented R&D placements and Master’s thesis in Moldova. After the implementation of this new form of placement, the 300 best R&D work placements reports have been rewarded.

 Guides conceived for the students:

Guide for work placement ; Regulations for work placement ; Book of the trainee ; Guide for the Bachelor's thesis ; Guide for the Master's thesis ; Guide to help students look for a job:

Guide de stage

Règlement de stage
Cahier du stagiaire Guide de thèse de licence
Guide de mémoire de master Guide de recherche d'emploi

 

Task group 3 "Transferring Knowledge to Companies"

Objectives

1 - Transfer knowledge to companies – e.g. upgrading/ refresher courses of the staff’s skills – according to the principles of lifelong learning or continuing education.
2 - Assist the companies in solving technical, management or business problems.  Those problems could be dealt by Master students in the framework of their R&D Master’s thesis and with the assistance of the university teachers and/ or researchers.
3 - Set up a technology transfer centre to train students and company employees or executives to modern processing technology, diversification of meat and dairy products, quality improvement…

Implementation

- Continuing education departments were created and a staff was especially trained in each of the participating Moldavian universities. They were assisted in this process by the EU partners, the experts and the already existing continuing education departments in the other Moldavian universities.

Along with the continuing education activities, the group thinks about developing complementary education systems

    a) distant or e-learning for the Master’s students who work for a living, have few free time but have access to distant education (e.g. at home or at provincial colleges…)

    b) dual education system combining apprenticeships in a company and vocational education at the university

- In addition, the Moldavian universities intend to increase the participation of company managers or employees in the Master's courses.

- R&D placements have been included in the programme for Master’s students - see task group 2.

- The technological transfer centre for the processing of meat and dairy products is being finalized at ‘Etalon’ and it will soon be equipped.

- The building 'Etalon' has been renovated in order to welcome the meat and dairy processing platform according to the HACCP principles. The technological equipment has been purchased. The Centre has also been equipped with a laboratory for physiochemical analysis and with conference rooms. The Etalon Centre is now running and ready to host students for food processing practical work. The Centre offers moreover to host companies for trainings or food product experimentation's purposes.

It is to be highlighted that the Etalon Centre construction costs - building renovation, administrative procedures, conference rooms and lab construction, purchase of cold storage rooms... - were largely supported by the technical University of Moldova (UTM) which will be in charge of its management.

Before: After:
Avant travaux Chambres froides

 



Equipment:

Equipement 1 Equipement 2

Task group 4 "Entrepreneurship and Development of Start-ups"

Objectives

1 - Include a lecture on how to set-up a company in the Moldavian study programmes
2 - Support and encourage the setting-up of companies: a) fictive companies created by students as exercise and b) development of real start-ups. 

Implementation

1- Entrepreneurship training:
- The content of the entrepreneurship training was identified by the task group represented by all the universities. The course was written by the Moldavian teachers - "Antreprenariat Initiera Afaceri" book (300 pages) - and sent to EU teachers and experts for information and comments. The course was finalized and the books printed and distributed among the Moldavian universities.
- 22 teachers have been trained to teach this new discipline in the 6 Moldavian universities.
- The entrepreneurship training was offered to about 300 Master students in 5 different faculties of the Moldavian universities first on a voluntary basis to enable the training experimentation.
- The training was assessed by both the teachers and voluntary students.
- After positive assessment, the decision has been enforced to include this entrepreneurship training in the Bachelor and Master study programmes.

2- Setting-up of companies:
- Universities have started to implement student exercises dedicated to the setting-up of companies. At the UTM for instance a competition has been organized to reward the best business plans of the students.
- Companies have been set up by students (5 ASEM, 3 UTM, 3 UCCM, 3 USM, 3 US Comrat).
- Universities have analysed the needs of companies in relation with the university expertise. As a consequence, five universities have created "entrepreneurship and management" consulting centres for companies.
- The universities organized and participated to dissemination conferences on entrepreneurship at the national and international level.

Contacts

In France
AGROCAMPUS OUEST
International Office
program@agrocampus-ouest.fr

In Moldova
Petru Todos
todos@adm.utm.md
Jorj Ciumac
jciumac@yahoo.fr