The project of the Erasmus Plus program “Strengthening the network on education, science and innovation in the field of environmental hygiene in Asia”
Main objective of this project is strenghtening research capacities in partner countries in areas of public health, promoting a sound exchange of information and building capacities between higher education institutions of European Union and Central Asia. This objective wil be achieved tuning existing doctoral studies, developing new MSc programs and implementing blended learning approach. The project will enhance the quality & relevance of higher education across European and Central Asian regions and India in the public health areas and improve their capacity for sustainable international cooperation, thus collaborating at the creating a long lasting excellence international network, to continue its activities after the end of the project period.
– To foster professional competences of teachers in distinctive areas of Environmental & Occupational Health and Public Health;
– To revise & update existing MSc & PhD curricula in EH, OH & PH
– To develop new MSc in EH, OH & PH tailored to local needs;
– To introduce new pedagogical methods & quality assurance mechanism for Master studies;
– To establish educationallaboratories at PC universities for graduate students;
– To establish e-learning systems at partner countries universities to support regular students, correspondence students as well as professionals in life-long learning.
The revised and newly introduced MSc & PhD programs will strenghen educational & research capacity of health systems in partner countries.
It will become a base for preparation of skilled & knowledgable public health specialists for health care systems in PCs.
Established e-labs at Universities with Managed Learning Environment system and introduced b-learning in teaching & learning will improve students thinking skills, problem solving abilities, and collaborative development of knowledge. Therefore, it will enhance capacity & quality of higher education and produced human resources for public health systems in PCs.
The project activities and methodology:
- Training trainers: improving English language knowledge and skils, updating competences, mastering skills of designing & developing and teaching e-based materials & using b-learning in teaching through a Managed Learning Environment (MLE) system.
- Updating and development of MSc and PhD programs in line with Bologna principles through the design of new high quality modules and the preparation of supporting teaching materials and their national/international accreditation.
- Modernization of teaching/learning resources (World class e-labs, MLE system).
- Networking with and for resource sharing and optimisation, curriculum development, information dissemination and future collaborations.
- Delivery of PhD and MSc courses
- PhD students mobility
The project starts with a kick-off meeting, where the consortium will plan details of the project timeline & activities, identify and agree roles & responsibilities. Then EU partners will work with local staff during visits to PCs to identify and assess local needs in content and specific methodological design of new graduate courses.
The assessment results will inform the academic content of ‘train-the-trainer courses in public health (PH), environmental (EH) & occupational health (OH). It will include subjects developing analytic assessment, policy development and program planning & management, leadership & communication, and systems thinking skills.
The target group for training the trainers will be 4-5 faculties from each PC. The selection criterion will include professional competence, teaching skills, communication & leadership skills, knowledge of English, etc.
Since English is a language in which most research results are published and most international events are held, the partners are encouraged to have fluent English. Therefore the training starts with 4-months intensive English language course for 20 teachers at each PC university.
The core of training the trainer program will focus on 4 major topics:
- Innovative teaching/learning
- How to develop modular structure & MSc courses.
- The state-of-art in EH, OH &PH encountered in the international context.
- Blended teaching & learning
3 ways of training will be used:
– 2 workshops at EU universities. The visits of PC partners to EU partners will aim at familiarization with the state-of-art situation in education in PH&SP, QA procedures, with social & cultural life.
– Summer schools. EU partners will organise 2 summer schools on b-learning, e-teaching & use of a MLE system; innovative teaching methods, updating professional & pedagogical skills; how to develop e-materials and apply information & communication technologies to support classroom & online delivery appropriate to individual & professional needs.
– A range of online sessions & web-conferences after equipment of e-labs & mastering b-learning will strengthen skills mastered and knowledge gained and consult in development of MSc programs and QA systems.
Updating existing MSc and PhD studies will be done according to recommendations made at the final meeting of the previous project. To increase quality of existing PhD studies, mobility of PhD students are planned: from each partner University 2-3 scholars will have 2-month study at EU partner university.
When the PC partners are ready, they will develop locally & regionally relevant, ECTS compliant graduate courses.
The Masters modular structure gives consistency and flexibility to education and allows for implementation of modules into certified training programs. The idea is to have a joint basic structure sharing educational modules in the PCs and across different specialisation fields at each PC University.
The basic module of future Master programs will include: Introduction to Public Health, Biostatistics, Research Methodology, etc.
The specialised courses will include: Environmental & Occupational Health, Epidemiology, Health Economics, Health Management & Administration, etc. The content & materials of all courses should be adopted for b-learning with the use of a MLE.
By the end of the 1st half of the project, the programs will pass accreditation at PC Education Ministries. By the end of the year 2, the first MSc-students will be admitted at each PC University.
The EU partners will visit PC universities contributing to International studies week programs for students on the new courses.
During the project lifetime participants will develop a range of learning & training resources such as presentations, digital libraries, case studies and other information resources that will be made available in a variety of media. Developers and trainees will contribute to the on-going development of these resources throughout the project.
Modernisation of the teaching/learning resources of PC universities includes creation of an e-lab with relevant equipment (computers, headsets, etc) and MLE software. MLE is designed to help teachers to facilitate the management & administration of educational courses, to track student training and includes functions as authoring, classroom management, competency & knowledge management, certification or compliance training, personalization, mentoring, chat, discussion boards.
Implementing b-learning will consist of the following steps:
– Defining clear training objectives
– Identifying the skill gaps of learners & the characteristics of audience
– Matching the content needed to achieve training objectives with the most appropriate mix of learning methods
– Finding good instructional design taking into account how adult learns
– Teaching learners how to learn online
– Ensuring learners’ success by providing with appropriate technology & technical support
– Keeping learners engaged & motivated by facilitating & supporting program
Time, budget & personnel resources, the audience size, how big is the geographic area the audience spread across will be also considered.