An Outstanding Example of University-Industry Partnership: The Latvian Case
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WS on Universities and the ICT Industry (UNICTRY'07) Genzano di Roma , May 26, 2007 PowerPoint PPT Presentation


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An Outstanding Example of University-Industry Partnership: The Latvian Case Juris Borzovs University of Latvia, RITI, DATI Exigen Group. WS on Universities and the ICT Industry (UNICTRY'07) Genzano di Roma , May 26, 2007. Content. Levels of ICT education What’s happening in the ICT sector?

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Ws on universities and the ict industry unictry 07 genzano di roma may 26 2007

An Outstanding Example of University-Industry Partnership: The Latvian CaseJuris BorzovsUniversity of Latvia, RITI, DATI Exigen Group

WS on Universities and the ICT Industry (UNICTRY'07)

Genzano di Roma, May 26, 2007


Content

Content

  • Levels of ICT education

  • What’s happening in the ICT sector?

  • Professional higher education

  • The ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation

  • The University of Latvia computer studies programme as an innovative approach to education

  • Is the Bologna process moving in the right direction?


1 levels of ict education

1. Levels of ICT education

  • The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) has recommended that skills related to information and communications technologies (ICT) be divided up into three major categories:Professional IT skills: The ability to use complex IT tools and/or to design, repair or create such tools;Applied IT skills: The ability to use simple IT tools at general places of employment (not ones related to IT);Basic IT skills: The ability to use IT tools for simple tasks and as an educational tool.


Levels of ict education secondary education

Levels of ICT education :Secondary education

  • Latvia is the first country in the world to introduce the ECDL programme in the country’s general education programme.

  • Since the autumn of 2003, basic IT skills have been taught at the elementary school level, while applied skills to satisfy all ECDL requirements are taught at high schools.


2 what s happening in the ict sector

2. What’s happening in the ICT sector?

  • The days when anyone who knew how to switch on a computer could hope for a salary of USD 100,000 a year in America are long gone, and they are irretrievable.

  • Neither is it true any longer that naïve investors are in a big hurry to invest all of their money in any company which has anything to do with information technologies.


2 what s happening in the ict sector 2

2. What’s happening in the ICT sector? (2)

  • National economies require specialists with in-depth knowledge, skills and experience in the area of ICT and in relevant areas.

  • “Soft” skills will also be of key importance – the ability to read, speak and write in several languages, dedication, responsibility, the ability to manage others, etc.


2 what s happening in the ict sector 3

2. What’s happening in the ICT sector? (3)

  • University students need to think about professional and “soft” skills while they are still at school, and they must accumulate as much professional experience as possible.


2 what s happening in the ict sector 4

2. What’s happening in the ICT sector? (4)

  • Increasingly we understand that there are two possible routes in the ICT profession – the “deep” and the “broad” route.

  • As one wag put it, those who know “how” will always have work, and those who know “why” will always be their bosses.


2 what s happening in the ict sector 5

2. What’s happening in the ICT sector? (5)

  • No professional education programme may be launched in Latvia before the relevant professional standard has been implemented.

  • ICT is the only sector in the economy which, thanks to the sector’s Professional Education Council, has drafted all of the necessary standards


The standards of the ict profession

The standards of the ICT profession


3 professional higher education

3. Professional higher education

  • Professional high schools – to prepare 3rd (of 5) professional level specialists.

  • First level professional study at colleges - to prepare 4th (of 5) professional level specialists.

  • Professional bachelor/master studies - to prepare 5th (of 5) professional level specialists.


4 the ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation

4. The ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation

  • Employers, via the offices of the Professional Education Council that was established by professional associations, are taking part in the preparation of standards in the profession.


4 the ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation 2

4. The ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation (2)

  • According to government rules, at least one-half of members of examination commissions must represent employers, and that includes the chairperson of the commission.

  • Membership of commissions is approved by the Professional Education Council.


4 the ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation 3

4. The ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation (3)

  • Another way to influence the study process is to set up study programme councils at universities, established on the principle of parity by instructors, students and employers.

  • Each major change to the curriculum must first be discussed and confirmed by this council.

  • That does not mean that university Senates will automatically approve changes, but there have to be very fundamental arguments to get the Senate to disagree.


4 the ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation 4

4. The ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation (4)

  • Employers make an enormous investment by offering internships to many students – internships which last for four to six months.

  • Specialists in the industry who have a higher education are often asked to serve as academic advisors to final theses, particularly at colleges and at the bachelor’s degree level.


4 the ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation 5

4. The ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation (5)

  • At the national level, an important event each year is a meeting between members of the Professional Education Council and directors of ICT study programmes at universities and colleges.


4 the ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation 6

4. The ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation (6)

  • Universities and colleges are happy to include elective courses in their curricula which are provided by ICT companies.

  • Companies are expected to provide the necessary equipment, software, textbooks and lector. Alternatively, they can provide financing for the course.


4 the ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation 7

4. The ability of employers to influence study programmes and their presentation (7)

  • A particularly high level of academic co-operation involves doctoral dissertations which are written on subjects that are of interest to companies in the ICT sector.

  • Authors can use the infrastructure and information base of such companies as they write their dissertations.


5 the university of latvia computer studies programme as an innovative approach to education

5. The University of Latvia computer studies programme as an innovative approach to education

  • All areas of computing are covered in one programme at each level of higher education.

  • Computer science (CS), where the programme covers the mathematic processes of computer science, system modelling and issues related to artificial intellect;

  • Information technologies (IT), covering the design and use of computer networks and clusters, as well as processing of sound and images;


5 the university of latvia computer studies programme as an innovative approach to education 2

5. The University of Latvia computer studies programme as an innovative approach to education (2)

  • Information systems (IS), focusing primarily on database management systems, as well as the design, implementation and maintenance of information systems;

  • Software engineering (SE), focusing primarily on software design and production of software, including embedded systems;

  • Computer engineering (CE), which covers the design and manufacturing of electronic equipment.


5 the university of latvia computer studies programme as an innovative approach to education 3

5. The University of Latvia computer studies programme as an innovative approach to education (3)

  • To a certain extent, this programme represents a return to the Soviet system, which provided for a mandatory semester-long internship outside of the educational institution.


5 the university of latvia computer studies programme as an innovative approach to education 4

5. The University of Latvia computer studies programme as an innovative approach to education (4)

  • There are very close links to the industry – representatives of employers are on the councils of study programmes and on the commissions which test people’s qualifications.

  • There are more than 50 contracts on internships and specialised courses of study provided by leading IT companies such as Microsoft, CISCO, the DATI Exigen Group, the Baltic Technology Group, etc.


5 the university of latvia computer studies programme as an innovative approach to education 5

5. The University of Latvia computer studies programme as an innovative approach to education (5)

  • There are still powerfully academic and research-based studies in the upper years of bachelor’s degree studies and, of course, at the master’s and doctoral level.


5 the university of latvia computer studies programme as an innovative approach to education 6

5. The University of Latvia computer studies programme as an innovative approach to education (6)

  • The study plan is structured so that when a student receives a diploma, he or she can pursue further studies in any other area of specialisation without having to take a catch-up course.

  • The specialisation does not have to be selected before the young people start their studies – often they have a fairly foggy understanding of the programme of study and of their future profession.


6 is the bologna process moving in the right direction

6. Is the Bologna process moving in the right direction?

  • There are very different areas of knowledge and that those which are of use in theology are not of use in physics

  • Three-year bachelor’s degree programmes, which may be all right for the humanities, but is certainly unacceptable for those areas of study which cannot be imagined without serious internships (medicine and engineering, including computing).


6 is the bologna process moving in the right direction 2

6. Is the Bologna process moving in the right direction? (2)

  • Do we have far better instructors and far more talented students so that we can achieve in three years what the Americans achieve in four?


6 is the bologna process moving in the right direction 3

6. Is the Bologna process moving in the right direction? (3)

  • Three-year programmes with no internship opportunities at all are absurd.

  • In the higher education system related to ICT, there should be no study programmes which allow students to receive a diploma without a serious internship.


6 is the bologna process moving in the right direction 4

6. Is the Bologna process moving in the right direction? (4)

  • So-called academic study programmes in engineering are churning out hundreds of young people a year – young people without the slightest amount of industrial experience.


Ws on universities and the ict industry unictry 07 genzano di roma may 26 2007

The End


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