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Smart Practice -Empowering Entrepreneurial Skills in Higher Education
Start date: Sep 1, 2015, End date: Aug 31, 2017 PROJECT  FINISHED 

Project addresses the issue of developing students’ skills that help them enter job market, make them entrepreneurial and able to innovate as well as meet demands of business and society. This issue raises requirements for HEIs to focus on such key aspects as innovative teaching methods, practice orientation, problem-based learning, flexibility, etc.Therefore project is targeted to contribute to efforts to empower HEIs to work adequately with business to bring theoretical knowledge and learning experience closer to reality of working environment, to provide the right employability skills. Project aims will be pursued by developing and implementing innovative methodological approach to students' internships based on principles of interdisciplinarity, team-work, problem-based, project-based , inquiry-based learning as well as close collaboration links between HEIs and business companies and targeted to be as much beneficial as possible for higher education institutions, students, enterprises and society in general. In order to reach the aim, the following objectives will be met in the project: 1. Analysis of good practices on innovative approaches to internship in HE in partner as well as other countries will be carried. The main objective of the analysis is to have the state of the art report based on case studies on the best world practices which can be integrated and applied in the project partner institutions. 2. The methodology of smart practice will be developed. The methodology will serve as guidelines for developing and integrating innovative approaches to internship in HEIs. It will discuss the main points on the topic: general concepts, principles, approaches to internships; methods, responsibilities, assessment and evaluation of students’ practice; roles of HEI educators (tutors) and business representatives (mentors); students’ selection process; identification of problems and selection of the most important ones, presentation of the practice results, etc. The developed methodology will be piloted in each partner countries with at least 3 multidisciplinary students’ teams (12 students’ teams in all). 3. The handbook on smart practice results will be worked out. It will be the toolkit including the products, developed during the smart practice activities: research reports, problem-solving strategies, marketing plans, etc., as well as the feedback of the methodology implementation team members (students, university and business representatives) on smart practice challenges and obstacles as well as advantages. While implementing the above mentioned objectives the project will: - bring together members of academic society and business sector to strengthen collaborative links making preconditions for developing new ecosystems; - provide methodological background and instruments for applying innovative approach to developing students’ practical and transversal skills, making them entrepreneurial individuals able to successfully compete in the job market; - provide participants with a world - wide view on relevant educational innovation in teaching and learning; - promote the exchange of experiences between consortium institutions and partner countries on the issue; - foster development of students, researchers, educators and business interaction and stimulate implementation of research outputs in practice. The main project target group is university students. The second target group of the project is university academic staff and business representatives. At least 36 students and 28 supervisors from HEIs and business enterprises will be directly involved in the project activities. More than 300 project target group members will be reached through the project multiplier events. Project consortium is composed of 6 institutions from four European countries (LT, CY, FI, IT): 4 universities and 2 business organizations, representing general interests of the enterprises and the world of work at large.Therefore the knowledge and outcomes worked out during the project will be the result of cross sectoral cooperation in international setting. It is expected that engagement of HEIs with business sector will contribute to promotion of building bridges and share knowledge between the theory and practice, fostering education providers and employers to know more deeply one another's world, elaboration of closer links to business and world of work, in general. This will also have impact on education quality as increased cooperation with labour market will allow education systems to be better aligned to employers' needs and opportunities offered by the world of work.
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