EnGo - Environmental Governance for Environmental Curricula
The project aims to develop a full three-cycle system at PC universities, including (1) revision and upgrade of courses in BSc/specialist degree programs (240ECTS/9600 academic hours) relevant to the project theme, and setting-up (2) MSc (120ECTS; 3 years) and (3) PhD programs (3 years) in Environmental Governance. The curriculum development effort will take into considerations the outputs of past or ongoing Tempus projects run by project partners.
The activities will include the development of teaching/learning materials, creating/improving mechanisms for (self-)evaluation, and setting-up formal procedures for interactions with employers and for international network-building. EU partners, through training events, academic mobility and consultancy work, will ensure that their expertise in curricula development, quality assurance, collaboration with employers, and international networking will be translated into working arrangements. Non-university partners will contribute to establishing links with the world of practice and stakeholder communities by holding permanent national seminars for discussing the best mechanisms for interactions, curricula, quality assurance procedures, and perspectives of the labor market. A broader audience will be reached through the web portal on environmental education under auspices of the NIS Organization for Education in Environment (NIS OEE) to be maintained by P7. The curriculum development efforts for each cycle will be organized in the WG’s (the final distribution to be defined on the Kick-Off meeting (M3)):
(1) Env. policy and governance (P2)
(2) Interdisciplinary concepts and their methods and tools (P5);
(3) Physical planning, SEA/EIA, landscape ecology and nature conservation (P1)
(4) Corporate env. policies, business ethics, EMS, LCA, env. hazards and workers safety, nanotechnologies, waste management (P3)
(5) Env. engineering, water management, waste water treatment, land melioration and forestry (P4)
(6) Methods and skills training (P1)
To support the action, PC universities will introduce new equipment, including computers, audiovisual systems, lab equipment, books and periodicals.
The upgrade of BSc/specialist degree courses will build on a comprehensive curriculum scan (mobility generated: 20 PC=>EU, 10 EU=>PC); it will target relevant programs already taught at PC universities, and aim at their modernization and strengthening the multidisciplinary perspectives. The specific courses to be introduced/amended will be identified during the scan, but the preliminary study suggests that understanding of the policy context of environmental problems, and identification and analysis of available management options should be addressed. In total, 60 ECTS of BSc/specialist courses will be (re-)designed and established at PC universities (by Month 24; c.a. 180 students will be trained annually); the assumption is that c.a. 80% of a taught component of relevant programs are shared between PC universities. We also count on transfer of knowledge between PC partners. The course upgrade will include the development of syllabus and teaching materials (helped by consultancy visits of EU experts, teaching methodology (including e-tools) and curricular design (including quality assurance) (10 PC=>EU). Student exchanges, lecturing by EU teachers in PC, and training in building institutional capacity will be in conjunction with MSc WP’s.
The MSc in Env. Governance will be set up as a joint degree program (with the same supplement backed by a few diplomas) by universities of each PC (e.g. a joint degree of P12 and P13 in UA) with classes starting by Month 24 (c.a. for 40 students in total). It will prepare environmental experts with deep understanding of bio/geophysical, technological, socio-economic and policy contexts, in which the problems are created, and ability to apply this understanding for designing and/or selecting management options. The program will primarily train experts for PC context, but also ensure that they are competitive internationally. The target employers are governments (including conservation authorities), environmental consultancies, NGOs, international organizations and big companies, however the graduates will also have all the necessary competencies to pursue research career and continue studying as PhD students. The following modules are planned:
(1) Science and International Policy (20 ECTS): includes courses addressing global env. issues, and science, policy and economics behind them, the development of env. science and policy in general;
(2) Env. Policy and Planning (20 ECTS): downscales global issues to regions/nations/local communities, and explores how international obligations are translated into national legislation and policy, how national and local interest groups are involved, and how planning decisions are developed and implemented;
(3) Corporate Env. Mngmnt (20 ECTS): looks at companies, environmental technology, corporative policies and strategies (including corporate social responsibility), pollution control and preventive approaches, LCA, EMS, EIA/SEA;
(4) Project management (30 ECTS): the module starts with a taught 4 ECTS course on system analysis and continues with supervised group work on a research/management project chosen from the offered selection; students independently inquire into the problem and make a report outlining solutions/business strategies/summarizing research results etc; the supervisor monitors the process and gives feedback on the project management; the module grade will reflect both the process and the contents.
(5) Internships and writing MSc theses (30 ECTS): students select a topic with relevance to environmental governance/sustainability, and make independent research under the guidance of a supervisor. The thesis should have multi-disciplinary focus and clearly demonstrate the student’s ability to identify the problem and offer well grounded solutions.
(6) Methods and Skills (transversal module) (credits spread through modules 1-3, 10 ECTS in total): through the semesters 1-2 the students will be offered selective courses on applied skills, e.g. statistical methods, mathematical modeling, GIS, analytical chemistry.
The taught course component will include mandatory and selective courses; in some cases, pre-selection tests will be run to identify, what courses are mandatory for specific students. The materials developed for the MSc program will include the detail program description, course syllabuses (for 2-3 ECTS mandatory and selective courses constituting the modules), and four textbooks on relevant topics where Russian literature is scarce. Descriptions of case studies, graphs and other materials produced while developing these products, will be catalogued, stored on-line, and made available for teaching purposes. The program description and syllabus will be developed in English and translated to PC national languages; the syllabuses will include significant portiions of independent student work and stimulate their creativity; teachers will be encouraged to modify the syllabuses when the state of the art gets updated. The textbooks will be written in English and accompanied by comprehensive En-Be-Ru-Uk terminology vocabularies, which will have an additional purpose to assist students and teachers with reading thematic literature in English.
To support the development and introduction of the MSc program, EU partners will arrange at EU and PC partners a number of training sessions in curriculum design and university management (including quality assurance, promotions, communication tools, work with alumni and employers, international academic cooperation; 3 courses prepared, c.a. 30 people trained) and in env. topics identified by EU and PC partners as missing/underdeveloped at PC universities curricula and research (5 courses, 60 people). Where appropriate, in order to achieve a higher networking value, training sessions will be arranged as open summer schools, where high quality external self-funded applicants will be accepted. On the training events the participants will be introduced to major environmental scholarly networks and international institutions, including IHDP (its Earth System Governance Project has endorsed this application), IALE, ESEH, ISEE etc.
PhD students will play a key role in all the project phases. Strengthening their teaching and research capacity through academic exchanges and participation in training sessions and project management is important for project sustainability/dissemination. In order to complete the three cycle system and give the partners additional incentives to keep close ties, a Joint PhD program in Env. Governance will be established by PC universities and research institutes with support of EU partners (c.a. 40 PhD students will participate during Months 13-36). The PC institutions will conclude by Month 13 formal agreements providing for joint requirements to the theses, specialization courses, sandwich model of theses supervision and guest research stays (180 PC=>PC); EU institutions will contribute to the development of joint requirements, study program and quality assurance procedure, and host joint networking events.