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Smart Practice -Empowering Entrepreneurial Skills in Higher Education, 2015-1-LT01-KA203-013477

Smart Practice -Empowering Entrepreneurial Skills in Higher Education

Project duration: 2015-09-01 – 2017-08-31

Improvement of student‘s practical skills, entrepreneurship education, higher eeducation quality improvement, promoting cooperation of education and business sectors.

The project is aimed at contributing to efforts to empower HEIs to work adequately with business to bring theoretical knowledge and learning experience closer to the reality of the working environment, to provide the right skills for employability,  to encourage development of transversal skills needed to ensure young people are able to be entrepreneurial and adapt to the labor market needs.  These aims are relatively connected with Lithuanian Education strategy 2013-2022.

Stimulating the development of entrepreneurial skills is  one of the key policy issue for Member States  and higher education institutions  (European Commission, Supporting growth and jobs-an agenda for the modernization of Europe’s higher education system, 2011; Bologna process documents; Europa 2020). Different researches show that although employers are satisfied with the knowledge level of graduates, the lack of ability to apply the acquired knowledge in practice causes considerable problems in finding and maintaining workplace.

The overall project goal is to increase higher education quality so that HE graduates acquired the right skills for employability and were more prepared for labour market.  The project seeks to strengthen cooperation between universities and enterprises and other social partners, encouraging young people (students) develop transversal skills (decision-making, problem-solving, creativity and other) shaping them into  entrepreneurial individuals. This aim will be pursued through applying innovative approaches to students'  internship based on team- work, interdisciplinarity as well as  experiental, problem-based, research-based, project-based  learning, promoting  targeted to be as much beneficial as possible for higher education institutions, students and enterprises.

The main project target group is university students. Project through the real problem-solving scenarios and activities is targeted to develop university students' practical skills  and know-how, strengthen their entrepreneurial mindsets and competences which are relevant for successful functioning in the labour market. The second target group of the project is university academic staff and business representatives. Innovative approach to internship that will be elaborated and piloted during the project will not only strengthen university and business  cooperation links, but also contribute to developing  educators' professional profile  (in relation to entrepreneurship skills), tutoring and mentoring skills of university academic staff as well as those of business representatives.

At least 36 students, 16 tutors (HEIs educators) and 12 mentors (representatives from business enterprises) will directly participate and benefit from project activities.  More than 200 project target group members will participate in multiplier events.

The project is based on innovative approaches to internships. One of these approaches refers to  application of work-integrated learning (WIL) . WIL application in HE is related to such theory and practice integrating activities as problem-based, experiental, inquiry learning, team-work, practice scenarios, active learning methods, service-learning, cooperative learning, etc. In most cases the aim of these methods is to provide opportunities for learner  to develop competences and skills essential in professional career context, i.e. both for employability and professional career development.

1. Analysis of good practices on innovative approaches to internship in HE  in partner as well as other countries . 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.  The developed methodology will be piloted in each partner country with at least 3 multidisciplinary students’ teams.

3. The handbook on smart practice results. 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).

The activities and instruments developed during the  project will:

  • stimulate students'  entrepreneurial attitudes and behaviors and empower their entrepreneurial skills. This will be very relevant to their future employability, career path,  decision making, and successful functioning  in the labor market and society;
  • will deepen educators' knowledge and know-how on perception of entrepreneurship as well as entrepreneurship education, based on interdisciplinary approach; 
  • will develop business repr. skills for supporting and mentoring students during internships;

Project will positively contribute to the solution of a number of interrelated  issues that are  high on the political agenda in EU and member countries: quality and modernization of higher education,  youth unemployment, developing entrepreneurial skills, fostering HE and business cooperation. The methodology of smart practice will promote changes and innovations in implementing internships and students' practical skills development,  contribute to better HE quality and  conformity of HE to labour market  needs. The methodology applied in the project will promote science and business synergy and create appropriate conditions for interaction of scientists, students and business entities.

Project coordinator: Kaunas CCIC

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