- Students in microelectronics. They need high-quality educational materials and continually brought up-to-date courses, because of the essence of the science – the most rapidly advancing sector nowadays. They need education related to their further work and for the complexity of the knowledge and skills, necessary to perform successfully the tasks in this multidisciplinary area. The virtual mobility will provide them access to the CAD systems and courses existing in other European HE institutions.
- Their teachers. They need infrastructure, techniques for course delivery allowing easy changes and upgrade because of the fast developing science of the subject matter, i.e. ICT-based materials. Sharing IT resources and e-learning courses will support them a lot and the project will contribute to the virtual mobility of teaching staff.
- University management is convinced of the necessity of European dimensions in higher education, particularly with regards to curricular development, interinstitutional co-operation, virtual mobility of students and academic staff and integrated programmes of study, training and research.
- Future employers of the students who need young specialists empowered with the new skills necessary for the new jobs in microelectronics sector.
We expect to sustain the alliance between HEIs and SMEs for long time after the end of the project. Most of the universities have collaborated in previous projects; continue exchanging students within Erasmus mobility programme and this collaboration on European level has been proven beneficial for all, students, teachers, and management. Within this project, we intend to create a stable collaboration with the enterprises in the sector. Moreover, if the HEIs have contacts with the business on national level, or in international research projects within Horizon 2020, we will focus on a collaboration for educational purposes. The Knowledge Alliance may continue with adaptation/development of training courses for the enterprises and possibly in a new Skill Alliance.
The Knowledge Alliance will result also in better monitoring by education institutions of the career paths of their former students, which can further inform programme design and increase relevance. The HEIs are interested in the employability of their alumni what is one of the main factors for their high rating and this is the expected long-term impact of the Knowledge Alliance.
The Cloud-based content in OER has two main advantages for the sustainability of the results:
1) the students could access the courses from their countries, i.e. it insures virtual mobility without additional financing;
2) the content is easily changeable and upgradeable what is mandatory for the fast developing sector of microsystem technologies.
In fact, we will deliver the MSc curricula in micro- nanoelectronics after the end of the EU co-funding and with this aim we will develop the OERs and enrich the courses with remote practical work of students to support the virtual mobility in the participating higher education institutions. In all cases, the Alliance will continue with the scheme of collaborative use of courses/modules as OERs in the MSc degrees of each university and after positive results from the field trial, we may decide to apply for accreditation of new MSc programmes with joint or multiple degrees and finale projects in the enterprises. Such a programme already exists between POLITO, INPG and EPFL and it is successful face-to-face education in collaboration of three countries and final project in an enterprise.
We expect also to have new partners from other European countries and might be from Partner Countries contributing to mClouds e-learning environment.
This project will have an impact on the participating institutions with regard to their priorities:
– new opportunities for co-operation between universities and enterprises in the sharing of knowledge and educational resources: a distributed support system in eight European countries;
– up-to-date HE education courses in the most rapidly developing sciences available for university students with a job-linked contents will prepare better the future specialists for their job;
– satisfied needs of HE institutions to be able to respond to the technological challenges in the sector of micro- nanoelectronics with accessible on-line courses and shared infrastructure for laboratory practices.
On national level: From mClouds will benefit not only the HE institutions but also the labour market with regard to the rising need of engineering staff in the SMEs and big enterprises and SMEs in the participating countries (See I.1.)
Long term targets: Users of innovative strategies and tools to boost mobility within our project – sharing open resources, remote laboratory work will also be: the trainers in HRD departments at the enterprises in the sector, the university teachers in other sectors; the managers in SMEs, universities and colleges; the experts in public unemployment and social work institutions; the producers of e-learning materials.
On European level: at least 16 shared MSc on-line courses delivered in the eight EU countries. We expect that the educational Clouds in microelectronics are only the first step towards European wide HE area with OERs and shared resources between universities (and enterprises, we hope) in all engineering sciences and in other science and application domain.
On international level: The advantages in terms of education effectiveness are course organization efficiency, instructors focusing on area of expertise, common experiences of students of different countries based on similar infrastructures, tools, lab organization, learning improvement, thanks to the optimization of laboratories and courses. As it was mentioned before, we expect to have new partners from other countries in Europe and worldwide contributing to mClouds e-learning environment.