Evaluation of the First Phase of Leonardo da Vinci Programme (1996 – 1999) in the Czech Republic and Valorisation of Its Results Contents

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Women in Industry

  1. E/98/1/61355/PI/III.3.a/FPI

S-Dimension, Třebíč (R. Hofman):

Training Programme for Micro-Entrepreneurs

  1. Mobility Projects

  1. CZ/97/1/10/PL/I.1.2.a

Higher vocational school of information services in Prague (Dr. Hana Slámová):

Student Placements Project INFOCHANGE 97

  1. CZ/98/1/05/PL/I.1.1.1.a

Business Academy, Secondary and Higher Vocational School in Valašské Meziříčí (Ing. Jaroslav Halašta):

Information Services in Rural Areas

  1. CZ/98/1/66/PL/I.1.2.b

Secondary and higher vocational school in Šumperk (Ing. Petr Vepřek):

Spedition Šumperk – Kulmbach II

  1. CZ/98/1/PL/I.1.2.b

VUSTE ENVIS, Prague (Ing. Jana Marková):

Placement of Unemployed Secondary School Graduates in Italy

  1. CZ/99/1/003/PL/I.1.2.c

Integrated secondary school – VET Centre in Brno (Dr. Hana Dombrovská):

Co-operation of Brno, Munich and Enschede in Training of European Students for International Entrepreneurship

  1. CZ98/1/64/PL/I.1.2.a

Secondary and higher vocational school in Písek (Ing. Marie Kábová):

European qualification

  1. CZ/98/1/12/EX/I.1.2.a

Higher vocational school, secondary technical school and business academy in Čáslav (Ing. Petr Richter):

Preparatory Placement of Teachers

  1. CZ/98/1/16/EX/I.1.2.c

Czech Technical University in Prague (Dr. Jana Štikarová):

Transformation Psychology in German Speaking Countries

  1. CZ/98/1/42/EX/I.1.2.c

Technical University in Liberec (Dr. Olga Hasprová):

Exchange of Lecturers for Alternative Teaching of European Accounting System

  1. CZ/99/1/109/EX/I.1.2.b

Integrated secondary school in Brno (Mgr. Alena Kundratová):

Use of ICT in Teaching and Management of Spanish and Czech vocational schools

  1. CZ/98/1/70/PL/I.1.2.b

Confederation of Industry and Transportation of the Czech Republic (Mgr. Ivan Paul):

Working Flexibility of Young Workers with secondary education in the dynamic SMEs

  1. CZ/98/1/78/PL/I.1.2.b

Private school of tourism in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm (Dr. Ludvík Pavlík, CSc.):

Europe II

  1. CZ/99/1/012/PL/I.1.2.b

Private school of tourism in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm (Dr. Ludvík Pavlík, CSc.):

Europe I.2

  1. CZ/99/1/062/PL/I.1.2.b

Confederation of Industry and Transportation of the Czech Republic (Mg. Ivan Paul):

Working Flexibility of Young Workers with secondary education in the dynamic SMEs

  1. CZ/99/1/068/PL/I.1.1.b

Labour Office in Chrudim (Dr. Helena Tuhá):

Improvement of Employability Prospective of Young Unemployed School Graduates

  1. CZ/99/1/073/PL/I.1.2.b

Labour Office in Kutná Hora (Ing. Václav Kaše):

The Graduate

  1. CZ/99/1/099/PL/I.1.2.b

Private school of tourism in Rožnov pod Radhoštěm (Dr. Ludvík Pavlík, CSc.):

Europe I.2.1

  1. Evaluation Report on the First Phase of Leonardo da Vinci Programme in Secondary and Higher Vocational Education

6.1 How did the programme contribute to the improvement of the quality of initial and continuing VET at the local, regional and national levels?

The results of Leonardo da Vinci programme and its projects, that means their final products, have been and are being implemented to teaching process as teaching and learning materials. Thus the level of vocational competencies of teachers who were involved in the development of these final products was enhanced. The possibility of using the materials for teaching of vocational subjects in foreign language (mostly in English) is being considered. New training modules for continuing VET of adults have been developed. The Czech authors also enlarged the offer of training modules focused on information and communication technologies (ICT).

The comparison of the curricula with the process of education of teachers of vocational subjects resulted very often within concrete projects in the changes both in the content and the form of education, and in the enlargement of contacts between teachers and experts; or in the creation of new curricula based on experience of foreign partners and requirements from professional practice.

Co-operation of training establishments and schools with a professional sphere helped to improve the training situation in Czech partner enterprises: training of personnel managers and other managers dealing with human resources development, training of foremen, support of self-training methods and external studies The co-operation with foreign partners has brought also interactive multimedia training modules in the English language for distance education.

In the sector of higher vocational education, the projects searching for methods of transformation of the current training programmes into modules proved useful, as well as projects developing new evaluation methods of student achievements by means of credits. This is a very important topic, and it pursues European trends in searching possible ways of improving the permeability of higher vocational and tertiary education. Czech organisations involved in the projects developed a methodological handbook using experience of foreign partners for implementation of modules and credits. Also, concrete training modules were developed. All this may become a good basic material for schools which are seriously considering the transition towards modular and credit systems.

More projects dealt with continuing training of adults. The results are being used in training provided by organisations involved in the projects; however, substantial quality enhancement in a higher extent would be only achieved if the principles which the organisations learned in foreign regions having undergone significant structural changes were implemented. The project results dealing with continuing training of adults were presented to the regional enterprises. However, generally speaking, the enterprises aiming to achieve considerable success through training of employees are only at the starting point.

Very valuable have been projects which concerned the methodology of quality assessment (audit) in the education of adults. Their conclusions were based on experience of foreign partners where lifelong learning has become an important factor influencing the thinking of individuals about their future, and the thinking of firms about their further development.

Thanks to placements and exchange projects, their participants but also people who are involved in the implementation and management of these project acquire skills which they can further develop: language skills, vocational competencies, the ability to communicate in another social and cultural environment, the ability to push their opinions through and to accept compromises in dialogue with a foreign partner.

In connection with the transfer of a number of rather significant competencies of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports on the regional bodies, the results of some projects may serve to regional managers, e. g. for setting up priorities of further development of the training establishments network, taking into account the needs of practice and European trends.

In general, the effort of organisations involved in projects is evident to co-operate with enterprises and to acquaint the firms and their managers with possibilities of using foreign experience in continuing training of employees, and of developing human potential of firms in this way. This contribution the projects make at local and regional levels. Nevertheless, in the context of national level it is necessary to assume the official position of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and of the Ministry of Finance towards enterprises and individuals. This position should be supported by legislation and other incentives.

Along with the development of information technologies and financial accessibility of communication through the Internet, the numbers of those potentially interested in distance education are increasing. Projects concerning this issue and creating new partnerships, and co-operation in other concrete training programmes could be very useful for enlargement of the offer, especially within lifelong learning and retraining.

The output of some projects – training modules – is very well usable for continuing training of teachers. If the teacher career regulations are implemented, the demand for quality training programmes for teachers will increase, especially in the ICT area. Therefore, the output of one of the projects is considerably useful which constitutes the bases for creating a specialised training portal contributing to improvement of lifelong training of teachers and other applicants.

In the area of lifelong learning, the organisations involved in the projects entered information networks which enabled them to access the information about regional policies in lifelong learning abroad. Thus, the chance has occurred to inform the Czech institutions which deal or should deal with regional planning and implementation of educational policy. The projects contributed to better acquaintance of personnel managers with the organisation of training within an enterprise and to dissemination of retraining courses.

The relevance of placements and exchanges is seen first of all in achievement of working, theoretical, language and cultural experience by their participants. The presentation of mobility projects in public, and thus also the promotion of the organisations and the idea of student and workers mobility within European countries belong often to the further project output. In some cases, special software environment was created. It helps to prepare, manage, monitor and evaluate the placements and exchange projects and it could be used for this type of projects generally.

The organisers of placements and exchanges did not restrict their interest only to narrowly and specifically oriented software (mostly databases), but in several cases, they created also specialised web sites focused on the one hand on the promotion of placements of their students or employees; on the other hand, through these web site the participants of placements and exchanges communicated with people responsible for the management of the project activities.

The acquisition of vocational experience, which is specifically needed in the Czech Republic, was another positive result of placements and exchange projects. It concerned e. g. detailed information about the possibilities of using the EU funds for regional development, experience in organising of activities of enterprises abroad, and use of various software and hardware support in these enterprises.

In many projects, the authors present a rather large spectrum of institutions which were informed about the project results. Unfortunately enough, mostly this is a mere list without detailed information, as to who and how was informed about the results of individual projects, how they accepted these results or if they expressed the interest to work with them, to develop them, or to use them. This shows certain underrating of the dissemination process by some organisations involved in the projects and the result of it is that many good products are not implemented on a larger scale. One of the tools of dissemination of the project results are various types of presentations, which take place e. g. within professional events and fairs, events organised by the National Training Fund, or presentations in media and professional journals.

The dissemination of project results and experience of organisations involved in the projects have met with positive reactions especially at local and regional levels, where the project results were implemented successfully and most effectively. Information about experience in quality assessment in the field of education of adults was provided first of all for regional institutions dealing with lifelong learning, i. e. potential auditors and also representatives of firms (personnel managers).

The promoters and participants of mobility projects consider the possibility of creation of „European labour force“, a new type of potential worker with international experience and ability to communicate in foreign language environment as one of the significant contributions of these projects. It is evident that participants in successful placements and exchange projects have better chances to enter the Czech labour market and that they are better prepared for free labour force mobility within the European Union.

The possibility of significant improvement of foreign language skills of participants was a indisputable contribution of placements and exchange projects. It was mentioned in nearly all evaluation reports both by the participants and promoters.

6.2 How did the programme contribute to the development of transnational co-operation and European dimension in the vocational education and training?

In many cases, transnational project teams were established. Their co-operation did not finish by closing of one concrete project but it goes on within other projects or within individual activities of the participating institutions. Within individual projects, experience in initial and continuing training was exchanged, and the professional standards were compared. To some extent, certain preconditions were also created for mutual recognition of certificates in the area of continuing vocational training.

When the organisations were developing the innovations or new training programmes, they were encouraged to unify and develop the compatible curricula for specific branches. This positively influences the effort to reach compatibility of training in Europe and the mobility of graduates within European labour market.

The positive contribution of placements and exchanges concerning the „European dimension“ lays clearly in the effort to create steady „European labour force“. It means first of all to reduce the language barriers of the placements participants, to improve their ability to communicate in a foreign language in foreign environment, and to respect other cultural habits of partners and employers in various EU countries. With respect to the fact that our organisations (schools) devoted appropriate attention to the choice of placements participants, the participants mostly went through their practical training abroad not only without problems, but it meant for them significant enhancing of qualification through gaining of experience and increasing of their value at the labour market.

Institutions which wanted to be involved in some of the Leonardo da Vinci projects were compelled to go through standard process of preparation and management of projects in general, with all its necessities, problems, risks and procedures. The formulation of basic project issues concerning definition of aims, ways of their achievements, personal ensuring, financing, elimination of risks, all this was very useful especially for training institutions, which faced for the first time the problem of project designing and management. International environment in which the objectives of individual projects were realised constituted even higher contribution. The promoters and participants gained through it valuable experience in negotiations with foreign partners, language skills and competencies, they were able to compare the training conditions in the partner countries, to be inspired by them and to apply the positive knowledge in their institutions.

Some pilot projects resulted in comparative studies which tried to compare the conditions and ways of initial and continuing training in the partner countries and to identify the circumstances of employability of graduates. New training programmes and modules developed within international co-operation have created a basis for mutual recognition of certificates awarded in the continuing vocational training.

Interesting positive impact of placements and exchange projects is evident at some schools where, within higher vocational and bachelor studies, the interest has increased in lectures possibly conducted in the English language, and in the opportunity to use software products for e-commerce and e-business.

It was not only new training modules usable both in our country and by foreign partners that meant significant contributions of the projects in the context of preparation of the Czech Republic for accession to the EU, but especially the unification of some training ways towards transparency of the programmes, of their graduates, and towards the possibility of recognition of their qualifications in Europe. The modular training systems and credit evaluation systems provide better support for the penetrability and flexibility of training programmes at various schools, and through it also for the mobility students and later graduates and workers within European Union.

6.3 What measures could be recommended in order to reach a more intensive impact of the programme in the future?

In the previous years, the Czech Republic has had a chance to be involved, through numerous institutions (not only educational ones), in many international projects. Our promoters have gained and are steadily gaining valuable experience in team work in an international context. On the other hand, from the point of international evaluation, certain drawback is the dissemination of project results in the larger context outside of the promoter’s organisation.

This fact was evident to some extent both with pilot projects and with placements and exchange projects. There are very positive examples of dissemination of project output, however also cases when conclusions, experience and products are used only by the promoter organisation.

The project promoters very appreciate the activities of the National Agency of the Leonardo da Vinci programme. It organises dissemination seminars and conferences where the successful promoters present their results to the representatives of other training organisations, professional sphere and other institutions.

The impact of output of many projects could be further increased by the support of creation of specialised training portals by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports. In co-operation with the Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, it would be possible to instigate the integration of these portals of projects with those dealing with labour market monitoring, reduction of unemployment etc.

With respect to the fact that many significant competencies in education were transferred to the regions, the regional bodies would gain experience in co-operation with foreign partners and with the European Union through involvement of their staff in the projects. It would be also useful if the staff with language and vocational skills could participate in conferences and contact days abroad, where the work of the future partners could be learnt and personal contacts could be established.

In the area of placements and exchange projects and practical training abroad, it is necessary to pay permanent attention especially to the language preparation of participants of these projects and to improvement of language skills of those who prepare and manage the placements.

The placements of our students or graduates abroad are very often based on reciprocity; it means that they are combined with placements of foreign participants in the project in the Czech Republic. Even here, many our promoters of placements and exchanges face a complicated problem of finding an enterprise for quality practical training of foreign participants. Very often, it is caused by the language barrier in the firms and by the workload of people who are able to communicate in foreign language. This problem will probably last for some time.

6.4 Which vocational skills did the programme help to innovate?

In general, it could be stated that the projects of Leonardo da Vinci programme positively influence the direct participants, promoters and their institutions on the one hand, and on the other hand the system as such (education, social policy, employment, know-how, development of enterprises).

The realisation of projects, often with a large international partnership, could not be effectively carried out without the use of modern information technology. The effective communication system among the partners is based on the data and information transfer by computer; the dissemination of the final products and experience sharing is realised very often through specialised web sites or even through creation of specialised servers. These activities lead clearly to the improvement of competencies of participants in the field of ICT, regardless of the original topic and tasks of the project.

The necessity of communication in foreign language between project partners is another apparent advantage. From the point of view of Czech participants, it is both an advantage and disadvantage. It is an advantage for those who participate actively in the projects because the long-term communication with the partners in other countries significantly increases their language skills. On the other hand, this fact is a disadvantage for some schools, which are not always able to ensure the international co-operation by people with both necessary vocational and language competencies. If they find the courage to realise the project in spite of this, the language competencies of professionals and the vocational level of the institution in general get often increased through it anyway.

The gaining of experience in the project management in the international environment is another contribution of all projects which their participants and promoters can make use of. It was thus necessary to manage e. g. basic procedures of strategic planning, moderation and team management, motivation to take over the defined responsibility, evaluation of activities carried out, and problem solving not only in theory, but also in practice. The project promoters acquired in this way many new organisational and communicational skills.

The realisation of the projects improved also the communication of vocational training providers with enterprises. The needs and requirements of the professional sphere can thus be taken into consideration in the curricula and the graduates have better chances to enter the labour market.

6.5 How did the programme make the access of disadvantaged groups to initial and continuing vocational education and training easier?

A very positive fact is to be seen in that many projects dealt with continuing and lifelong learning of adults. It could be said that in certain sense especially distance form of education makes the access of some disadvantaged groups to continuing vocational training easier. Certain concrete branches of vocational training are provided only by a limited number of training institutions. Therefore, the potential applicant for study must pay considerable sums and spend a lot of time for commuting to localities which are far from his/her domicile or employer. The development of the distance form of learning and training programmes with access by Internet and corresponding connection rights represent the solutions appropriate for study in all localities of potential applicants incl. handicapped ones. The development of the external form of lifelong training becomes one of the key issues for many projects, the output of which is very useful for the development of the whole society.

It could be expected that the training modules and credit system of evaluation will be used within the offer of training courses for adults, which could lead to recognition of further levels of education, after accumulation of a sufficient number of credits. Of course, this would also require certain legislative steps.

Besides the above mentioned aspects, there is one more important and positive aspect which is apparent nowadays. As a consequence of mutual contacts of our training institutions with foreign partners, the interest of students from the EU countries in vocational education in the Czech Republic is increasing. Probably the most complicated problem which hampers a larger development of these activities is the lack of quality teachers who would be able to transfer their knowledge and experience in a foreign language.

The young graduates from secondary schools without any practical experience are in certain sense a disadvantaged group from the point of view of the labour market. If these young people have a chance to acquire practical experience abroad through placements and exchange projects, their employability is significantly higher.

6.6 How did the programme influence the activities of teachers?

The activities of teachers involved actively in the Leonardo da Vinci projects were influenced in various respects. First of all, they have had a chance to improve their foreign language skills considerably. Of course, this has a secondary effect in the increasing ability to obtain easily various vocational information from foreign sources, especially from the Internet, and to use it in teaching of vocational subjects.

The necessity to use ICT means for project management and communication within a work team had also a positive impact on the activities of teachers. It helped to enhance the general competencies of participants in the ICT field. There was a secondary effect here, too, which was the enhancing of the overall efficiency of teaching.

The realisation of international projects by Czech schools continuously faces a relatively serious problem, though: the lack of people with appropriate vocational competencies who have also foreign language skills enabling smooth communication with foreign partners, project management, achieving of project’s aims, and dissemination of the results at international level. One of Czech organisations involved actively in the pilot projects informed: „We offered to several schools in our region the opportunity to participate in the projects which they are interested in, either as co-operators or as observers. We wanted to help them to exercise the communication with project partners before they would participate in their own project. They never used this offer.“ It is a challenge for all organisations which plan an active involvement in international projects. They should try to establish a team with necessary competencies and to pay a thorough attention to the language training of their staff.

The activities of teachers were undoubtedly also influenced by their opportunity to learn about new didactic and pedagogic approaches and teaching systems. Above all, the modular teaching system and credit system are used not only by the Czech secondary schools but also by higher vocational schools only to a minimal extent. Also, an intensive support and development of lifelong and external training in the EU member states serves as a strong inspiration and challenge not only for our teachers.

The impact on motivation of teachers for their further work is very important as well. Their active involvement in the projects resulted in the view that it is necessary to learn about innovations in every branch, to maintain the contacts with professionals, and to monitor the trends both in our country and in the world. The co-operation with foreign partners supported the international dimension within the activities of project team members and contributed to the promotion of the accession of the Czech Republic to the European Union.

The Czech educational establishments gained experience in the area of management and realisation of a project through their participation in international projects. They also established contacts which could be used for the development of other international activities and for learning of possibilities of using the financial aid provided by the EU through Leonardo da Vinci programme.

  1. Evaluation Report on the First Phase of Leonardo da Vinci Programme in the Area of Tertiary Education

7.1 How did the programme contribute to the improvement of the quality of initial and continuing vocational education and training at the local, regional and national levels?

Training establishments, especially vocational training providers are the main participants and beneficiaries of the results of Leonardo da Vinci programme. Also providers of adults training, chambers and employers are important target groups. Moreover, a new target group is emerging in the Czech Republic: the regional institutions, especially regional authorities and regional development agencies. Amongst individuals as a target group, teachers, students and social workers can be mentioned. It is important for the orientation of the economy in the Czech Republic that the programme supports co-operation of training institutions with SMEs.

A significant contribution enhancing the quality of education and training was identified in many pilot projects. Useful experience was gained not only in the content but also in the forms of education and training. Knowledge concerning curricula design, training content (individual modules), methodology and development of specialised products prevails.

Activities dealing with the content of education and training are represented first of all by innovations of engineering education (Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech University of Agriculture in Prague, Technical University in Brno, Technical Unviersity in Ostrava, University of West Bohemia in Plzeò) through a change in the methods of engineering activities, e. g. use of the ICT and modern simulation tools. Also, new quality in the field of project management using simulation and specialised games was identified in numerous projects (e. g. project A 19)1. The modules developed should be also used by other institutions, but this period needs further support and co-ordination. For example the Development project of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports or the Development Fund should deal with the support of dissemination of results which have been already achieved. Also the knowledge of standardisation in the European countries, above all of standardisation concerning professions with certified working activities (e. g. approval of construction works), was the subject of more projects.

As far as the forms of education and training are concerned, the possibilities of training via Internet were tested; however, the training was not realised fully on-line -- a combination of methods was made use of, which reflected the situation (cultural, political etc.) in the Czech Republic. The participants in the projects also gained experience in the management of project teams developing multimedia aids, and they learnt about the exacting character of such an activity in terms of funds and human resources.

Training institutions themselves and their students and teachers are the beneficiaries of positive experience. In general, the labour market is another beneficiary. Here the disproportion in the training content is solved and the verified procedures of lifelong education are initiated. Also, the educational system is a beneficiary of the project results, above all in the period of its transformations and restructuring. The reform of the public administration can gain international experience from the project results.

Gaining of experience in other forms of vocational education and training and in its complex management belongs to the contributions of the programme. Broad knowledge could be used directly e. g. for transformation of selected higher vocational schools to non-university tertiary educational establishments. The knowledge gained within the co-operation of the training sphere with enterprises should be used for development of a project framework which could help to achieve the aims of the White Paper in the sector of education of adults or continuing training.

The promoters gained experience in the area of co-operation of regional institutions with the sector of education. This experience is essential for new regional bodies in the Czech Republic.

7.2 How did the programme contribute to the development of international co-operation and European dimension?

Especially the pilot projects provided complex experience in participation in, or even in co-ordination of, an international team. The knowledge gained in this way are altogether positive (orientation on result, quality of communication with the use of modern technologies, work in an international team with different cultures).

Experience in vocational training is valuable first of all in terms of the mobility projects enabling the participants to go through vocational practical training. The experience of participants gained during such practice normally leads to a proper pride of the vocational training chosen and to the view that the Czech education system finds itself at a comparable level in terms of the quality of vocational education and training, in spite of significantly worse equipment, infrastructure and the low interest of investors (the state, private sector, foundations, sponsors) in the training sector.

It is also a very positive finding that teachers participating in the projects have become initiators in their institutions and they support the further searching for international co-operation at European level. A sufficient number of organisations and persons that will be able to prepare, defend and implement a project co-financed by European programmes will be the decisive factor for the Czech Republic during its integration into European structures and during the period of higher contributions to the European funds. It is nearly impossible to be successful without generalised first-hand experience gained during smaller projects.

It is of course also possible to profit from complications which emerge due to unclear formulation of agreements or commitments. The project participants proved their understanding of the work style which is typical in the projects of the European Community. Generally, they met the requirements of this uneasy role; however, they feel the weak support from their own institutions.

Also the contribution to the enhancing of language competencies of pupils, students and teachers in the appropriate environment with the stress on the understanding and content of communication has to be mentioned.

The participation in the projects meant for the participating organisations also a non-formal evaluation of the training activities and a chance for consultations on the curricula design and standardisation, often beyond the original project framework. It is interesting that some promoters from the sector of tertiary education gained experience from the approach to implementation of the Bologna Declaration. This experience does not reflect the situation in the Czech Republic. The transition to the structured study is understood in Europe as a mid-term or long-term programme with huge organisational requirements and undoubted financial expenditures (new teaching aids, new learning materials for students etc.). This fact was identified during the personal interviews.

The project participants perceived the open education system and the effort to implement the alternative forms of education. In Europe, the elements of the distance education supported by the Internet are pushed through very significantly – see e. g. the experience of the Czech Technical University in Prague, Technical University in Brno, University of West Bohemia in Plzeň.

A range of training modules is developed in various language versions. The English version is always developed, the Czech version is developed in some cases and in other cases there is the intention to develop it later. (If that should not happen, the project results could be devaluated.) In this way, preconditions for conducting vocational subjects in English are prepared, and at the same time the conditions for foreign students at our Universities are improved – see e. g. the projects A 12 or A 15. Some projects also contribute to a better training at secondary schools because some modules can be used also there.

An interesting example of project output is the development of teaching aids (mostly in terms of methodology, but possibly also in terms of planning) for writing of scientific texts in English (Technical University in Brno). The implementation of this output could become an important aid for scientists and for the project promoters who apply for resources from European programmes.

The procedure of accession to the European Union has its political-economic, legislative and partially also standardisation aspects. The standardisation issues are found in the projects solved and thus they support the harmonisation effort. It is e. g. the question of technical standards in construction and testing of quality. The state executive bodies can use the expert basis created during this process.

The majority of promoters are convinced that the projects contributed to presentation of the Czech Republic as a country with a rich tradition in education and culture.

7.3 What measures could be recommended in order to reach a more intensive impact of the programme in the future?

The maximum level of acquaintance of institutions which could use the product developed is the main recommendation. Besides the information tools distributed by individual promoters, it is useful to make the searching for information about the projects and their output (but not only about it) within the whole education system easier. The information portal should serve this purpose. In the current period, neither the web site of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports nor the web site of the Institute for Information in Education meets this requirement. It is recommended to establish such a portal in the Czech Republic. (A budget of several tens of millions of CZK was intended for the project of State information policy in education, which is being implemented, with serious problems, by the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports.)

It is necessary to pay appropriate attention to the European projects in the individual institutions and to recognise them fully as a creative activity of academicians, especially when education and training providers are involved. Such an institution should be also bound to provide or to commercialise the concrete service, e. g. to offer a course within certain period. It will be more and more difficult to have enough educationists in the environment of the Czech school system who will work on projects with enthusiasm and for general goals of education. It could turn out that the projects are understood as mobility tools of testing language competencies and the ability to work outside the sphere of education, or as a means of acquisition of know-how which will be later used as private goods.

The promoter should have a clear intention, already in the application period, concerning the use of the project results and the beneficiaries of the project output.

Organising seminars for the promoters is undoubtedly the right way. Their impact is increased by the maximum participation of potential users of products developed.

For the products in the form of training modules, a binding and properly unified form of implementation could be set up. (The standard should be sufficiently broad, without potential limitations of specific features of individual branches or individual creativity.) It would be ideal if a company or a firm with responsibility for commercial use of the modules developed existed. Of course, at the same time the protection of copyrights and other legal aspects of such an activity should be solved.

The long-term support and strategy is important for programmes of the given type. The role of the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, and Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs is very important in this respect. The gained experience should be used in the larger extent at the regional level (chambers, labour offices, training institutions, SMEs and of course the regional authorities).

The information service and support of the National Agency is sufficient according to the promoters. There are problems concerning especially the transition to the commercial use of the achieved results or the support of further use of these results in general.

The promoters are usually surprised by the extent of paperwork. It is necessary to establish a professional service for participants in European programmes in bigger institutions, and moreover, to give a guarantee that the activities started during the project will be continued. The promoters indicate the complications with promotion of the developed products, with their national localisation, and with the maintenance of the products. Creation of a standard procedure of commercialisation of the output could be a possible solution of this problem.

7.4 How did the programme contribute to the innovation of tertiary education?

The projects helped to innovate the content of education. Usually, individual courses were innovated, a more complex innovation of the study programme as a whole was not identified; however, in several cases the overall view of the profession or knowledge area concerned was changed. The content changes were often caused by the use of the information and communication technologies.

The efforts to innovate the engineering education (machinery, economics) through the projects and the development of managerial knowledge and skills were most apparent. Such projects were realised e. g. by the Czech Technical University in Prague, Czech University of Agriculture in Prague, Technical University in Brno and Technical University in Ostrava. The authors tried to promote and to disseminate the results; however, they usually feel the necessity of a more systematic approach to the further use of the results.

Innovation of teaching methods could be found in the projects more frequently than innovation of the content. It is a consequence of a steady effort to use the distance training, mostly in the on-line form, supported by the Internet in the larger scale. The balance of both aspects (modernisation both of the content and the form) in the projects would be ideal. The form of education should be derived from the content and from the conditions of the training participant. It is a well-known fact that the forms of education are to be changed and combined during the training, because the weaknesses of individual forms are thus avoided.

The evaluated projects dealt with

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