The project objectives are:
1. To define the legal framework that will support the development and implementation of part-time (PT) studies and short cycle (SCHE) studies in higher education in BH, because there is no legislation for the EQF Level 5 in BH.
2. To develop online and face-to-face (F2F) learning methodologies and technologies for PT and SCHE, suitable for adults and working students (they are found to be the most interested).
3. To set pilot implementations of five PT and SCHE online and face-to-face programs to test project outcomes.
Realization of these objectives will enable PT and SCHE studies to provide opportunities to:
– employed students to upgrade their qualifications or to get new qualifications for better jobs,
– unemployed to get better opportunities to get new qualifications for jobs offered in the labour market, faster with SCHE studies, or without living their home towns, as they will be able to choose needed online PT studies,
– HEIs in BH in terms of an increased capacity in additional area of studies – new programs.
Existing methodologies, technologies and best practices for PT and SCHE studies, in EHEA will be analysed. Most suitable will be chosen to serve as a model for adoption and development of PT and SCHE studies in BH. Based on analyses and good practices the most suitable online and face-to-face learning methodologies and technologies will be adopt and developed.
Project participants from Programme Countries will not only be involved in the analysis and transfer of best practices from EU, but will be also advisors for choosing and adopting the most relevant pedagogical and technological solutions, as well as to give advices in five pilot implementations of online and face-to-face PT and SCHE programs. Development of PT&SCHE studies will be conducted through transfer of knowledge from HE institutions from programme countries. University of Novi Sad has participated in the project of introduction and implementation of PT and SCHE studies in Serbia and has study program and experienced teaching staff in the fields of IT, engineering, manufacturing, economics, and processing. Academia (Slovenia) has been accredited by Ministry of Education in Slovenia for its study programmes, and they have successfully implemented PT and SCHE study programmes in Slovenia. Medical College of the University of Latvia implement first-level professional higher education programmes as short-cycle programmes or “koledža” programmes which are mainly aimed at preparing specialists for the labour market. These short-cycle programmes last two or three years. The qualification is mainly aimed at employment, but also opens the opportunity for further studies in the second cycle of HE. University of Tallin has rich experience in similar projects, because they participated in several related projects, and in one that was aimed at introduction of PT and SCHE programs in Serbia it was leading partner. University of Montpellier developed and implemented one-year and two-years SCHE as a part of their academic offer, too.
Different forms of HE, in terms of PT and SCHE studies will enable all types of students (older people, employed students, students that do not have enough money, etc.) to acquire more relevant knowledge and skills and
to upgrade their qualifications or to get new qualifications for better jobs, faster with SCHE studies, or without living their home towns, with lower money investment, as they will be able to choose needed online PT studies. The result of this type of education is reflected in the student’s higher competencies in accordance with the requirements of the labour market, which makes it easier to find a job.
The project will enable changes in the area of legal framework of HE process in BIH, because it aims at creating amendments to the cantonal/entity laws on HE laws, which will be submitted to the authorities, development of drafts of new laws on PT and SCHE education which will also be submitted to authorities for approval and integration into the practice. These elements will lead to the greater match between universities in BIH, business companies, and universities from other countries.
Since political situation in BIH is complicated on the state level, it is impossible to propose changes of the legal framework at the level of BIH. Every canton, entity and district in BH has its own law on HE and labour law. Therefore, our strategy is to change the legal framework in the entity Republika Srpska, Sarajevo canton, West Herzegovina canton, Tuzla canton, and Zenica Doboj canton (five largest cantons/entities). These changes will initiate the changes of legal framework in other cantons of BIH, enabling implementation of PT and SCHE programs in the entire country.
The aims of the project are in the line with the national and international contexts. Creation of more universal educational trajectories through PT and SCHE studies, and better connection between HE and labour market in cantons/entities in BIH is in line with the action of Capacity-Building in the Field of Higher Education. Especially, the aims of the project are in the line with international idea of lifelong learning, continuing education that is recognized as one of the most important trends in knowledge-based economies. Also, principles of equity, access to and democratisation of higher education by including vulnerable groups of people is also covered with this project since students in all categories (women, older persons, persons with disabilities, ethnic minorities, young, unemployed, university students from poor families, etc.) can be more enrolled in such programs.
In the context of BIH, the project will be a starting point for introducing of PT and SCHE as known in European countries. These studies will enable all potential students to acquire more relevant knowledge and skills and to upgrade their qualifications or to get new qualifications for better jobs, faster with SCHE studies, or without
living their home towns, with lower money investment, as they will be able to choose needed online PT studies. This is very important if we bear in mind a high unemployment rate of young people between 19 and 30, around 45%, in BIH (in all cantons and entities), a trend of growing inactivity of young people, early dropout of education and long-term unemployment, problems in legislation, which does not recognize PT and SCHE, etc. Project consortium sees this project as a long-term solution.