The target groups in this proposal include: graduates, researchers, faculty staff, educational institutes with an interest in professional oriented and practice-based education, SMEs, farm enterprises, agricultural industry, local communities and municipalities and educational decision-makers (for example educational ministries responsible for curriculum design and support for implementation, environment and agriculture).
These target groups are represented in the consortium as well – we have members from formal education, farm associations and enterprises and educational policy level. Partner HEIs are engaged in projects focusing on enterprise-university cooperation, agriculture management and operate their own networking structures – therefore enjoy a privileged situation in the region and can easily reach our target groups.
To ensure a broad impact on all target groups, dissemination of the project results is organised through a layered approach:
1. Firstly, inside the HE partner institutions. Internal dissemination will be done to promote the services offered through internal portals, infodays, rector’s speeches and organizational charts. Students, researchers and academic staff will be aware of the opportunities available for field work, internships, etc. They will be able to benefit directly from the trainings and practice.
2. Secondly, reinforcing direct connections between both HEIs and enterprises. Many partners have good links to ministries through their involvement in national projects. WP 4 results will be directly targeted to the Ministries involved since it is necessary to regulate the framework for internships and corresponding certifications. Policy advice will be done at three levels:
› advice for those overseeing educational and agricultural policies
› advice for those overseeing HEIs
› advice for those overseeing rural communities, farm associations, farmers and agricultural sector in general.
3. Thirdly, establishing connections with farm enterprises and industry with which the partners have direct links (including chambers of commerce, agribusiness associations but also other bodies interested in practice-based education and those that require farm data collection (such as National Agencies, Ministries of Agriculture, Research Institutes, etc). This will be done during the year 3 of the project. Through the creation of a specific databank, partners will provide opportunities for strengthening the role of internships especially in farm data collection processes. We realize the need for support on all actors’ sides. The databank will provide statistics that can be useful for the needs of farm enterprises, economists, policy makers and decision-makers in the agricultural sector.
4. Other HEIs in third countries through multiplier workshops
5. Finally - through publications, round tables, conferences, presentations, participation in dissemination activities, etc - the broader civil society, rural communities, farm associations, entrepreneurial and educational world inside and outside AM, UKR and UZ. A first annual conference will inform practitioners and decision makers about EU models of internship programs and enterprise-university cooperation and make emphasis on the ECQIP as a reference model. The second annual dissemination event will demonstrate the portfolio of teaching materials available to deliver practice-based education. It will also serve to promote the regulation of internships between enterprises and universities according to Bologna models while endorsing equal opportunities, health and safety regulations and a full transparency of assessment indicators as well as dissemination on the use of the farm databank. The third conference intends to sustain the project results, present best practices and to hand out a handbook with lessons learned from the piloting phase.
The dissemination and exploitation of the project results is primarily focused on dispersion and publicity activities related to the project in general and especially to the importance of practice -based education and integration of internship following ECQIP into curriculum to be developed and implemented within the project. The work package of dissemination and exploitation is led by USVM and assisted by SAI, YSU and NULES to organize dissemination activities in UZ, AM and UKR respectively.
Some of the activities envisaged to this end include:
-development and maintenance of a permanently updated interactive project Website and social media
- organization of round tables and special sessions within HEIs and farm enterprises
- organization of dissemination events dedicated to the modernization of agricultural studies and HE
- student information days
- publicity and advertising of achieved project results by media coverage, conference and journal articles including the edition of a handbook with best practices and lessons learned.
The initial dissemination source will be an interactive project web site developed using state- of -the -art web technology. All information about the TOPAS project and about the project materials will be readily available on the site. It will be constantly updated in order to offer the latest information on all project activities and intermediate and final project results throughout the project life - cycle. State - of - the - art web technology and use of social media (e.g. facebook) will also ensure interactivity of the web site by providing efficient communication among consortium members and enabling comments from third parties. Within the dissemination activities the internship scheme, rules and procedures offered within the project will be presented to actual and prospective students, researcher s, employers and employees in agricultural sector and farm industry from partner countries in various ways. Leaflets/flyers and other advertising material will be created and distributed with the help of farm associations and project collaborators. The wider local community will also be informed on project results through papers presented and workshops at local, regional and international events and academic conferences. At least three open days will be organized at each HEI for students and staff and university management, as well as meetings with public HE authorities and ministries of agriculture and/or education. Additional popularization of the practice -based education concept and available internship schemes will be realized through various media outlets as well as round tables and seminars. The activities in WP4 aim to ensure exploitation of project results and their long-term sustainability. As part of the exploitation strategy, partner HEIs will develop strategies applicable at institutional, region al and national level to develop capacity to deliver main project results (enhancement of professional skills within curriculum offer in agricultural management studies; set of developed internship procedures, Market for farm data collection) long after the end of the EU funding. In addition to secured a methodological framework for internships, acquisition of necessary equipment & staff skills, and delivery of trainings and train -the -trainer sessions, institutional sustainability will be achieved through inclusion of practice -based education in teaching process. It will be supported with development of adequate teaching materials that enhance problem solving and professional skills according to the needs of the agricultural sector. This will enable student s at large to increase their employability and thus to become an integral part of society. Farm data collection may also prove a source for financial sustainability. This will be ensured though active partnering with companies and/or regional/local governments