Theme 5: Services, Research & Methods

Why are Services, Research & Methods a precondition for a successful collaboration for institutions?

Joint research between strategic triangle partners can be critical in developing new curricula, course and programme improvement, and the organisation of WBL.

Such joint research projects need to be based on precise methods and approaches within the context of agreed strategic aims. And a significant added value is that they will have a durable impact on the strength and quality of collaboration from the perspectives of all stakeholders.

At the same time, crucial services such as careers advice and guidance need to be integrated into partnership working and identified in strategic outcomes.

So, through the knowledge and expertise gained from the realisation of projects and services, partners will be in a better position to identify and develop new skills and professional profiles. And thereby enhance existing curricula, review the relevance of courses and improve the organisation of WBL, especially learning and assessment practices.

Research Results

Results from our 6-country quantitative survey

When it comes to improvement of strategic collaboration in the future, HEIs stressed the importance of understanding each others’ needs and roles better as well as improved communication structures (data). Systematized contact management is considered as most effective collaborative method between institutions and HEIs (data), while giving feedback about students’ performance is valued as most important process for the future of HEI (data).

What Works

Success factors and best practice for collaboration

Via innovation services, higher education institutions can offer the use of equipment available in their labs and centres to SMEs. They can also go further than just provideing facilities, with teachers training the SMEs on how to use the equipment, as well as offering consultation on prodcut design.

This can lead to services and products created in collaboration between educational organizations and companies.

This sort of collaboration, also give students the opportunity to participate in many of these projects, providing valuable experiences in innovation pathways.

Through such events, educational institutions organize various activities to showcase the World of Work to their student body. Such activities might include employer showcasing, recruitment discussions, employer engagement in curriculum and course design, guest speakers, validation panels, industry visits, students volunteering opportunities, ‘guru days’, mentoring and ambassador opportunities, industry events and employer festivals.

Theser types of activities allow students to experience employers in a range of roles: developer, assessor, expert, supporter and recruiter; and thereby gain a real understanding of the employer’s culture and working practices

These consist of an intensive form of a strategic partnership between HEIs and companies, whereby they jointly found and fund research institutes. This enables HEIs to do more research with high relevance to companiesand to sharpen their own profile. Companies get the opportunity to directly to high-level research in their own field of interest. They get new insights that they can use for their own long-term orientation. Students in turn get the opporunity to participant in more relevant research projects and in R&D.

Privately funded endowed professorships create additional jobs for the HEI for a defined period of time thus they serve the promotion of young scientists as well as and contribute to their profile formation and focus. Companies benefit through access to the research results as well as through direct access to a pilpeline of well-trained graduates as well as new or additional further training opportunities for their employees.

In such a research model, a list of potential research topics is prepared by the educational organization together with enterprises, based on their actual research needs. The companies then provide the infrastructure forr the research, and students conduct their thesis at the premises of the company.